Yes, yes we all know that 2016 is going to be a pretty entertaining year for movies.
And at the start of this new year I say let’s look ahead to what movies could be on the horizon. However these are the rules for myself. They can’t be sequels that are all but guaranteed to be made. It would be interesting if in the next couple years this list is completely irrelevant…
5. Untouchables: Capone Rising
This would be a prequel to the 1987 film, “The Untouchables.” The original film is actually my personal favorite gangster film. Intellectually I know there are better films like “Goodfellas” or “The Godfather” but for what gives me the most joy from watching it’s definitely “The Untouchables”. It’s based on an old TV show that was itself based on the memoirs of Elliot Ness which were HEAVILY embellished. So surprise, it’s not the most faithful representation of history. I could do a whole article based on all the inaccuracies but it honestly doesn’t affect my feelings for the film. It’s written by David Mamet so it’s full of incredibly quotable lines, perfectly scored by Ennio Morricone, and has an amazing cast with probably the best performance by Sean Connery. He takes the standard role of the mentor and really imbues it with so much (implied) history and humanity. Why not explore that with also the most showy role, Al Capone?
How likely is this? This is one film I’m assuming might be canceled but I haven’t heard about any official cancellation… then again I haven’t heard anything about the film period. When I first heard about this film it was reported to be directed by the original film’s Brian De Palma. The story would had been about a young Italian boy named Al Capone and Irish boy named Jimmy Malone meeting and becoming friends and how as they grow up, they’re pulled in different directions. Capone becomes a crime lord as Malone becomes a cop. Trying to stop Capone, Malone organizes the Irish mob against Capone and it all culminates in the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre. Thus giving a reason for Malone’s remorse at the beginning of the film. Possible casting choices included Nicolas Cage as young Al Capone and Gerard Butler as Jimmy Malone (Sean Connery’s character).
4. Beetlejuice 2
Fans of Kevin Smith will remember whenever he tells the story of writing “Superman Lives” he was originally offered by Warner Bros to re-write the script for a sequel to “Beetlejuice” called (at the time) “Beetlejuice Goes Hawaiian.” Another subtitle I’ve read about was “Beetlejuice Falls in Love.” One possible idea was for Beetlejuice to meet an “urban” version of himself. I’m not sure what to make of that story idea. The one that the internet seems the most interested in, “Beetlejuice Goes Hawaiian,” would have been about the Deetz family moving to Hawaii and building a resort that happens to awaken a Hawaiian tiki-God that begins haunting the resort. In desperation Lydia contacts Beetlejuice to get rid of the tiki-God in a surf contest. After winning and instead of staying the hero, Beetlejuice returns to his villainous ways (a lot of people forget that fact in the first film) and transforms into a giant monster to destroy everything. Burton said the idea of this was that he thought it would be interesting to mix the genres of German expressionism with the old Russ Meyer beach party movies. I have to admit when you pitch it that way I am a bit interested. The most recent script is being worked on by Seth Grahame-Smith (Dark Shadows) who is being very hush-hush about what the film could be about.
How likely is this? I can’t tell you how many friends and family members have sent me links to articles about this. My response is always, “I’ll believe it when there’s a set photo of Michael Keaton IN costume.” Basically my view, and what I was hoping to illustrate with that previous paragraph, is that this has been in the works for a long time. Ever since the original, they’ve been trying to make a sequel. Michael Keaton has always been game for it (not surprising since it is his favorite role) and most of the remaining cast has always said they’d be willing to participate. But those first two versions I mentioned were from the 90s and at that time they seemed likely too. I don’t want to be the guy who rains on everyone’s parade but… I’ll only believe it when there are set photos. Oh sure I’d love to see Keaton play the part again; in fact that’s my only requirement. Everyone else could drop out but as long as Keaton is still playing Betelgeuse I’m good. A lot of articles have talked about this film happening, and it very well could, but as of now I don’t really see what’s different about this time. The writer is someone I’ve only seen one work of (“Dark Shadows”) and I didn’t like it. I hear his books are good though.
3. Chronicles of Narnia: The Silver Chair
I’ve always been a big fan of fantasy series and after “Lord of the Rings/The Hobbit,” Narnia is probably my favorite. So I was really excited when the movies started coming out. I can’t say any of them were great but I thought they were overall pretty good. I even went back and re-read the whole series and you know what interesting revelations I came to? My favorite books are all the ones they haven’t filmed yet. “The Magician’s Nephew,” “The Silver Chair,” and “The Last Battle” are all great for movie adaptations. “A Horse And His Boy” might be a little difficult but if the filmmakers are truly motivated I think it could work. For those who haven’t read the book, here’s the basic premise. Remember the Eustace kid from the last film “Voyage of the Dawn Treader?” He and a school friend Jill get sent to Narnia and get involved in the search for a lost prince who went missing while looking for the Lady of the Green Kirtle. Along the way they team up with strange creatures and have adventures with giants and the underworld.
