James Bond as a brand has reinvented itself for every generation. The way it has been able to do this is to replace it's lead and simply not address the change often keeping supporting casts, plot threads and other connections to the older films. This becomes less jarring by the casual way its done. I believe that the modern reboot cycle is worse because they have to try to set it apart from the others and it will obviously appear to be a reboot while James Bond and now Mad Max will just change their lead and know the audience are smart enough to just accept what their watching. But what franchises should get this treatment. I have a few ideas.
At some point Tom Cruise will start showing his age and have to retire from M:I films. This doesn't mean that you have to retire the franchise or graft on a new lead. Just cast a relatively well known actor as Ethan Hunt and continue from there. This is one of Hollywoods most consistant franchises and it doesn't have to die with Tom Cruises days as a leading man.
This one also more or less come's down to time. Tom Cruise will not be able to put all 20 plus Jack Reacher books to film even if he never ages. These movies can go on forever. Not to mention a James Bond treatment could mean fans of the source material can get the 6 foot blond protagonist from the book.
The X-Men franchise is currently in the middle of phasing out all their old cast and replacing them with young/cheap actors via time travel shinanigins. What they should have done with every cast member and should do with Hugh Jackman is just replace them and not adress it. Each of the young actors will be on different contracts and end up doing different numbers of films. When one of the actors has to be replaced do it and not adress it. With the rest of the cast being the same this could sustainably go on forever and you have a neverending franchise.
Dirty Harry is as iconic as a film can get. The original spawned a 5 film franchise based on Clint Eastwood's screen presence. Clint Eastwoods since his days as a tough street cop he has become one of Hollywoods hardest working directors. I think if you gave him a good pitch (keep in mind I don't know him) he would be willing to direct/oversee a soft reboot of the character. This can also be made relitivly for cheap and be very popular with older audiences.
MARVEL CINEMATIC UNIVERSE
DC movies have never been able to reach this point but Marvel has. RDJ can't be Iron Man forever but because actors age doesn't mean the characters have to. Marvel comics have existed 50 years in the same continuity creating a deep and compelling world movies can't create with the same cast. Marvel won't retire Iron Man and they shouldn't have to. Just recast and just like the X-Men it can go on forever.
This list can be summed up as the characters are allway's gonna bigger than their actors. A good idea should always be given a second shot even if it will annoy franchise purists. If you have any ideas/general discussion about this article or me as a person use the comments below.