The Art Of Sequels

Sequels , Prequels And Origin Stories

The Art Of Writing And Making Films

“To write a sequel is a special exercise – since you, by definition, lose the discovery or surprise aspect of your characters. But a sequel is first and foremost the occasion to strengthen the psychology of your existing characters, and also create new environments, new characters and broach new themes to help this family grow. All this in-keeping with the strength of the first film: the upmost importance of family, accepting differences, teenagers… We can add additional themes that are current day topics: ecology, exaggerated media coverage, the use of social media…” Co-Director Jérémie DEGRUSON – The Son Of Bigfoot

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10 CLOVERFIELD LANE Telling the story of three people trapped in an underground bunker, this daring and no-nonsense psychological thriller will rip your nerves to pieces and truly blow your mind. It is not a literal Cloverfield 2, but there is some connection. It is the second film in the Cloverfield franchise and was developed from an “ultra low budget” spec script penned by John Campbell and Matt Stuecken, titled The Cellar, but under production by Bad Robot Productions, it was turned into a spiritual successor of the 2008 film Cloverfield, written by Josh Campbell, Matthew Stucken and Damien Chazelle.

ALICE THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS Disney’s enchanting Alice Through the Looking Glass is an all-new spectacular adventure featuring the unforgettable characters from Lewis Carroll’s beloved stories in which Alice returns to the whimsical world of Underland and travels back in time to save the Mad Hatter. Directed by James Bobin, who brings his own unique vision to the visually-stunning world Tim Burton created on screen with Alice in Wonderland, the film is written by Linda Woolverton based on characters created by Lewis Carroll. The producers are Joe Roth, Suzanne Todd, p.g.a. and Jennifer Todd, p.g.a. and Tim Burton. John G. Scotti serves as executive producer.

ALIEN COVENANT With this, the sixth installment in the blockbuster series  (screenplay is by John Logan and Dante Harper, from a story by Jack Paglen and Michael Green) , visionary director Ridley Scott edges ever closer toward revealing the mysterious origins of the mother of all aliens, the lethal Xenomorph from the original film.

ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS: THE ROAD TRIP Becker credits producers Ross Bagdasarian and Janice Karman, who created the characters and are custodians of the Chipmunks legacy, with helping him and screenwriters Randi Mayem Singer and Adam Sztykiel find a new path for Alvin & Co.  “Ross and Janice gave me a thorough history lesson and personality profiles on the Chipmunks,” the director recalls.  “But they also encouraged me to take the characters in a slightly different space and give the film a different tone from the others.

ANGEL HAS FALLEN “I never thought of Angel has Fallen as a sequel. I see it as a fresh, cool installment of the franchise that can stand alone while bringing everything fans love about Mike Banning, says writer-director Ric Roman Waugh of the third installment in the Fallen series, a psychologically tense, kinetic thriller that never lets off the accelerator from its opening killer-drone attack. “I was really excited to come back to the Fallen series,” says Gerard Butler, who reveals a whole new side to one of his signature roles–Secret Service agent Mike Banning– in this explosive, rip-roaring thriller in which the fate of the nation rests on the very man accused of attempting to assassinate the President of the United States.

ANNABELLE:  CREATION After a chilling cameo in The Conjuring, followed by a starring role in her own film, it became clear to filmmakers that moviegoers were ready to uncover the origins of the doll that has both terrified and captivated them.  So, on the heels of his successful feature directing debut, last summer’s hit Lights Out, director David F. Sandberg was tapped to helm Annabelle: Creation, the next chapter in James Wan’s Conjuring universe produced by Peter Safran and Wan, from a screenplay by Gary Dauberman, who also wrote Annabelle.

BLADE RUNNER 2049 Three decades after Ridley Scott’s cult sensation Blade Runner changed the face of cinema, the much-anticipated follow-up Blade Runner 2049 challenges our notions of who we are…and where we are headed.With Ridley Scott as Executive Producer on Blade Runner 2049, this new incarnation based on characters from the Philip K. Dick’s novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? is scripted by Hampton Fancher and Michael Green, with visionary director Denis Villeneuve (Arrival) at the helm).

BLAIR WITCH It’s been 20 years since James’s sister and her two friends vanished into the Black Hills Forest in Maryland while researching the legend of the Blair Witch, leaving a trail of theories and suspicions in their wake.Blair Witch is directed by director Adam Wingard (You’re Next, The Guest, V/H/S, V/H/S/2), who has assembled an accomplished behind-the-scenes team that includes screenwriter and longtime collaborator Simon Barrett (You’re Next, The Guest, V/H/S, V/H/S/2).

