“One of the few films left on the calendar that figures to have extremely widespread, mainstream appeal yet which could also conceivably factor into awards discussions.”
This post is sponsored.
Creed II will come out in late November, and at this point it’s one of the most anticipated releases remaining in 2018. Sure, there will be major Oscars contenders, and there are a few big franchise films remaining – most notably Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes Of Grindelwald – but Creed II, if it’s anything like its predecessor, will straddle the line. It’s one of the few films left on the calendar that figures to have extremely widespread, mainstream appeal yet which could also conceivably factor into awards discussions. It’s also likely to leak as a DVD Screener in 2019.
Frankly, Creed II looks incredibly exciting. Michael B. Jordan, as is customary of actors taking up boxing roles, has gotten almost ludicrously fit for the part, and appears from trailers to be amping up his ferocity as well. The script will bring Rocky and Drago back to the fight, with a plot that revolves around the son of Ivan Drago. For those who aren’t familiar or who’ve gotten fuzzy on the details (spoiler alert), Drago killed Apollo Creed in the ring in an earlier film, meaning we’ll now see Adonis Creed out for revenge.
As exciting as this all sounds however, it’s also the most blatant cinematic nostalgia play since Star Wars: The Force Awakens (which was spectacular). Despite its half-hearted rebranding and Jordan’s role as the protagonist, Creed was always a years-later Rocky sequel, and Creed II looks like it may be even more unabashed in tapping into previous material. I say bring it on. But it also got me thinking about what other older classics could do with this sort of very distant sequel that seems to be getting trendy. From Creed, to The Force Awakens, to the YouTube series Kobra Kai (a sort of Karate Kid continuation), and even the coming Top Gun sequel, projects like these are having a moment.
Here are a few more I’d like to see.
Lots of fans of the iconic Tom Hanks comedy Big would suggest that it occupies a specific moment in time and shouldn’t be messed with. This is a fair argument. It’s one of the most joyous performances from Hanks, and it’s a film a lot of people more or less grew up on. However, the potential for a weird sequel is almost too good to ignore. For anyone who may have forgotten, the basic premise of this movie was that a boy found a mysterious carnival machine that granted his wish to become “big.” He evolved into Hanks, who then basically took over a massive toy company as a toy-savvy kid in a young man’s body. It’s sort of silly to write out, but the execution, thanks to the actor’s unique brilliance, was a blast. There’s also some disturbing moments, with the fact that a woman essentially falls in love with a kid. But it was the 80’s.
But what would happen to a kid like that when he actually grew up? Since the character reverts to his ordinary child state by the end of the film, this is actually something that could be explored. All these years later, and properly grown up, would he still be a child-like toy genius? Would he be an ordinary adult needing to get back in touch with his kid side? What if he wanted to be “Small” this time? All terrible ideas, but terribly interesting.
Rounders would actually be a particularly fascinating choice simply because the movie itself is responsible for changes across the casino and gambling industries. When Rounders came out, poker was a basement and back room game with marginal interest at the professional level. Soon thereafter however, amateur players were practicing online, and millions were tuning in to watch the pros play on ESPN. And now, a whole, massive online industry of casino and betting activity as emerged. On the casino front, slots, roulette, and all kinds of other games are now offered at hundreds of sites. Some of the same sites offer easy betting on all kinds of sport and entertainment. And on the poker front, people can play in a huge variety of live, interactive tournaments all online. This all probably would have happened anyway – but there is a legitimate line of development that can be traced back to Rounders.
Because of this, the premise for a possible sequel is simple: how would the characters we all love from the original deal with this environment? Of course, within the story they wouldn’t know that their own movie helped to spark it all, but it would still be interesting to see old-school poker sharks handling the modern gaming environment.
The Sandlot is one of the most beloved kids’ movies of all time, if not just one of the most beloved movies. It concerns a kind of ragtag bunch of real life neighborhood kids who play baseball together, yet manages to incorporate the sense of mystique and history that the entire sport of baseball is essentially built on. It also stars Patrick Renna, who in the years since has become a sort of former child star icon. Renna has been in the spotlight a little bit recently thanks to some amusing encounters with fans and a podcast he started, called “You’re Killing Me” after the famous line from the film, “You’re killing me Smalls.” As far as I know, no one’s asked him, but it just kind of seems like Renna would be up for a Kobra Kai-esque sequel.
It’s harder to speculate as to what this would actually look like, but there would be droves of fans prepared to simply see what happened to this lovable band of kid characters later in life. And needless to say, at some point they’d wind up playing backyard baseball for some reason.