Chronicle is a low budget superhero film that helped launch the careers of Max Landis, Josh Trank, and Dane DeHaan. The story follows three teenagers who come into contact with a mysterious force and gain superpowers. The found-footage style gives the movie a realistic quality as the teenagers use their powers for immature pranks and magic tricks at first.
Once the audience is starting to get attached to the characters, the film quickly goes full-steam towards a more conventional superhero movie with a big showdown between the main hero and a dangerous supervillain. Most of the film’s plot threads are resolved by the end, but it leaves enough open to develop at least one more film set in that universe. Max Landis wrote a screenplay for a sequel titled Martyr, which was intended as both a prequel and a sequel.
Martyr was an ambitious idea that would’ve featured Matt (the hero from Chronicle) as a now established Superman kind of figure, saving people all around the world, and the US government growing increasingly worried that he might snap any day and become an unstoppable threat.
The government’s backup plan is to hire an unstable scientist called Miranda, who would’ve been the film’s actual villain. It was a darker and more surreal script, since it expanded on the fantasy concepts shown at the end of the first film. But 20th Century Fox passed on it, and now it seems like all the people involved in the original movie have abandoned all plans for continuing the story.
7. Hellboy 2
Director Guillermo Del Toro recently announced that Hellboy 3 is never going to happen, and fans all over the world expressed their sadness and disappointment over the announcement.
The reason so many people were disappointed may be because the first two films hint at a larger purpose for the character. In the first movie, we see Hellboy as an immature, almost childlike, reluctant hero who is coming to terms with his own identity and his feelings towards others. And even though he’s clearly the hero, they foreshadow an end of the world scenario brought on by Hellboy himself.
Then in the sequel, he struggles to find his own place in the world and a sense of purpose. Once again, they make a point of foreshadowing the destruction of humanity in the near future. So, even though those two films are self-contained enough to work on their own or without another sequel; it still feels like the Hellboy story needs proper closure. We saw the character growing up, but we never got the chance to see what he grew up to be, and how that could result in a massive cataclysmic event.
The Mike Mignola comic series the movies are based on are available for those curious enough, and as great as they are, there was a special charm brought on by Del Toro, Perlman and company that would’ve been great to see on film.
8. 28 Weeks Later
When 28 Days Later came out in 2002, the zombie genre appeared to have had its head removed or brain destroyed, because it was stale and it had been years since a significant zombie movie was released.
Danny Boyle’s film was a fresh take on the genre by not actually featuring undead monsters, but rage infected humans who were able to run. Slow zombies had ceased to be as scary when compared with the fast-paced action in other films from the beginning of the century. 28 Days Later is a scary, beautifully shot film with a great cast and soundtrack.
It generated a renewed interest in zombies and it paved the way for movies like Zack Snyder’s Dawn of the Dead remake, Edgar Wright’s Shaun of the Dead, and even Land of the Dead, directed by the godfather of the zombie genre himself, George R. Romero. Its sequel, 28 Weeks Later, wasn’t as groundbreaking as the original, but it still managed to expand on the concept shown in the first film.
The fact that director Danny Boyle and writer Alex Garland were only involved as producers on the sequel might have a lot to do with this. 28 Weeks Later does manage to end with a small tease of what could be expected from a third and potentially final film in the series. It’s been rumored that Danny Boyle and Alex Garland want to return in their original capacity to end this franchise, but so far nothing has materialized.
Another Matthew Vaughn entry, Kick-Ass is the story of a regular kid who’s obsessed with comic books and tries to become a superhero. He never gains any superpowers, and nothing supernatural happens in the film.
It’s a hyper violent film with lots of action and comedy. It serves as a starting point for a world where masked superheroes become a thing after Kick-Ass and the father-daughter superhero team of Big Daddy and Hit Girl take down a powerful mafia family. It’s based on a comic book series written by Mark Millar, so there is enough material for 3 or 4 films in total.
Kick-Ass 2 came out 3 years later in 2013, it was directed by Jeff Wadlow and it combined aspects of the comic book sequel and its spin-off, Hit Girl. It showed a world where superheroes and supervillains have now become commonplace and all of them are gearing up for a massive confrontation. The sequel was not as well-received and it didn’t earn as much, but it still did well enough to allow another sequel.
The third comic book shows the fall of superheroes at the hands of an even more powerful and ruthless mob boss, and it wraps up the series quite nicely with Kick-Ass and Hit Girl having one last battle against pretty much every criminal and corrupt policeman in the country.
Unfortunately, it’s unclear if a third film is ever going to happen, even though it sounds like it would be a no-brainer since actors Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Chloë Grace Moretz are even more popular at this point in their careers and so is Matthew Vaughn.
Dredd does a fantastic job at worldbuilding, especially for a film that mainly takes place inside a sealed off apartment building. It’s a violent, action-packed sci-fi story that shows a glimpse at a post-apocalyptic dystopia where judges take justice into their own hands in the bloodiest ways imaginable. Everything about the 2012 movie screams out franchise, which definitely has something to do with the fact that it’s based on a still on-going comic book that started publication in 1977.
It has now become a cult film, but it didn’t do as well in theaters as the studio had hoped, and that’s been one of the biggest detractions against continuing with the franchise. It’s not the first time the character has been featured on the silver screen, there was already a 1995 adaptation starring Sylvester Stallone as the title character Judge Dredd. It was critically panned and nothing about it made audiences want sequels.
So it’s not just that there’s a lot of material to adapt, there’s definitely something to the 2012 reboot that made fans sign a massive petition to have a sequel. So far, their petitions haven’t gone unnoticed but according to lead actor Karl Urban, the sequel is not in development at the moment, although he is still very much interested in reprising his role.
Author Bio: Rafa Carrillo has been battling his addiction to movies by talking about them with everyone he knows; now he’s writing about them too. He’s from Mexico, he plays guitar and sings in a band, and he’s been known to occasionally enjoy films that feature long walks on the beach (preferably starring Sylvester Stallone and Carl Weathers).