Tolkien and C.S Lewis created detailed worlds on the page and both have subsequently grown onto the screen. However, the template for extended universes in cinema has really been set by Marvel (although clearly this also started in print) and inevitably DC comics are developing something similar. It isn’t just superheroes playing this game though. Star Wars is following suit with the first of their anthology movies, Rogue One, opening next month and J.K Rowling has taken us to a new time and place in her wizarding world with Fantastic Beasts in cinemas now. King Kong and Godzilla are due to share screen time again in 2020 and there are even rumours about a new Dracula, Wolf-man and Frankenstein mash up. (James McAvoy’s recent outing as the famous obsessive scientist was written to potentially be a part of this.) Cross over film series are a big thing and every major Hollywood studio is bound to be looking at any other properties they can develop in this way. Here are a few possible candidates:
This might be an obvious suggestion as it is another sword and sorcery fantasyland and a remake has already been mooted. Done badly it could be just another Warcraft but think about it, if they make sure the world is still populated by muppets rather than slick CGI creatures then it could be glorious.
We already saw inside the heads of a few other people in the original film, as well as some cats and dogs, but the potential to properly explore a whole range of different psyche remains.
The Shawshank Redemption
Most of the extended cinematic universes visit many different places to tell different simultaneous stories but what if it was the location that stayed the same and the time that changed.
Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure
Bill S. Preston Esq and Ted Theodore Logan travelled to different points in history, snatched famous people and brought them back to the present day. What happened when those people; Billy the Kid, Joan of Arc, Napoleon, Beethoven, Ghenghis Khan, Lincoln, Freud and Socrates went home though? There’s eight films right there.
The Cabin in the Woods
If they can pick up on one of the supporting spooks in The Conjuring and spin it out into the movie Annabelle then just think of where they could go with The Cabin in the Woods. There’s thirty eight films right there.
The Princess Bride
The ongoing adventures of Inigo Montoya as The Dread Pirate Roberts. Fezzik with new confidence and a refreshed sense of self worth working on the poetry circuit. Miracle Max back on the job. A simple tale of a young rodent growing up to unusual size in the Fire Swamp. A Vizzini origin story. Humperdinck wrestling with his cowardice. Buttercup and Westly’s happy ever after. Come on Grandpa, tell us these stories. We don’t even mind the slushy stuff.
Mary Poppins can’t be the only magical Nanny can she? Is there a magical Nanny training academy? Can we see a film about one of the other magical Nannys? You could call it Nanny McPhee.
Earth can’t be the only planet E.T’s space craft visited can it? There are any number possibilities here. By the same rationale is E.T the only alien to have connected with a little boy on our planet? Can we have a film about one of the other extra terrestrials. You could call it Mac and Me.
Her tells a brilliant story of how technology could affect our lives in a near future. This idea could work to create an anthology series, each instalment telling a cautionary tale of where humanity could be heading if we continue our reliance on computers. Oh hang on! Black Mirror.
Taking a well established movie genre and completely filling it with kids was actually a brilliant idea. It was done so definitively that no one else has been brave enough to go there again (with the possible exception of the Channel 4 show Minipops). This is a big shame. Of course, unlike Star Wars, there is no way they could get the original cast to appear in it but Jodie Foster could direct.