opinion

OPINION: Movie franchises are going stale



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"Thor" was released in 2011 and stars Chris Hemsworth. The film is part of the the Marvel movie franchise. Movie Stills Database Buy Photos

If you were to go to a theater in Bloomington today, you would have eleven movies to choose from. Of these eleven movies, two are remakes and three are sequels. There’s nothing inherently wrong with sequels or remakes, but they’re saturating the market with unimaginative and stale stories. 

Companies, specifically Disney, know people will see sequels to their huge franchises — Marvel, I’m looking at you — simply because these movies belong to an already established film universe. 

I'm not judging people who pay to see these movies. I'm a huge Marvel fan, and I've seen every single one of the movies in theaters.

However, when I see what movies are coming our way for Marvel’s Phase Four, I can barely muster up enough interest to Google the release dates. Even as a longtime Marvel fan, I can’t bring myself to care. 

As much as I will enjoy another trip through director Taika Waititi's psychedelic “Thor: Ragnarok” world, most of Phase Four leaves me wanting something a little more innovative.

Disney keeps buying up production companies and churning out the most generic movies. They seem more invested in making money than creating compelling, original and exciting new films.

Of course, Disney needs to make money, but it doesn't have to be at the expense of originality. They don't even have to drop their franchises to be original. Take "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” as an example.

Spider-Man has had three different movie series in the past twelve years with three different actors in the titular role. But the animated “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” had a fresh take on Spider-Man with new faces behind the mask, a stunning art style and a focus on love and friendship. 

"Into the Spider-Verse" took an old, well-known story and created a fantastic new movie. Companies such as Disney need to take tips from this movie moving forward. If more movies took this route, seeing movies in the theater would be more about enjoying new stories rather than about seeing your favorite childhood movie, but this time with realistic lions.

Just because sequels and remakes are saturating the market does not mean that interesting and creative movies do not exist. They exist, but they do not receive the attention of the previously mentioned remakes and sequels.

One such movie is “Rocketman,” a biopic about singer Elton John. Rather than present a dry life story, “Rocketman” is an “epic musical fantasy.” Musical numbers interject into the biopic seamlessly and lead to a truly great and imaginative movie. 

Another is “Midsommar,” a horror movie about love, loss and cult seduction. “Midsommar” is far from the first horror movie about a cult with graphic violence, yet director Ari Astor still manages to make something fresh and exciting. 

People prove time and time again that it’s possible to create movies from existing ideas and franchises and elicit more than a yawn from the audience. Sequels and remakes can still exist, but please stop it with the lifeless live-action remakes and stretching movie series into infinity.

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