Thursday, April 2, 2009

Stunted sequels

How do you feel about movie studios churning out sequels to popular movies? How about decades later? With different actors?

Here's a story about two possible examples:

During a presentation at the movie industry's annual ShoWest convention in Las Vegas on Wednesday, Sony distribution president Rory Bruer said that the studio is going back for thirds on the Ghostbusters and Men in Black franchises. Now, of course, the question on everyone's mind is: Who will be starring in said monster-fighting movies? Sony isn't talking (Bruer's announcement arrived almost in passing), but it is expected that Ivan Reitman, Harold Ramis, Bill Murray, and Dan Aykroyd will return to be involved to some degree on a followup to 1989's Ghostbusters II.

Meanwhile, Men in Black III is in even more of a nascent stage. Sony won't comment on whether Will Smith will be involved in the project in any way, either as an actor or producer.

Ghostbusters and Men In Black were a lot of fun - and their sequels weren't bad either - but why I liked them had an awful lot to do with stars Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones. These gifted comic actors were key to my enjoyment, especially considering the type of high concept comedy in both of these movies.

Having them cameo in the sequels isn't going to bring me into the theatre. Younger, hotter actors won't sway me either. Maybe I'm a stickler, but how can you even call something a sequel if its lead actors are, for all intents and purposes, MIA?

Would you go and see a third Ghostbusters or Men in Black movie if its original stars were only there as window dressing, or is there a lot more to films like these than their stars?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Really? A hot hunk-a-hunk-a won't get you in the theatre? You've got higher standards than I thought. Sequels like these obviously count on zero collective memory of the masses, or a new generation that needs to learn who they gonna call. I have no patience for creative laziness. Surely there must be a multitude of screenplays and ideas to choose from out there. Take a chance people and give us some fresh entertainment in these days of recession-eria. g.

April 3, 2009 at 7:01 AM  

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