How likely is this? First the reason why the long gap in between movies. The original company lost the rights to the books. Now a new company has taken over duties of adapting them. They’ll even be working closer with the Lewis estate but in the same continuity with the first 3 movies. This seems a little more likely to me but the length of time it’s already taken gives me some doubts. However I do know this; Will Poulter will almost certainly not be back as Eustace. He’s recently been cast to play Pennywise the Dancing Clown in Stephen King’s “It” and at the time of writing this article, he’s 22 years old. This is a real shame because one of the things I really liked about “Voyage of the Dawn Treader” was his performance. He completely nailed how I always imagined the character. Still, this was always going to be a problem in adapting these books. The characters’ ages change throughout and unless you really plan it out ahead of time, then recasting is inevitable. Hopefully if they get this made they keep the momentum going and I can see all of my favorite stories get adapted.
2.) Alien 5
I recently came to a realization. While most people’s modern horror icons are Freddy Krueger and Jason Voorhees; I never got into them. My modern horror icons were Hannibal Lecter and the Xenomorphs from the “Alien” series. Since high school the “Alien” series has been one of my all-time favorites (maybe one day I’ll do articles further explaining them). “Alien 3” was indeed supposed to be the ending for the series but fans reacted so negatively to it that they tried to revive it with “Alien Resurrection” but no dice. There has been some discussion on the internet since…always. My favorite discussion was a rumor that James Cameron was going to write it and Ridley Scott would direct. I’d say that would be the ultimate geek fantasy. However recently images started showing up from Director Neill Blomkamp surprising us all that he was working on an “Alien 5.” More good news for me was that it would be a sequel to “Aliens” with Sigourney Weaver, Michael Biehn, and Lance Henriksen ignoring “Alien 3” and “Alien Resurrection.” Seeing his other work like “District 9,” Blomkamp seems like a good choice to direct an “Alien” film.
How likely is this? Sadly thanks to Ridley Scott’s “Prometheus” sequels this may not happen, but there’s still some hope. I liked “Prometheus” and thought it worked more as a thrill ride then as a deep meditative story and I am excited to see sequels to that, especially if it would fill in the blanks between “Prometheus” and “Alien.” And if it would answer the questions that it itself brought up in the first place. However with some rumors that I’ve seen due to Ridley Scott never caring for any the “Alien” films that didn’t have his involvement, he doesn’t want other people mucking around with it behind his back. I have no idea if that’s true although Scott does have the clout to make a demand that the studio could conceivably follow. It’s a shame because this was one of the projects that I was most excited by the possibilities. Still speaking for myself I’d totally be okay with two timelines in a series running concurrently. Isn’t that what we’ll be doing with the “Star Wars” franchise for the next couple of years?
1.) Bill and Ted 3
I LOVE the Bill and Ted films! They’re honestly some of my favorite comedies of all time. The first film is a classic and the second one is my favorite of the two. However, I never gave a third film much thought since “Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey” seemed to wrap things up. The basic setup of the films is that in the future it’ll all become a paradise with world peace and all thanks to the most excellent rock music of Bill S. Preston Esq. and “Ted” Theodore Logan. Because the timeline is… fluid I guess, they have to send a time machine back to Bill and Ted in high school to make sure they fulfill their destinies. Now if you read that and thought “that sounds stupid,” I can’t really disagree. These are dumb, one joke movies. The one joke being getting to meet and see amazing things like famous historical “dudes” or even God himself in Heaven but the main characters are idiots. They’re too stupid to appreciate the monumental experience they’ve been given. Also, here’s the thing about stupid humor. In my opinion it has to be smart to a certain degree. I think the films do actually have some intelligence to them, largely from the writing and that the directors of each film filmed them like actual epic movies. So far the only word on the premise is that it would be about Bill and Ted trying to write the actual song that will save the world.
How likely is this? This is the one I’m probably pulling for the most. There are a lot of articles from the actors and writers saying that it’s happening but not much real evidence. It’s basically the same deal as the “Beetlejuice II” situation, but maybe because of my nostalgia I’m more willing to see this film happening as more of a real possibility. However I think it does have a good chance of actually being good for two reasons. One is because the rumored director is Dean Parisot, who on one of his earlier films “Galaxy Quest” seemed to film in a similar style of take your story seriously even if it’s a wacky comedy. Two, because it has the same writing team from the last two films back. Chris Matheson and Ed Solomon created the characters and seem to be what holds the films together (aside from Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter obviously) and they’re returning to write the script. If the making of for the DVD is to be believed, they actually had this idea for a while. They’ve just been waiting for the actors to get to the appropriate age. Alex Winter has been very vocal in his pleas to the fans to be patient. I have to admit every time I see a coming soon image on their Facebook page I can’t help but get excited and hopeful to the future. And that’s the word of the day for this article… “hope.” I would love it if all of these films happened. Some don’t seem as likely but I’m hopeful and I’m going to try my best to stay optimistic about them. Remember to be excellent to each other and PARTY ON DUDES!