With The Avengers: Age of Ultron proving expanded cinema franchises are a success, a lot of other movies are following suit. Star Wars is set to use the same model to bring at least one new movie a year, Ghostbusters will be a huge new franchise with different teams and DC are set to add their own superhero universe to the fold as well.
This got me thinking, like all new, good ideas, it should clearly be adopted by all movie studios and repeated until it’s dull and tedious. I then realised that there are plenty of opportunities to link and expand franchises and make them… better.
The Bond Universe
This one is simple. We know James Bond is 007 so that means there is at least six other spies that haven’t been used yet. This means we can have a clear, new expanded franchise where we get to see new adventures of the various different spies. All this will of course build to the ultimate movie – The 00’s: The Avengers of the British Spies.
The Disney Princess Universe
Disney are clearly desperate to expand their newly acquired franchises but they seem to have forgotten the great characters they already have. The link is simple – a movie bringing together all the princesses from their “classic” movies. They could do this animated and retro-fit it to the previous movies or (and more complicated and difficult so clearly the route they’d choose) use the new live-action Cinderella to launch the new franchise. Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White and Elsa from Frozen – in one movie! Sign me up!
The Ageing Action Heroes Universe (The Johns)!
You might think this has already been done and Expendables was very fun but I don’t want to Sylvester Stallone fight alongside Arnie. I want to see John Rambo fight alongside John Matrix! I want John McClane to fight alongside Taken guy (Who I assume has the middle name John?). Plus, the older actors get, the wider this universe becomes. We can now add whoever Sean Penn plays in The Gunman (I assume his first name was John) and John Wick. (See, The Johns).
The Young Adult Universe
The Hunger Games made loads of money, Twilight was a phenomena and Divergent did ok. What would improve all these – put them in the same franchise. How would it work you ask? I’m thinking time travel? Multi-verse? Maybe Divergent is in another part of America or Twilight was really a dream and Bella just wakes up, best friends with Katniss. And the problem of rival studios? Well, Sony and Marvel can make it work with Spiderman…
The Robots Universe
What is better than one Robot – lots of them! When I was a kid, there was a video game called Terminator vs. Robocop. This would be bad ass enough but what if we added another robot – Wall-E! Ultra-violent and Ultra-adorable. If you want to make huge money and drag in the audiences; expand it even further – Terminator vs Robocop vs Wall-E vs C3PO and R2D2! Thank me later Hollywood!
Overall, what I have learnt writing this post is how easy it must be to make money in Hollywood. I’m no movie producer and I just created at least 5 expanded franchises. I’m sure there are cleverer people out there who can make it work – they’re making Ghostbusters an expanded universe and there were only 4 of those guys in the original movies…