BRIDGET JONES’S BABY The much-anticipated third installment of the Bridget Jones franchise is here!  In Bridget Jones’s Baby, based on creator Helen Fielding’s heroine, the world’s favourite singleton is unexpectedly expecting.Whilst Fielding was very involved with the development, owing to her increasing commitments, she agreed to have another writer join the project.  “Originally this was developed with Helen, and then writer Dan Mazer,” explains Producer  Debra Hayward, who also has been with the series since well before the first film began production. “With Helen’s approval, we brought Emma Thompson on board.”

CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR From Marvel Studios comes the highly anticipated Captain America: Civil War, the third film in the Captain America franchise and the first film in Phase 3 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Based on the beloved Marvel comic book series, first published in 1941, Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War is directed by Emmy Award-winning directors Anthony and Joe Russo from a screenplay by Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely.

CARS 3 Lightning McQueen raced into moviegoers’ hearts more than 10 years ago and remains an iconic character today in Cars 3 that pays homage to NASCAR with four characters based on real-life stock car racing legends.Directed by Fee (storyboard artist Cars, Cars 2), from a story by Fee, Ben Queen (TV’s Powerless), Eyal Podell (actor Code Black) & Jonathon E. Stewart (Doing Time short), the screenplay was penned by Kiel Murray (Cars), Bob Peterson (Up, Finding Nemo”) and Mike Rich (“Secretariat, The Rookie).

CHARLIE’S ANGELS Writer-director Elizabeth Banks takes the helm as the next generation of fearless Charlie’s Angels take flight, from a story by Evan Spiliotopoulos and David Auburn. It is the third installment in the Charlie’s Angels film series, which is a continuation of the story that began with the television series of the same title by Ivan Goff and Ben Roberts and the theatrical films, Charlie’s Angels (2000) and Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle (2003).

COMING 2 AMERICA Just over three decades ago Eddie Murphy introduced moviegoers to Prince Akeem, the heir to the throne of the magical land of Zamunda. The much-anticipated sequel, Coming 2 America, follows the ever-unfolding story of the Joffers, the royal family of the land of Zamunda.

THE CONJURING 2 The supernatural thriller The Conjuring 2, with James Wan once again at the helm following the record-breaking success of The Conjuring, seeking to terrify moviegoers once again with his depiction of another highly publicized case involving the real-life horrors experienced by paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren with The Conjuring 2, from a screenplay by Chad Hayes & Carey W. Hayes (The Conjuring) & James Wan and David Leslie Johnson (Wrath of the Titans) , story by Chad Hayes & Carey W. Hayes & James Wan.

CREED  reunites award-winning filmmaker Ryan Coogler with his “Fruitvale Station” star Michael B. Jordan as the son of Apollo Creed, and explores a new chapter in the “Rocky” story, starring Academy Award nominee Sylvester Stallone in his iconic role.Ryan Coogler directed from a screenplay he wrote with Aaron Covington, based on a story by Coogler.

DADDY’S HOME It’s Step-Dad vs. Dad – and Will Ferrell vs. Mark Wahlberg – in the family comedy Daddy’s Home, about a mild-mannered radio executive who must take on the ultimate “dad-versary” when his wife’s motorcycle-riding, freewheeling, secret operative ex breezes back into town.The film is directed by Sean Anders from a story by Brian Burns and a screenplay by Brian Burns and Sean Anders & John Morris.

DESPICABLE ME 3 Founded with the mission to produce both original stories and adaptations of beloved classics, Illumination is known for developing dimensional and distinctive characters who embody both the sweet and the subversive.  Their often mischievous antics are balanced by good intentions and innocence, making them lovable and relatable.  As such, the Despicable Me franchise has become the defining DNA of the company. Daurio, alongside writing partner Paul, has collaborated with Meledandri since their days at 20th Century Fox on Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who!.

FAST AND FURIOUS 8 FF8 is directed by F. Gary Gray, the filmmaker behind such blockbusters as Straight Outta Compton—the No. 1 musical biopic in the history of cinema—The Italian Job, Be Cool and Friday, from a screenplay by series architect and fellow producer Chris Morgan (Fast & Furious series, Wanted), based on characters created by Gary Scott Thompson (The Fast and the Furious).

