Monday, February 22, 2010

The Best Sequels That Haven't Been Made Yet.

It's a SemiDaily List!

A while back, I mentioned in passing that I'd thought of a brilliant new sequel to the movie Ferris Bueller's Day Off. Within a month of posting that, studios announced that a Ferris sequel was in the works.

Well, I'm no dummy -- I know that Hollywood, and the whole world of entertainment, is not only afraid to make anything new or creative or original, but also that all of the Entertainment World reads my blog and cribs ideas from it. So as a break from my usual activities ("working out a way to get royalties from every single movie, book, TV show, and song made in the past several years/creating new snack foods), I've decided to yet again help out Hollywood by picking out movies that need sequels -- and then writing those sequels.

And, just to ensure that the movies do well, even if they're being marketed to a crowd that may or may not have heard about them, I've added in a surefire Hollywood gimmick to each, guaranteeing box office Gold. Ready? Let's get on with

The Best Sequels That Haven't Been Made Yet!

1. Close Encounters Of The Fourth Kind! The Plot: What's-his-name, the guy from Jaws... Mr Holland ... returns from traveling around outer space with the aliens -- this time, though, the aliens drop him off surreptitiously and he just shows up in his home town. As with the first abductees, time has passed while he's been gone and his children have grown up, and that one lady who was never in any other movies but who was kind of his love interest in the first one (only they never really played that up) is now dead. Mr. Holland won't talk about what he experienced up there, and in fact won't talk at all, not even after a couple of shadowy government operatives and that French guy find him and try to get him to cooperate... and not even when it's revealed that just outside of Saturn's orbit are hundreds of alien ships, whose purpose may or may not be friendly.

Ultimately, just before the world decides to try to strike at the aliens, Mr Holland breaks his silence and says that the aliens were taking captives to try to decide if humanity is ready to join the larger galactic civilization -- but that he didn't want to talk because he was too ashamed to admit he'd failed their tests. Now, it's up to a small team of humans to travel to the Saturn rendezvous to convince the aliens that we can be allowed not just to join them... but to survive!

The Pitch: District 9 meets Independence Day, with a touch of Star Trek.

Surefire Hollywood Gimmick To Guarantee Success: This will not just be a sequel, but will be a rebooting of the film, setting the Close Encounters movie up to be a series of films featuring Hollywood's youngest actors. Plus, it'll be in 3D!

2. Apocalypse Then: The Plot: Willard has been holed up in a shack in Montana, writing increasingly-odd sounding letters to the editor denouncing the U.S. Government and the military-industrial complex. One day, Willard is visited by government agents who offer him a choice: Help them one more time, or face charges as the alleged anthrax mailer. Willard denies ever having anything to do with the anthrax threat but knows that the government can bring him down, so he opts for the mission, which takes place in Afghanistan. There, Willard must befriend a warlord whose charismatic presence could be the key to finally defeating the Taliban -- but the warlord is friendly with the Taliban and must be swayed, or killed. And if he's killed, it has to be pinned on the bad guys.

Willard journeys to the rocky, blighted terrain of Afghanistan, where he is immediately attacked by villagers angry about a drone air raid killing women and children. Just before he is about to die, the warlord intervenes. Owing him his life, and knowing America has nothing left for him, Willard joins the warlord and helps him prepare to steal a tactical nuclear weapon just across the border in Afghanistan. In the final raid, US Special Forces prevent the theft, and kill Willard -- but the savagery of the fight propels the warlord to leadership, and into the arms of the Taliban.

The Pitch: Braveheart, only about the one modern war we can discuss without getting all bogged down in politics.

Surefire Hollywood Gimmick To Guarantee Success: The movie will star actual US Special Forces... and it'll be in 3D!

3. OZ! The Plot: Did you know that The Wizard Of Oz wasn't the only book Frank Baum wrote about Oz? There's, like, fifty books about Oz. How did nobody ever discover this before? I mean, I knew it, but, then, I'm kind of a nerd and I actually read all the books. However, because the rights to those movies would be kind of expensive, and because audiences are more sophisticated now and don't want simplistic morality tales unless those simplistic morality tales also involve giant blue cat-people, Oz! will update and expand on those follow-ups.

Oz! the movie picks up just after Dorothy left -- leaving the Scarecrow, the Lion, and the Tin Man with the task of deciding what to do now that the Wizard is gone. They try to set up a democracy, electing representatives of each of the areas of Oz, but their efforts are halted when Ozma, the claimed heir to the throne, demands that all democratic efforts be stopped and that people accept her rule. Ozma's background is cloudy, though, and it's soon revealed that Ozma was actually born a girl, but then was transformed into a boy and raised as such, only to be transformed back later on. [Note: This actually happened in the books.] Now, with her fearsome associate, Jack Pumpkinhead, Ozma is determined to take over Oz on behalf of her true leaders - the fairies, as it turns out Ozma is one of those, too. [Note: That's actually in the books, also.] Eventually, Dorothy must return to Oz and use an enchanted belt to help free Ozma from the various people demanding her allegiance so that Ozma can choose her own path. [Note: That kind of happened in the books, too!]

