We all know that creating a sequel, or even prequel, is always a gamble, unless you're doing book to film adaptions of extremely popular series like The Lord of the Rings, or Harry Potter. Even then, it's risky. Look at The Hobbit Trilogy. As much as I enjoyed watching the film adaptions of a childhood favourite, the films fell short of the epic quality of the LOTR, tainting it somehow. Similarly, I can't help but compare the prequels to the original Star Wars Trilogy and cringe slightly. Some things are better left alone, and here's my list of follow ups in pre or post production that I have a nasty suspicion will subtract something vital from the films we love.
1. Avatar 2 (2017)
Avatar is on my top 100 movies list, and remains the highest grossing BoxOffice hit of all time. It was an epic and interesting story, executed in stunning high definition, and apart from using 'unobtanium' to name a mineral, when the word was coined in jest to cover all manner of minerals that don't really exist, James Cameron gave us a treasure which proudly graces everyone's BluRay collection.
The sequels however, the second being due for release in 2017, and which is currently still in pre-production, I don't have high hopes for. They will be epic and beautifully executed I'm sure, but as for story lines, I'm not so sure. According to CinemaBlend, and ScreenRant, the original cast will be returning, including two deceased characters. It's also supposed to be set in Pandora's oceans, and both Avatar 3 and 4 will be shot alongside it. After Peter Jackson's somewhat successful attempt at doing just that with The Hobbit, I would like to be pleasantly surprised by Avatar 2. But the original was such a runaway success, that I fear James Cameron is setting himself up for an Epic fall.
2. Bad Boys 3
Bad Boys was a great Will Smith/ Martin Lawrence 'Buddy Cop' movie that spoke to a generation, bringing us the best in car chases and gunfights, where the good guys save the day in style. The sequel, Bad Boys 2, united the duo, this time sending them after yet another nasty drug lord. It is watchable and exciting, but not quite as good as the first one.
After 11 years of waiting, Martin Lawrence announced in August last year that the third installment is good to go, but I can't help feeling that they have waited a bit too long. I can only imagine what the storyline will be now that the two detectives have advanced in years and experience, and I daresay it will push the boundries of suspending your disbelief. If ever it gets made that is...
3. Transformers 5 (2016)
I've often heard of Michael Bay's Transformers franchise as playing fast and loose with the childhoods of those of us born in the eighties, and it's not hard to see why with the awful fourth film, Transformers: Age of Extinction. The first and second films were watchable, and the third okay, but by the fourth he'd just gone too far.
Rumour is that Mr Bay won't be helming this next instalment, but I'm going to wait for it to be free on Sky OnDemand nonetheless.
4. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (2017)
Hollywood seems to believe that cashing in on a successful franchise is the gift that keeps on giving. But after the highly unsatisfying ending to At World's End, I doubt whether even Captain Jack Sparrow can keep this ship afloat much longer.
5. Terminator Genisys (2015)
The first two Terminator films are classics. Judgement Day was okay. And Salvation has re-watch value and I like what they did with it. But the film coming out this year is something else again, starring a now pension aged Arnold Schwarzenegger with Amelia Clarke as Sarah Connor.
Sequel, prequel and reboot, it has a complex time shifting story line that is along similar veins to what JJ Abrams did with Star Trek. The trailer looks amazing, but the principle of the thing is that it never should have been attempted in the first place. You just don't mess with The Terminator.
6. Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)
Man of Steel was an excellent film. But Ben Affleck sporting the bat-suit after Christian Bale embodied the Dark Knight for a generation? No, absolutely not. DC, stop trying to be Marvel. Keep to what you're good at, which is focusing on single characters. And what ever you do, do not mess up Wonder Woman.
7. Ghostbusters 3 (2016)
As much as would love to see the Ghost-busting boys handing over to the next generation, I really can't see it being any good. It has a great cast, including Eliza Dushku, but I am worried that by modern day standards, it'll fall flat. Leave Ghostbusters in the eighties, Bill Murray, where it belongs.
8. Yet Another Wolverine Movie Currently Untitled (2017)
As much as I love the Wolverine, Hugh Jackman is starting to look past the age where he is believable as an ageless, practically immortal mutant. His most successful films playing Marvel's original bad ass have been the X-Men films, both past and present, so the studio need to stop making stand-alones that fall short of their star's performances, and reserve him for what audiences really want.
9. Yet Another Spiderman Sequel/Reboot Currently Untitled (2017)
After 'The Amazing Spider-Man 2' was not so much amazing as a bit of a let down, Sony really should retire him. Leave the reboots to DC, Marvel, and focus on the Avengers.
10. Star Wars Episode VII - The Force Awakens (2015)
While I will be spending my hard-earned cash to watch the next instalment of the Star Wars franchise in the cinema, in my heart I will go in there expecting the worst. The idea is great, bringing back the original cast, and setting it years on, but the rumours that the now Disney owned franchise isn't keeping the extended canon, is a worrying insight into what's in store...!