Bleats

You Know, Not Every Film Needs To Be Part Of A Goddamn Trilogy

Good things only very occasionally come in threes.

Writer-director Kevin Smith has announced to a breathless world that yes, Clerks 3 is definitely probably happening, now that he’s started writing a script and has reconnected with estranged franchise star Jeff Anderson.

And that’s great because we’ve all been wondering what Dante and Randal have been up to since they worked in a convenience store, right? I mean, just think of all those compelling, necessary stories they could tell like… um…

I mean, how could you not yearn for more Kevin Smith, dispensing this kind of… wisdom?

They’re not the only ones. Novelist Irvine Welsh is agitating for a third Trainspotting film, despite T2 not exactly setting the world alight.

And this is for a good reason: not everything has to be a goddamn film trilogy. Sometimes in movies the story you tell is all the story that needs telling.

And how many great trilogies have there been, really? Lord Of The Rings, although that structure was in the original three-volume source material – and hoo boy, The Hobbit proved that lightning doesn’t strike twice, huh?

Toy Story managed to say something worthwhile, even out to its fourth entry. And, obviously, there’s Star Wars, at least with the Original Trilogy or, as I irritatingly prefer to call it, the OrigeTrige, although it’s hard to imagine anyone loving Return Of The Jedi more than the preceding entries.

And that problem – the weak third instalment – seems to be a feature of most of the series that Hollywood has given us. Spider-Man 1? Beloved. Spider-Man 2? Acclaimed! Spider-Man 3? Loathed beyond expression.

That applies to The Godfather – arguably the film that made big budget studio sequels a thing – the Christopher Nolan Batman trilogy, the Blade movies, the X-Men films, and so on.

Alien? Perfect suspense horror. Aliens? Perfect action adventure. Alien3? Perfect mess. And don’t get us started on The Matrix.

Comedies too: who rates Goldmember as being the best Austin Powers film? Anyone find themselves watching The Hangover 3 on the regular?

Shudder.

And look, we get it. There are a lot of reasons why films are made and “money” are all of them. It’s a business and it’s entirely reasonable that studios would want to give the public more of what the public have shown a willingness to pay money for. But not everything needs to stretch out to a goddamn film trilogy, that’s just a fact.

But, Kevin. Clerks 3. Search your feelings: is the universe truly calling for it? Yeah, we didn’t think so either.

All Our Fave Film Franchises Are About To Get A Heap Of C-Grade Entries, So Yay?

Expect plenty of wrongs over these rights.

If you’ve been loving Hollywood’s enthusiasm for endless remakes and reboots and retreads then great news: there’s even more on the way because some big franchises will be leaving studios shortly and reverting to their creators.

And there’s no way that said studios aren’t going to shake that IP until coins jangle the hell out.

The short version of the long story is that the rights to use any piece of intellectual property can only be granted for a limited amount of time before it reverts to its creator.

It depends on the nature of the work, the details of the deal and the territory the copyright covers. However, it’s one of the reasons why a lot of bands suddenly put out box sets and reissues about thirty years after being huge: chances are they’ve suddenly gotten their masters back and are desperately attempting to make up for all that lost superannuation they weren’t earning while sitting in the back of smelly tour vans.

Anyway: there’s a test case making stately progress through the courts in the US regarding the convoluted rights to the Friday the 13th franchise, which already has a tangled history. Fun fact: for one thing, when New Line bought the franchise after Paramount’s deal elapsed, they couldn’t use the name “Friday the 13th”, which is why all their films had “Jason” in the title instead.

“Um, great.”

And depending on the outcome of said deal, some big name franchises are going to be yanked off the market and back to their creators, including Terminator and Predator.

And as we’ve seen in the past nothing guarantees terrible films like something rushed to market by a studio shared of losing their rights. 2015’s Fantastic Four, anyone? Hey, who loved the quick-before-Stephen-King-stops -us 2019 remake of Pet Sematary?

Heed his advice, franchise graverobbers!

Of course, there’s a new Terminator film coming shortly which might reinvigorate the moribund franchise, or finally kill it off for good.

But expect a rushed new Predator flick before too long as the rights holders try to squeeze some final money-drops from its dried up husk – and for your other fave film franchises to follow.

Star Wars Secretly Added Gay Characters And You Definitely Didn't Notice

We've got a good feeling about this.

OK, let’s manage some expectations here: if you’re hoping this means Finn and Poe kiss in The Rise Of Skywalker, we’re sorry but that’s probably not going to happen. But the Star Wars universe does now have at least one confirmed gay couple, although you’d be forgiven for not having noticed.

It’s not Luke and Han. It’s not Leia and Mon Mothma. It’s not Ashoka Tano and Barriss Offee, despite the efforts of The Clone Wars shippers. And it’s definitely not C-3PO and R2-D2.

It’s Orka and Flix.

These guys.

Chances are your response is “who?”, unless you’re a pretty solid fan who can reply “Ah yes, those characters from Star Wars: Resistance, the animated series which takes place in the period immediately before The Force Awakens and which is about to start its second season, totally across that.”

And while there’s nothing explicit about their relationship in the show, beyond the small point that they’re doing a fairly relationship-ish thing in taking flowers to Flix’s mum, executive producer Justin Ridge told the Coffee With Kenobi podcast (and the Guardian reported) that “I think it’s safe to say they’re an item. They’re absolutely a gay couple and we’re proud of that.”

It’s worth noting that there have been queer characters in what Star Wars used to call its Expanded Universe of publications, games and other non-movie media.

If you played as a female character in the still-amazing Star Wars: Knights Of The Old Republic game you could flirt with the warrior-dame Juhani, for example, and there were numerous queer and non-binary characters in the novels and comics.

And just quietly, we like to think that Moff Jejerrod was subtly coming out to Vader in Return of the Jedi.

However, this is the first canonical on-screen depiction of a same-gender couple in the Star Wars universe.

And sure, it would be nice if Disney had been game to show a queer couple that wasn’t a bat and an owl, but you know. Baby steps.

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