FINDING DORY Director Andrew Stanton is always on the lookout for a new story. His imagination has taken him under the sea and beyond the stars, but this time, a character from his past unexpectedly swam straight into his subconscious. “The mystery of memory is so important to the story,” says screenwriter Victoria Strouse. “Memory is a huge part of family—all of those seemingly meaningless or mundane interactions we all experience as children stay with us and shape our personalities. Dory possesses those memories—on some deep level—and accessing them is part of her ultimate journey of realizing that she’s not broken after all.”

FIFTY SHADES DARKER The dramatic thriller is directed by James Foley (FearHouse of Cards) and once again produced by Michael De Luca (Captain Phillips, The Social Network), Dana Brunetti (Captain Phillips, The Social Network) and Marcus Viscidi (We’re the MillersHow to Be Single), alongside E L James, the creator of the blockbuster series.  The screenplay is by E L James’ husband, Niall Leonard, based on the novel by James.

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL 2. Writer-director James Gunn continues the action-packed, irreverent, epic space adventures of Peter Quill aka Star-Lord and his gang of eccentric characters as they patrol and protect the universe, doing mercenary work in the wake of the popularity and fame they garnered from saving Xandar.

THE HUNGER GAMES The blockbuster Hunger Games franchise has taken audiences by storm around the world, grossing more than $2.2 billion at the global box office.

THE HUNTSMAN: WINTER’S WAR The script, by Evan Spiliotopoulos and Craig Mazin, based upon Evan Daugherty’s characters, does just that, telling of Eric’s doomed first—and only—true love, how they were brought together and how they were torn apart.  Nested in this universe, it also serves as an origin story for the Huntsman, who arrived in the first adventure not as a mystery, but fully formed.

ICE AGE: COLLISION COURSE Audiences everywhere love the Ice Age films, which is the second biggest animated motion picture franchise in the world.  Each new story increases the stakes, scale, adventure, humor and heart—making Ice Age: Collision Course the biggest and most ambitious film of the series. It was directed by Mike Thurmeier and co-directed by Galen Tan Chu,[6] and written by Michael Wilson, Michael Berg and Yoni Brenner.

INDEPENDENCE DAY: RESURGENCE For director Roland Emmerich, Independence Day: Resurgence marks a return to the universe he and co-writer and producer Dean Devlin created two decades ago.  They captured cinematic lightning in a bottle—electrifying audiences around the around the world with drama, action, fun, unforgettable characters, and a presidential speech that’s still quoted today.Screenwriter Nicolas Wright notes that he and writing partner James A. Woods wanted to capture the first film’s “innocent and honest humor and tone as much as possible,” noting that since ID4’s release, many other big studio franchises “have jumped on that kind of humor.  They have a great rhythm—intense action punctuated with humor and then underlined with emotion.”

JACK REACHER: NEVER GO BACK Since 1997, readers have been riveted by the exploits of Jack Reacher, who first appeared in the pages of author Lee Child’s “Killing Floor” and continued on in a series now spanning twenty novels.Jack Reacher (Tom Cruise) returns to the big screen with his particular brand of justice in the highly anticipated, action-packed sequel Jack Reacher:  Never Go Back. Based upon Lee Child’s 18th novel in the best-selling Jack Reacher series, that has seen 100 million books sold worldwide, the film was directed by Edward Zwick from a screenplay by Richard Wenk and Edward Zwick & Marshall Herskovitz.

JASON BOURNE Producer Gregory Goodman says that what Greengrass and his longtime collaborator, Christopher Rouse, created in their screenplay was not only timely, it was propulsive: “I believe that waiting was a very good thing, because it gives the movie a chance to speak to much more serious issues and to be honest.  A lot of the paranoia and concerns that were brought up in the previous films seems almost naïve compared to what we’re dealing with in a post-Snowden, WikiLeaks world—along with a sense that there actually is a secret government running separately from us.  What I find compelling is that even the so-called bad guys have a valid argument.  It’s clear to me as a citizen, separate from this film, that we as a society have difficult choices we need to make about balancing our need for security and safety with our need for transparency and privacy.  This film touches on that, but in the context of an adrenaline-filled action picture.”

JIGSAW The Saw franchise has been a shiver-inducing, thought-provoking global powerhouse and redefined fright night at the movies with a unique blend of fear, mystery, deviousness and gore. Now the screws have been further tightened with Jigsaw, the newest entry in a series that The Guinness Book of World Records named as the most successful long-running horror franchise of all time. Thirteen years after Saw made its auspicious debut at the Sundance Film Festival in the “Park City at Midnight” program, combining a moral weight with clever plotting, all-encompassing dread, and nerve-jangling tension that pivots into full-on panic, Jigsaw ups the stakes with an all-new puzzle built around a terrifying question: who’s behind a string of new Jigsaw-like killings if John Kramer has been dead for over a decade?

