Sequel Saturday: Happy New Year & Happy New Sequels for 2015!, by Mat Bradley-Tschirgi
The new year brings in a lot of things. A hangover for some. A celebration for others. And plenty of sequels for all. Hollywood’s not getting out of the sequel business anytime soon, but I have a feeling the sequels, reboots, and remakes we’ll get in 2015 will be more inspiring than what we saw in 2014. Variety noted that audience attendance in North America for 2014 dropped to 1.26 billion, the lowest figure since 1995.
Let’s take a look at a few of the sequels I find more interesting on the docket for 2015.
The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death– 2012’s The Woman in Black was a nice, subtle period horror flick starring Daniel Radcliffe from Hammer Productions. This sequel doesn’t star Daniel Radcliffe, but promises the same creepy aesthetic set in London during the Blitz of World War II.
Hot Tub Time Machine 2– I’m a sucker for a silly comedy, and the trailer for Hot Tub Time Machine 2 fits that category like a glove. John Cusack is not returning, but in his place we have Adam Scott of Parks and Recreation fame playing his son. They time travel to the future and the past to prevent events from happening. Getting big Back to the Future Part II vibes here.
Mad Max: Fury Road– In the works for over two decades, the latest in the series sees Mad Max involved in yet another epic car chase. Director George Miller is back as director. The casting of Charlize Theron and Nicholas Hoult in supporting roles is smart, but I’m really looking forward to Hugh Keays-Byrne as the villain Immortan Joe. Keays-Byrne played the baddie Toecutter in the original Mad Max. The scope looks very exciting. Hoping we’ll get something closer to The Road Warrior (released overseas as Mad Max 2) than Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome.
The Fantastic Four– Fox is rebooting this superhero series again with a younger cast. A gaggle of news stories on the plot have surfaced. All I’ll say is that writer Simon Kinberg went for a radical departure from the more faithful plotting we saw in the 2005 film. This one will either connect with a new generation of fans raised on comic book movies or deliver a big belly flop of a flick. Fascinated to see how this turns out.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens– I have two Star Wars tattoos, so I’m practically obligated to put this on. In all seriousness, the teaser we got over the Thanksgiving weekend had more vim and vigor than any of the prequel trilogy. Excited to see Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, and Harrison Ford back on the big screen again, although I doubt they’ll be a focus of the film. J.J. Abrams fired on all cylinders when delivering the Star Trek reboot in 2009; let’s cross our fingers he does the same for this Star Wars sequel.
Mission: Impossible 5– I’m mixed on this Tom Cruise TV-show spinoff franchise as a whole, but the wit Brad Bird brought to Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol brought a nice energy to the series. Frequent Cruise collaborator Christopher McQuarrie is directing this fifth installment, so maybe the more inventive action with snappy pacing will continue.