It’s too late to complain about sequels, spin-offs and superheroes taking over multiplexes. This spaceship has sailed.
And I’m not saying sequels or superheroes are always a bad thing – just look at the stellar 2018 Black Panther hits, Creed 2. Damn, just in December, , and all of them have shown just how good these kinds of movies can be when they are crafted with love and care. And you can bet I’m looking forward to and .and
What is intriguinghow damn it is weird they are. And I’m not just talking about anything is meant to be.
Take, for example, the movie Joker with Joaquin phoenix, coming in September. It’s barely three years since the villainous comic book character last appeared onscreen in 2016. played by Jared Leto. There have been reports of , possibly involving Leto, until Warner and DC decide to start over with Phoenix in a standalone single-player story.
Three years is fast enough to reboot a character, but that’s exactly where we are now – the media landscape demands an ever-faster cycle of new stuff. What’s more confusing about the Joker’s situation is that thethe film series, of which Suicide Squad was a part, is still going on, so Leto’s Joker is apparently still a thing. Which means that there is of them Big screen wildcards in play at the same time.
And it’s 2019 in a nutshell. It’s not enough that a movie is a sequel. It has to be a spin-off of a reboot of a movie released just five minutes ago. Endless confusing crossovers and remakes rewriting their own history, all perfectly familiar, but faster, stronger, and with more jaw-dropping effects. A dizzying spiral of more movies, more TV, more content, speeding up and folding in on himself, swallowing his own cock like some kind of madman ouroboros.
The ouroboros of the content
Of course, there are direct consequences. Pay attention to Kingsman 3, John Wick 3: Parabellum and How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World. But even a relatively straight sequence like Son of the tree can’t just tell a new story of a fresh, updated John Shaft. It has to introduce every actor who has ever played the role uniting a whole family of Shafts. It’s meta like hell.
This self-referential meta-ity is everywhere. Look at Disney Christophe robin Where . Instead of just being a new take on Winnie the Pooh or The Nutcracker, these are movies set years later that assume you know the original story. These are movie sequels that don’t even exist.
It’s extremely rare to find a movie that tells a simple, stand-alone story. This issue has plagued blockbuster movies for some time now, as studios attempt to emulate the success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, in which various characters and storylines take place in different films but in the same story world. . Every successful franchise these days is just a spinoff of launching a profitable shared universe. Transformers just had a smooth reboot with Bumblebee, and in 2019 we’ll see Hobbs and Shaw wheel from the Fast and Furious series.
Sometimes shared universes are created from unrelated stories. I was actually quite excited about Universal’suniting monsters from classic movies, but it looks like the failure of 2017 maybe sent that idea back to the grave. Maybe the other monster mashup will fare better, as seen in Legendary’s MonsterVerse franchise. facing King Kong.
Even more tenuous, 2019 A glass will be a crossover bringing together characters from the M Night Shyamalan films . To be fair, this insanely silly Shyamalaniverse looks like fun. And at least that’s not the Cloverfield universe. This cut and half closed crossover took the existing movie God Particle, spliced into some absurd extra footage, and threw it up on Netflix in 2018 as the truly horrible . If only this debacle were the end of studios forcing round movie pegs into square holes of shared universes.
Having said that, I’m still a little curious about the proposal. Crossover 21 Jump Street / Men in black, which looks more like a drunken challenge than a movie.
The endless now
The ever-increasing demand for new versions of familiar things means that movies and television are constantly rewriting their own history.
With rare exceptions like the amorphous and malleable James Bond series, films have traditionally been fairly fixed when it comes to their own continuity. But not anymore: Franchises can rewrite parts of their own old catalogs willy-nilly. Take the 2018 Halloween, who not only ignored the previous sequelae, but also while ignoring the previous sequel which did exactly the same. In 2019, Terminator 6 is expected to do something similar when it . We’re not just rebooting movies now, we’re rebooting real actors.
The Terminator series, of course, is built around time travel, which means the continuity has long since become a tangled mess. The same happened with restartingand Fox’s X-Men series. Instead of just starting over, they used time travel to fit the new films into the existing continuity, making things .
In 2019, X-Men: The Final Showdown. A bit of a time travel baffle, a new cast and now the movie franchises are restarting!takes a second swing in the history of 2006
The ubiquitous present doesn’t just apply to the story told onscreen, but also to what is done. When Disney launches itsin 2019, it won’t be enough to offer a catalog of beloved classics dating back decades. The kids of iGeneration don’t care about the moldy old stuff, we’re told. The content should look like now. Hence Disney’s digital makeovers of its animated classics, which in 2019 will see not one, not two but Three live-action remakes, applying new effects technology to , and .
And that’s just the beginning. Want to log on to Disney + to show your kids your favorite movies, like The Rocketeer or Three Men and a Baby? Get back on your penny farthing, grandma! Disney + will feature remade and remodeled versions of those films, along with Father of the Bride, High Fidelity, The Lady and the Tramp, Peter Pan, The Parent Trap, The Sword in the Stone and The Mighty Ducks. Why? So they are New. This is what ouroboros content demands.
Two other quirks are happening to Disney + as well. First, given the film’s ending, a follows high school students performing their own version of real High School Musical. If this isn’t the culture swallowing its own tail, I don’t know what it is.will be a prequel to a prequel. And second, I give you the unrivaled High School Musical: The Musical meta, which
Do not mistake yourself. I As Super hero. I As blockbusters with spectacular effects. And I love when they get weird. But I’m really sick of movies that come with homework. Stories that won’t pay off for a decade. Movies that tie together to fit in with continuity instead of just telling a new story. And the relentless saturation of the new, the new, the new.
So here is. Detective Pikachu will be either incredible or utterly incomprehensible – or more likely both.
Which could also be a good description of 2019.
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