After Terminator, These Franchises Should Ignore Most of the Sequels
Terminator: Dark Fate is but the latest in a relatively new trend among franchises. Rather than being saddled with excessive continuity, it simply ignores the sequels the filmmakers don’t like, and acts as if just the first two happened. It’s not the first series to do this: Halloween has done “ignore-quels” at least twice, as has Texas Chainsaw Massacre at least once (depending what you consider “continuity” there). Robocop is reportedly doing it next. And in the case of Halloween, at least, it’s given what was a stale property a massive shot of adrenaline. Maybe it’s time more sagas did this, after Terminator. Which ones, you might ask? We definitely have some thoughts.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Yes, yes, they’re working on another reboot as we speak. So once again, presumably, we can get Shredder’s origin story. And April’s first encounter with the Turtles. And flashbacks to the young reptiles learning martial arts. But why?
Everyone has different likes and dislikes in the TMNT movies as a whole. Some enjoy the camp of Vanilla Ice’s ninja rap and a pre-NWO Kevin Nash as Super Shredder. Others are delighted by Kraang in the most recent installment. About the only thing every fan agrees on, though, is that the 1991 movie was the best one. So why not follow it up directly?
The Turtles would have to lose the first “T” and the movie would probably have to be called. Ninja Turtles, but aging the quartet up isn’t a bad idea. Given that they seem more like tortoises anyway, they probably have super-long lifespans. What happens when fighting teens grow up? Elias Koteas, the original Casey Jones, has expressed interest in revisiting the characters later in life. Frankly, after 28 years, some of us would like to see what happens when everything stops being radical and tubular, and the teens have grown into battle-hardened veterans of the street wars. Koteas and Judith Hoag probably aren’t busy, and Corey Feldman would probably be Don’s voice again in a heartbeat.
Some fans like the second Hellraiser film, and even the “Alan Smithee”-directed Bloodline has its defenders. But nobody likes all of them. Most of the direct-to-video installments play as what they are: a desperate attempt to hold on to the IP without spending much money. And for a story that springs from the mind of Clive Barker, with an elaborate mythology and concept of Hell to match, going cheap is going wrong.
I’d be happy to ignore even the second film, which let down its creepy S&M Cenobites by revealing that the extra-dimensional demons are just poor humans who got trapped and tortured. We can definitely ditch the rest, which tried to turn Pinhead into a Freddy Krueger type bogeyman that he was never meant to be (I’ll compromise and keep Bloodline). But the original is perfect for what it is. There’s no need to remake the same story of Frank and Julia, and their bloodlust. The box was taken away by a demon at the end anyway.
Doug Bradley would probably return as Pinhead if treated with respect, and maybe Ashley Laurence could as well. There’s a lot of potential in the Hellraiser universe that has never remotely been tapped, and it’s a shame it’s been lowballed from the start.
Star Trek: The Next Generation
Even at its worst (The Final Frontier, of course), O.G. Star Trek spawned watchable movies. The same cannot be said for Picard’s crew. First Contact was a great solo debut movie following a so-so crossover, but things headed rapidly downhill from there. A boring planet of renewed puberty, followed by Tom Hardy somehow playing a Patrick Stewart clone, and the franchise died so hard it had to be rebooted. That shouldn’t have had to happen.
At its height, TNG was the best show in the franchise, and its final episode, “All Good Things,” is better than most Star Trek movies. By bringing back Jean-Luc Picard for a new TV show, CBS All Access has shown they understand this. But what we really want is the whole gang back together again. We suspect the whole gang would like that as well, as they deserve a new paycheck. Bring back Q, and you literally have a character who can snap his fingers, Thanos-style, and delete half the Next Generation movies from canon. Bonus: as epitomized by Michael Douglas’ CG facelifts in the Marvel movies, we’re finally at the point where Brent Spiner can look de-aged appropriately to stay forever Data.
If you count the AVP movies, Predator now has five sequels. And not one of them has delivered the thing everyone most wants to see: the return of Dutch Schaefer. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s original Predator killer survived the first documented mano e mano battle with a Yautja, yet no character who subsequently encountered them ever thinks to call him. Why not?
Arnold’s reluctance to do sequels at one time was probably an obstacle, but he’s no longer picky on that score. Hell, he’s still talking about a sequel to Twins. Danny Glover and whomever else are welcome back too, so long as the story is about Dutch rather than them. For old time’s sake, maybe bring in Jean-Claude Van Damme to give him some closure after his original version of the Predator got deleted and changed.
The Power Rangers reboot movie attempted a serious take on the fundamentally silly premise. And it did as good a job as anyone could hope for. But OG fans want the originals — those left, anyway (RIP Thuy Trang) — to come back. Imagine a new movie that forgets the newer generations, but picks back up with Tommy, Kimberly, Zack and the other Mighty Morphin/Zeo/Turbo survivors. Picture them summoned back into action and having to deal with the responsibilities of adulthood at the same time. Even David Yost, who had some bad blood with the franchise for a while, has expressed support on Twitter for a reunion.
We think the original generation of viewers would “go go” to the theater in droves.
Which franchises do you think need to abandon their previous sequels for a fresh start? Let us know in the comment section below!