If there's one thing Hollywood loves more than money, more than Michael Bay, more than Jennifer Lawrence (possibly), it's a franchise.
The F-word is basically the ultimate currency in Hollywood, which is why that film you loved got a sequel, and then a prequel, and then a spin-off, and then a final movie which was actually divided into two parts and inevitably did not live up to the hype (but still starred Jennifer Lawrence, so all was well).
Done right, a spin-off can breathe new life into a dying franchise, or one which simply came to its natural end - see the upcoming Harry Potter spin-off, J.K. Rowling's Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (read more about that here).
All of this got me thinking about which movies deserve spin-offs of their own, and the first thing that came to mind was...
Young James Bond
Not only has the Bond franchise outlasted every other in cinematic history, it basically started the trend, way back in 1962 with Dr. No. Half a century and 24 films later, Bond is alive and well in Spectre, despite being an alcoholic and serial plastic surgery participant. Bond has been Scottish and English, gruff and suave, even old - Roger Moore was basically collecting his pension in A View to a Kill - but the one thing he's never been is young.
Which, considering the young James already has such a strong back story courtesy of Ian Fleming's novels and the mythology built up across the films, seems kind of crazy.
Young Bond would probably work better as a case-of-the-week TV series than a big-screen movie, and it might be less license to kill, more getting-his-driver's-license, but that doesn't mean it wouldn't be a riot.
Seeing as the new series probably wouldn't be canon, the writers could take some artistic license with young James' origin story. Personally, I would focus on Bond's time studying in Geneva (exotic locale - check), studying in this case being a euphemism for womanizing (French women - check) and stealing fast cars (Aston Martins - check, Aston Martins with missiles fitted - maybe later). Throw in a young Q sent to covertly recruit Bond into the secret service and you're onto some seriously slick spy shenanigans, perfect for ten episodes on Netflix.
Harry Potter: the Founding Fathers of Hogwarts
Let's be honest, there are at least sixteen different Harry Potter spin-offs which could be made. They could make a fly on the wall reality TV show set in the Hufflepuff common room and I'd probably watch that too. (But you know what they say - what happens in the Hufflepuff dorm stays in the Hufflepuff dorm.)
Anyway, the spin-off which could be most radical is a movie set in Medieval times, the 10th century to be precise - a kind of origins story focusing on how Helga Hufflepuff, Rowena Ravenclaw, Salazar Slytherin and Godric Gryffindor came together and built the glorious castle of Hogwarts. Although there's some existing back story, there's room for a lot of creative license here - and who better to fill in the gaps than J.K. Rowling herself? Slytherin being ousted from the school and swearing his revenge sounds like the perfect arc for the first two movies.
Guardians of the Galaxy - The Collector
Benicio del Toro's platinum-haired eccentric The Collector pretty much stole in his brief appearance in Guardians of the Galaxy. The actual story behind the Collector is really interesting and tinged with tragedy - he's immortal, but his wife Matani, also immortal, died after losing the will to live. The Collector made it his mission to travel the galaxy collecting and safeguarding artifacts. There's really no other character like him in the Marvel universe, and there's certainly nobody who can sport bleach blonde eyebrows quite like del Toro - this alone is reason enough to give the man his own spin-off.
What's that you say? You want an actual plot? Well, how about this: in "Cosmo and the Collector on the Road to Knowhere", the Collector and his loyal Soviet space dog Cosmo attempt to return to their lab and collection of artifacts before Knowhere drifts off the edge of Space-time and ceases to exist - but Thanos is determined to block the duo's road back home...". I know, I know, I just came up with that in thirty seconds. I'm sure you could do much better.
This couldn't be a movie, because Halle Berry cast a curse on Catwoman for the rest of eternity, but the cat-eared antiheroine could make an appearance in the solo Batfleck movie before getting her own spin-off series on TV - in which she would be the villain rather than the hero, because Catwoman was born to be bad, duh. In a twist on shows like The Flashthe format would be "villain takes on new hero every week, kicks their ass". Has to be camper than Anne Hathaway's attempt - think more Michelle Pfeiffer's iconic take on the character, transported to a Southern-gothic setting a la True Blood. I'm not actually convinced this would be any good, but that just makes me want to see it more.
Ant-Man and The Wasp
It seems like a lot of people are desperate to see more of Evangeline Lilly's Wasp after Hope was given the iconic suit by Hank in the mid-credits scene of Ant-Man. Marvel's Kevin Feige has basically confirmed we'll see more of the Wasp, but there's one story that really needs telling - we, as well as Hope and Hank, need to know what happened to original Wasp - is Janet Van Dyne really dead?
If the Wasp hijacking Ant-Man's sequel sounds a bit too [Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice](tag:711870), at least it will shut up the critics who can't shout loud enough about Marvel being totally sexist and not giving its female heroes a shot. Plus the thought of Evangeline Lilly kicking arse is basically reason enough to make this movie, tomorrow.
So there you have it: 5 spin-offs with the power to kick off a new franchise, or at least take an existing one in a new direction. Personally, I can't wait to watch Cosmo and the Collector on the Road to Knowhere - and then the sequel, and the prequel, and the concluding film split unnecessarily into two parts, neither fully satisfactory, and both starring Jennifer Lawrence but thankfully not directed by Michael Bay. God love Hollywood!