The Matrix Resurrections: Other ’80s and ’90s Franchises That Deserve Follow-Ups
Love them or hate them, there’s no denying that revivals and reboots are a big part of Hollywood right now. From Ghostbusters to Home Alone to Child’s Play to this month’s highly anticipated release of The Matrix Resurrections (over 20 years since the first film was released), everyone loves seeing older franchises updated and brought back to the big screen.
Inevitably, moviegoers can expect more classic franchises to get refreshers, and while remakes are definitely an option, it seems that fans are far more interested to see continuations of the original story. Of course, not every ’90s franchise deserves a follow up and some have already had failed attempts, but these five would have the subject matter, big names, or devoted fanbase to pull off a resurrection of their own.
Long before the MCU and DCEU had made superhero movies a genre unto itself, the Blade trilogy was one of the best early comic book offerings. Starring the incomparable Wesley Snipes as Blade, the vampire hunter, these films were action-packed and a whole lot of fun.
Now that the superhero genre has become one of the most lucrative in cinema, it is past time that Blade gets a revisit, and thankfully, this is actually in the works. At SDCC 2019, Marvel announced that a Blade movie was in development, and while it is still in the very early stages (with various delays, directors, and other names attached), it looks like Blade will be joining the MCU at some future point. Of course, this may not be as a direct continuation of the Snipes version, but now that the multiverse is becoming an established part of this world, that’s not entirely off the table!
It’s easy to see why Free Willy had such huge success—enough success to launch a franchise. The inspirational story of a troubled young boy and a beautiful whale was a beautiful hit. However, the second and third films in the franchise didn’t have quite the same success, and the 2010 attempt at a continuation (Free Willy: Escape from Pirate's Cove) was a low-budget, direct to video offering that failed to make waves.
However, this may be the perfect time to revive the franchise for a new generation with a focus on the ethics and environmental impact of whales in captivity. The huge success of Blackfish and the increasing awareness of environmental issues prove that audiences care about the subject matter, and this could bring a new and important depth to the original inspirational idea.
Highlander, a film about an immortal Scotsman, became a cult classic over the years, inspiring multiple sequels and a series. However, as often happens, the sequels continued to receive less and less of a favorable response, and the reaction to the final film, in 2007, were so negative that future plans were cancelled…until recently.
Highlander may actually receive a resurrection of its own, as a new version has been in various stages of development for over a decade. The success of fantasy series like Game of Thrones and The Wheel of Time, as well as the massive popularity of Outlander, suggest that this could be the perfect combination for current audiences and that Highlander may be as immortal as its titular character.
The NeverEnding Story
The NeverEnding Story is another film franchise whose title may be particularly apt and ripe for new chapters. The original film (and its swamp scene that scarred Millennials for life) spawned two sequels but has lain dormant since 1994. In many ways, it is a surprise that this has thus far managed to avoid being rebooted, but this is because the rights are tied up in litigation. It is rumored that the original creator hated the final movie so much that there are no intentions to allow it to be revived.
However, in recent years, Peter Jackson has been rumored to want to take the project on, and this might be enough to push it through. This classic fantasy story would be a perfect choice for the director of the acclaimed Lord of the Rings adaptation, and he would be certain to bring this beautiful tale to life perfectly.
Whoopi Goldberg is the shining star of this hilarious musical comedy about a lounge singer in hiding as a nun, and while much of the premise may seem ridiculous today, it’s the kind of inspirational story that never gets old. The sequel, too, did relatively well, and fans may love to hear that a new film may well be in the works.
Goldberg herself announced that it was in development in 2020, and that means we may be seeing Delores and her sisters again, with a perspective on how the group has been managing over so many years and how things have changed for them since Delores first had to hide.
Which older franchises do you think should get the Resurrection treatment? Tweet us @quirkbooks and let us know!