There seems to be a higher stakes game being played in Hollywood lately in taking classic pieces of pop culture and attempting to bring them back to the big screen. While that might get an automatic assumption that fresh ideas are perpetually blocked in the world of movies, it provides as much creative risk as creating something original. That’s because some of the movies coming out over the next couple of years are arguably some of the most valued pieces of pop culture in history. Never before has Hollywood played so much risk with media properties in close proximity to one another.
The risk elements go higher when the initial fan bases that loved those pieces of pop culture have the potential to protest if those movies aren’t done right. So why is Hollywood taking such high risks like that? Let’s take a look at what’s coming to see why the risks were taken and what the potential is in helping the brands or forcing fans to make the movies non-canon.
“Star Wars: Episode VII”
Yes, even the above title alone has been a familiar-looking brand on social media for most of this year. “Episode VII” will continue to be seen plastered everywhere while the intensity heats up over how the “Star Wars” saga is going to continue in a way that pleases everyone. J.J. Abrams is likely going to gain a few gray hairs before this is done unless he convince everyone to not take the content too seriously rather than treating it like writing the bible.
Conversely, most of the rabid “Star Wars” fan base treats the franchise as a near religion. It’s the last movie property they want to see tinkered with in a way that ruins a vital part of their favorite movie experiences. With J.J. Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan now re-writing the script, it’s too bad they can’t take fan suggestions online before setting the words permanently to paper.
Chances of fans rejecting “Episode VII”: Not likely, despite the news of the script rewrite. However, if there’s any slight backlash against fan wishes, it’s going to be a painful lesson in realizing the “Star Wars” mystique was once more enhanced not seeing a literal telling of what happens before and after Episodes IV-VI.
“Peanuts” Feature Film
Making a “Peanuts” feature film is almost as risky as a “Star Wars” reboot, yet with a completely different fan base. In fact, this fan base is much more emotional considering Charles Schulz’s original Peanuts comic strip is literally a part of the world as we know it in its media scope. Anything that’s placed in the upcoming feature film that doesn’t fit into the equation of the Peanuts universe is going to create an automatic firestorm. This starts with whether the animation is going to be traditional or CGI.
Chances of fans rejecting the Peanuts feature film: 50/50 based on the news of more adult movie director/writer Paul Feig is now joining the production team. Then again, no matter your creative sensibilities now, nearly everyone who grew up with Peanuts understands the mechanics in what needs to be done to keep it classic. The recent TV special “Happiness is a Warm Blanket, Charlie Brown” should be the template.
“Batman vs. Superman”
If not for the villains in the “Batman”/”Dark Knight” movies, it’s possible most people would have found Batman not all that interesting of a character. The bar has been set very high, though, from Christopher Nolan and it seems nearly impossible to make anything better. When you add Ben Affleck as the star, you face the prospect of an anti-climactic movie, which is dangerous with A-list actors.
When you hear the word “reluctant” in the press before filming even begins, you realize how high of stakes things are now in moviemaking.
Chances of fans rejecting “Batman vs. Superman”: Better than average at the moment. There has to be a real compelling reason why Batman has to destroy Superman in order to give any rhyme or reason for this movie to be made. The good news is that the famous Batman pout can be done well by Affleck if you go by his mug playing Tony Mendez in “Argo.”