It's a truly sad day when your favorite movie franchise comes to a conclusion. We all know that everything has to end eventually, but it's still tragically depressing to see your favorite films and characters for the very last time. Sure, there's always the option of re-watching the films, but everyone knows that just isn't the same.
Sadly, there's nothing we can do about this tragic event. When our favorite franchises end, they're gone for good. You might hope and pray that somehow, in some way, they return to you—but their ending is set in stone. Except for when it isn't.
One of the many recent trends of Hollywood is bringing beloved movie franchises back from the dead. Just when you thought you'd seen the last of them, Hollywood straps your favorite movies onto a table and shocks them back to life!
The result is either a beautiful masterpiece that expertly portrays everything you loved about the franchise in the first place, or a terrible Frankenstein-esque monster of a film that misses the point of the original films entirely. It all depends on how you look at it.
But no matter how you look at it, Hollywood is bringing back some of the greatest film franchises of all time, and presenting them to a new generation of moviegoers. So for better or for worse, here are 5 beloved franchises that we all thought died, but turns out are still alive and kicking!
5. Star Wars
Let's just get the biggest one out of the way. Star Wars, one of the greatest (if not THE greatest) film franchise of all time! After the less-than-satisfying taste the prequels left us with, fans were certain that we'd never see a new Star Wars movie in theaters ever again—and weren't exactly sure if that was a bad thing.
But then along came Disney! The company that started with only a mouse had quickly turned into a media powerhouse with almost all of Marvel under its fingers! With thousands of comic book heroes and villains at their disposal, the next big step for Disney would obviously be to acquire another beloved geeky franchise; Star Wars.
Disney purchased all of LucasFilms's properties from George Lucas himself, and it didn't take long for them to announce that the Star Wars renaissance was upon us!
New toys, games, and yes, new films were promised to us by Disney. A lot of people were skeptical, especially since the last time Star Wars came back, it wasn't for the best. But Disney proved all the skeptics wrong when Star Wars: The Force Awakens came out!
TFA is an incredible film that pays homage to the original, introduces more characters to the galaxy, and (most importantly) has ZERO Jar-Jar! The Force Awakens got three generations of fans excited for Star Wars again! Now with the news that Disney plans to make a new Star Wars movie every year for as long as we're interested, it doesn't look like the Force will be sleeping again any time soon!
4. Harry Potter (Kind Of...)
Harry Potter is without a doubt my favorite franchise of all time! While I'll always love Star Wars and Lord of the Rings, there isn't a world I loved exploring more than the Wizarding World!
The magical adventures of Harry and his friends at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry will always hold a special place in my heart. But it isn't just the characters that make this book/film series my absolute favorite—it's the world.
The places, the people, the wonderfully strange creatures! It's all just so mesmerizing to me. Which is exactly why I'm excited for the upcoming film set in the Wizarding World; Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them!
To call Fantastic Beasts a Harry Potter prequel is only half-true. While it is set in the same universe as HP, it's actually set years before the events of the original series.
Set in the 1920s, Fantastic Beasts follows Newt Scamander, a magical zoologist, who visits New York on behalf of the Ministry of Magic. New carries around a magical briefcase with him that contains a variety of dangerous magical creatures. When the creatures escape, it's up to Newt to stop them before anyone gets hurt, or before their discovery harms the already struggling relations between magical and non-magical people.
While it may not star Harry Potter or any of his pals, I'm certainly looking forward to Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. And I'm seriously hoping that J.K. Rowling takes a page from Star Wars and keeps this wonderful magical world alive for as long as possible!
Technically there's only one released Avatar film, so it doesn't count as a franchise yet. But the director of the film, James Cameron, promised that our adventures on Pandora weren't done after the first movie.
Avatar was a really good film. It was full of action, drama, suspense, and giant blue people! Avatar managed to become the highest grossing film of all time, a feat that it still holds today (though Star Wars is gaining on it)!
When it ended, everyone was clamoring for a sequel, and James Cameron promised that we would get not one, not two, but THREE more films set in the Avatar universe! This was clearly exciting news, until years passed and nothing new came out...
While nothing was ever cancelled, everyone had just assumed from the lack of updates that the Avatar sequels were canned. And even though James Cameron kept insisting they were still coming out, our faith diminished a little more every day.
Luckily, it looks like some actual huge progress is being made, and Avatar 2 is set to premiere around Christmas 2017! Sure, that's a good eight years since the last film. But let's be honest, Avatar was so good that we wouldn't mind waiting 20 years if it meant getting to trek across Pandora once more!
2. Pirates of the Caribbean
Yo-ho yo-ho, a pirate's life for me! When Pirates of the Caribbean first came out in 2003, it was an instant hit! The swashbuckling tale starring Johnny Depp as the clever yet foolish Captain Jack Sparrow garnered enough success to warrant a sequel.
The sequel, though not as charming as the first, was still pretty good. Good enough to make enough money to warrant yet another film, to close out the trilogy once and for all!
And while the third film was certainly the weakest of the the original trilogy, I think we can all agree that they really could've (and should've) stopped there.
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides was the odd man out, and made the third film seem Oscar-worthy. A messy plot, a super short running time, and only 2/4 of the original cast returning made this Pirates an easily forgettable one.
Still, I'd be lying if I didn't say I was excited for the upcoming fifth film. After the fourth, I swore off of Pirates forever. I was certain that this was a series that Hollywood was going to run into the ground. And you know what? I was absolutely correct.
But while Hollywood has most certainly got a bad case of pirate fever, I'd be lying if said I didn't want Captain Jack and the rest of the Black Pearl crew to come back! Even if the fifth one is bad, I'll still go and see it - if only to point out everything that's wrong with it.
1. John Carter
Yep, I saved the weirdest for last. I bet you weren't expecting to see John Carter on this list were you?
For those of you who don't know, or just can't remember, John Carter was a movie made in 2012 by Disney. Based on the first book in a series of Mars-centric novels by Edgar Rice Burroughs, John Carter followed the titular character as he's transported to Mars in the middle of a war.
Despite performing poorly at the box-office, John Carter was a good movie. I mean, really good! Great acting, good CGI, and those who read the books will find that it stayed pretty faithful. It really could have been a hugely successful film, if only John Carter was marketed just a little better.
With terrible marketing, and bad trailers that only focused on the comedic or action-y parts of the films, John Carter was a good example of how not to promote your movie. It really didn't help that many mistook the film for a Star Wars ripoff either—despite the fact that it was based on a book that came out in 1912. That's a good 65 years before the first Star Wars movie came out.
Regardless, John Carter didn't do so well in the box-office, and received hardly any attention from casual moviegoers. And that's the end of that, right? Apparently not.
In a surprising decision, Disney has let the rights to the franchise revert back to the Edgar Rice Burroughs Estate. The estate is currently searching for a new studio to make more films based on the novels. While this doesn't necessarily mean they'll find one, with space operas being in such high demand- as evident by the success of both Star Wars and Star Trek - I wouldn't doubt for a second that some movie studio will purchase the film rights. Let's just hope they treat the franchise with care.
So there you have it; 5 franchises that everyone were sure died, but against all odds, came back from the dead! I'm excited for the triumphant return of all of these franchises - what about you?