The Pitch: Imagine Oz as
The Matrix, with fairies instead of those tentacle-y things. We can still have Lawrence Fishburne, though.

Surefire Hollywood Gimmick To Guarantee Success: One word: Action figures. Okay, that's two, but you get the point. Also, It'll be in 3D!

3. Kill Bill II, Vol. 1-2. Doesn't it bug you when people refer to Kill Bill as though it was two different movies? It bothers me. People are always saying "I liked Kill Bill 2 better than Kill Bill 1," even though, if you recall, the movie was one movie split into two parts because back then, nobody believed anyone would sit through a several-hours long movie. (Now, we know they will, but only if Sigourney Weaver is made up to look like a Thundercat.)

Doesn't it also bug you that there was never a follow-up to Kill Bill, probably because everyone already assumed that there had been a follow-up? Why wasn't there a sequel, when everything was just ripe for a sequel? Think about it: The Bride had made a bunch of enemies out there -- Lucy Liu's organization, for one thing, plus all the people who used Bill's services. There must have been someone who used his services, after all, right? Why else would he have an elite group of killers?

And, also, how do we know for sure that everyone was dead? Wasn't Elle Driver only presumed dead? [Note: She was. We never saw her die.] If The Bride could repeatedly die and come back, why couldn't at least one of the others?

In Kill Bill 2: Vol 1-2, we've flashed forward to where Beatrix's daughter B.B. is a teenager. Elle has enlisted the help of that pimp/mentor guy and has started up her own Kill-Bill-esque organization. Beatrix is living in the suburbs and trying to enjoy a quiet life. Elle correctly assumes that her best revenge on Beatrix will be to co-opt her daughter, and she does that, getting B.B. into her organization and secretly training her as a killer. Beatrix begins to suspect what's going on as B.B.'s grades fall, and confronts B.B., who runs away to achieve her destiny as the person who kills the president during the State of the Union. Beatrix must come out of hiding once again, this time to stop her daughter from committing the crime of the century.

The Pitch: Are you kidding? It's Kill Bill 2!

Surefire Hollywood Gimmick To Guarantee Success: Robert Pattinson will play the president. And, ... say it with me: It's in 3D!

4. Avatar 2: Electric Boogaloo: Too soon for a sequel, you say? Think again. We're not living in the kind of society where people will wait 2, 3, 4, or 20 years for a sequel. What are you, a George Lucas protege, you fossil? Strike while the 3D iron is hot, and before Sam Worthington's total jerkishness becomes apparent to people and they stop watching him altogether.

In Avatar 2: Electric Boogaloo, the story begins immediately after the close of Avatar. Sam Worthington has married what's-her-name... look, I didn't get anyone's name in the movie, okay? They didn't exactly have names. They might as well have been called archetypes and have their characters referred to as such, so that a scene could read: Unscrupulous, Profit-Hungry Corporate Executive Turns To Stock War-Hungry Marine Sergeant and says... so give me a break with the names.

Anyway, in Avatar 2: Electric Boogaloo, White-Man-Who-Learns-To-Love-Nature has married the girl, and now must deal with the impact of uniting all those tribes of Thundercats. While he may have ridden the Red Dragon (riding the red dragon could be slang for doing it, you know, if you kids would get on the ball and start having slang for doing it again, instead of just always 'sexting' each other), he's not entirely comfortable with all these people and customs and tribes yet, and it's not long before his leadership is challenged... specifically, at a banquet on the shore of the ocean-y blue people, where Sam cannot take part in all the rituals that the blue people love because he doesn't know them. Realizing he's still an outsider, the Blue People rally around the Sea Leader, who has a bold plan of mounting a pre-emptive strike against humans to keep them from ever coming back. (Using, um... space trees or something.)

Sam must stop them from re-starting the war all over again, and can do so through the only means left to him: Beating Sea Leader in a dance off! Studying Blue People dance moves in a montage with what's-her-name leads Sam to the Dance Arena on an island in the sea, where he'll have one chance to demonstrate that he's truly a Blue Person... or die.

The Pitch: Isn't Avatar still raking in something like $30 million per minute? How dare you question James Cameron? Off with your head!

Surefire Hollywood Gimmick To Guarantee Success: Never content to rest on his laurels, Cameron will again "up the ante" on Hollywood gimmickry: Ticket buyers will be fitted for their own prosthetic tail, which will plug into a special socket on their seat and let them feel the thoughts of the actors. What's that? You say you don't want a prosthetic tail? How dare you question James Cameron! Off with your head!

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Claudius wanted to be the first man to reach the stars... but it was murder to get there. Read Eclipse, the haunting sci-fi book from Briane Pagel. Available at and on your Kindle.

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