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Movie Sequels: Good or Bad Idea?

(Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

Back in the late 1800’s there was talk of closing the US Patent Office because it was believed that all the good ideas had already been thought of. It seems that life would never get better than 1890. Thankfully that idea didn’t come to pass.

In more recent history it seems that Hollywood has run out of ideas too. They just run out a new updated version of something that has worked in the past with the same stars and premise.

The Characters

James Bond is probably the most recognizable movie character that has been going on for 50 years. There have been at least 8 actors assigned the role of super spy Bond over that time span but the franchise lives on. Sean Connery, hands down the best Bond, in my opinion.

There has been at least two Spiderman’s (Men’s?), four or five Batman’s, at least 3 Superman’s, four if you want to include TV. Two actors have taken on the Bourne movies. And Hollywood continues to roll them out. Unfortunately, one of my favorite action characters of all time, “The Lone Ranger”, bombed at the box office. Don’t look for a sequel anytime soon.


Animation is not immune to this recycling frenzy. Shrek, Toy Story, and many others also have jumped on the sequel bandwagon. Thankfully there hasn’t been Snow White and the Eight Dwarfs yet. But don’t be surprised when that happens.

Story Lines

Author Tom Clancy has had plenty of books made into movies based on the Jack Ryan character. Harrison Ford, Ben Affleck, and Alec Baldwin have all taken a shot at playing Ryan.

Morgan Freeman brought Alex Cross to the screen in several adaptations of the James Patterson novels. Tyler Perry is the latest Alex Cross to mixed reviews.

Some Final Thoughts

Some sequels work, some don’t. There are many movies that just should be left alone to stand on their own. While I would enjoy a good update of “War Games,” only Matthew Broderick is allowed to be Ferris Bueller — ever. Don’t even think of redoing “In The Heat of the Night,” or “To Kill A Mockingbird.”

I’m sure that aspiring authors are hard at work on new characters and new ideas in the hopes they will see their work on the big screen. But until those big ideas get enough notice to spend $200,000,000 they will reside on dusty library shelves.

Got an idea for a movie sequel? Comment below. I’m pretty sure James Cameron follows this blog. This could be your big break.

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