JOKER Directed, co-written and produced by Todd Phillips, Joker is the filmmaker’s original vision of the infamous DC villain, an origin story infused with, but distinctly outside, the character’s more traditional mythologies.

KONG: SKULL ISLAND First unleashed more than eight decades ago, King Kong has thundered off the big screen and into our world with a force that echoes through our collective consciousness still.  Now the time has come to restore the crown of the greatest movie monster myth of all in Kong: Skull Island, re imagining the origins of one the most powerful monster myths of all. Jordan Vogt-Roberts directed the film from a screenplay by Dan Gilroy and Max Borenstein and Derek Connolly, story by John Gatins.

LOGAN From visionary writer-director James Mangold comes the defining chapter in the cinematic saga of one of the greatest comic book heroes ever created. Logan sees Hugh Jackman reprise his iconic role as The Wolverine for one, final time in a raw, powerfully dramatic standalone story of sacrifice and redemption.

LONDON HAS FALLEN By reuniting the principal cast and key members of the creative team for London Has Fallen, a new adventure that relocates the action from the U.S. to abroad – where the character of heroic Secret Service Agent Mike Banning (again played by actor and producer Gerard Butler) no longer has the advantage of knowing the territory. The screenwriting team of Creighton Rothenberger & Katrin Benedikt, who had written the original screenplay for Olympus Has Fallen, conceived a new story and first worked on the script, with writers Christian Gudegast and Chad St. John then working on the script.

MALEFICENT: MISTRESS OF EVIL Together with co-screenwriters Noah Harpster and Micah Fitzerman-Blue (Transparent), they crafted a screenplay for its sequel, Maleficent: Mistress of Evil , that picks up several years after the events of the first film and continues to explore the complex relationship between Maleficent and Aurora. The writers focused on the realization that Aurora would now be a woman taking on adult responsibilities and embarking on a journey to find herself amid two feuding worlds.

NOW YOU SEE ME 2 The master magicians known as the Four Horsemen return for their most daring and astounding caper ever in Now You See Me 2, elevating the limits of stage illusion to new heights in hopes of clearing their names and exposing the ruthlessness of a dangerous tech magnate.The film is directed by Jon M. Chu (Step Up 2: The Streets, G. I. Joe: Retaliation) from a screenplay by Ed Solomon (Now You See Me, Men in Black), story by Ed Solomon & Peter Chiarelli (The Proposal, Eagle Eye), and based on characters created by Boaz Yakin & Edward Ricourt.

OUIJA: ORIGIN OF EVIL Inviting audiences again into the lore of the spirit board, Ouija: Origin of Evil tells a terrifying new tale as the follow-up to 2014’s sleeper hit Oculus.Mike Flanagan (Oculus, Hush) directs from a screenplay he wrote with his Oculus and Before I Wake collaborator, Jeff Howard.

PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: SALAZAR’S REVENGE When Jerry Bruckheimer and Disney got set to jump into making Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge, the fifth chapter in the $3.7 billion Pirates of the Caribbean franchise,  they began a search for a new story that would take the series a few steps forward, while at the same time harken back to the elements of fantasy, action, comedy, and elements of the supernatural that had made the first film such a sensation.

PITCH PERFECT 3 The astonishing blockbuster success of the first two films in the Pitch Perfect series naturally prompted discussions about getting a third installment underway.  Now graduated from college and out in the real world where it takes more than a cappella to get by, the Bellas return in Pitch Perfect 3, the next chapter in the beloved series that has taken in more than $400 million at the global box office. The film is directed by Trish Sie (Step Up All In) from a screenplay by Kay Cannon and Mike White—with a story by Cannon, Based on the book by Mickey Rapkin.

SPECTRE When approaching the 24th James Bond movie, Spectre, from Albert R. Broccoli’s EON Productions, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios and Sony Pictures Entertainment, the filmmakers were keen to ensure that the film followed on closely from its predecessor, the $1.1 billion global smash Skyfall. Spectre was directed by Sam Mendes, produced by Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli, and the screenplay was written by John Logan and Neal Purvis & Robert Wade and Jez Butterworth (Story by John Logan and Neal Purvis & Robert Wade)

STAR TREK BEYOND , the highly anticipated next installment in the globally popular Star Trek franchise, created by Gene Roddenberry and reintroduced by J.J. Abrams in 2009, returns with director Justin Lin (“The Fast and the Furious” franchise) at the helm of this epic voyage of the U.S.S. Enterprise and her intrepid crew, from screenplay by newcomer Doug Jung (Dark Blue, Banshee) and returning cast member turned co-writer, Simon Pegg.

STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS Lucasfilm and visionary director J.J. Abrams join forces to take you back again to a galaxy far, far away as Star Wars returns to the big screen with Star Wars: The Force Awakens.The screenplay is by Lawrence Kasdan & J.J. Abrams and Michael Arndt. Kathleen Kennedy, J.J. Abrams and Bryan Burk are producing with Tommy Harper and Jason McGatlin serving as executive producers.

STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI The Skywalker saga continues as the heroes of The Force Awakens join the galactic legends in an epic adventure that unlocks age-old mysteries of the Force and shocking revelations of the past. It is the second installment in the Star Wars sequel trilogy following Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and resumes immediately after the events of The Force Awakens.Star Wars: The Last Jedi is written and directed by Rian Johnson and stars Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, Anthony Daniels, Gwendoline Christie, Kelly Marie Tran, Laura Dern and Benicio Del Toro.

TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES: OUT OF THE SHADOWS Michelangelo, Donatello, Leonardo, and Raphael are back in to battle bigger, badder villains. The film is directed by Dave Green (Earth to Echo), with a screenplay by Josh Appelbaum & André Nemec (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol).

TERMINATOR: DARK FATE Terminator: Dark Fatereunites Oscar-winning filmmaker James Cameron with original franchise stars Linda Hamilton and Arnold Schwarzenegger for the first time in 28 years. Cameron describes Terminator: Dark Fate as a direct sequel to Terminator 2, one that recaptures the riveting tone of the original Terminator and its follow-up.

THOR RAGNAROK In 1962, the now-legendary duo of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby introduced “The Mighty Thor” to readers of Marvel Comics, unleashing a new era of action-adventure with their conception of the hammer-wielding Norse god, who debuted in the sci-fi anthology “Journey Into Mystery,” #83 in August of that year.Despite the Nordic-sounding names, the story was rooted in familiar, universal conflicts that have driven human drama since the beginning of time. To this day, 55 years later, Marvel Comics continues publishing new adventures depicting the God of Thunder, the most recent being 2016’s “The Unworthy Thor” from writer Jason Aaron and artist Olivier Coipel. The newest film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s “Thor” franchise, Thor Ragnarok, continues the lineage of epic adventures chronicled in the franchise’s two prior big screen successes: 2011’s “Thor” and 2013’s “Thor: The Dark World,” which, collectively, earned over $1.1 billion at the worldwide box office.

UNDERWORLD: BLOOD WARS The fifth installment in the hugely successful series, Underworld: Blood Wars celebrates a return to the brooding aesthetic introduced in the original 2002 hit Underworld, directed by Anna Foerster (Outlander, Criminal Minds) from a screenplay by Cory Goodman (The Last Witch Hunter, Priest), story by Kyle Ward and Goodman, based on characters created by Kevin Grevioux and Len Wiseman & Danny McBride.

WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES The Art of filmmaking and the craft of storytelling are showcased in War For The Planet Of The Apes, unleashing  rapidly evolving simians into a world boiling over with divisions and rage as the ape vs. human battle for control of the world careens towards the ultimate winner-takes-all decision.It is directed and written by Matt Reeves, whose Dawn of the Planet of the Apes grossed $700m at the worldwide box office – he gained feature film prominence when he helmed the much lauded science fiction-horror hit Cloverfield (2008), and wrote and directed Let Me In (2010), a remake of the Swedish horror film acclaimed by critics and audiences alike.

X-MEN APOCALYPSE Following his acclaimed work on X-Men: Days Of Future Past, director Bryan Singer takes the franchise to new heights with X-Men: Apocalypse, in which the X-Men battle the original and most powerful mutant — Apocalypse. “We had a real challenge to come up with a story that could surpass Days Of Future Past in terms of scale and stakes,” notes writer-producer Simon Kinberg, who served in those capacities on that film.

ZOMBIELAND: DOUBLE TAP A decade after Zombieland became a hit film and cult classic, the original cast reunite with veteran director Ruben Fleischer (Venom, TV’s “Superstore”) and screenwriters Rhett Reese & Paul Wernick – who wrote the screenplay for Zombieland: Double Tapwith Dave Callaham. No one could have predicted the cult following that would transpire when the first Zombieland was released. The now iconic zomedy, a genre-bending horror/comedy that cheekily chronicled the fight between the living dead and the surviving ass-kickers, ushered in a new zombie era. With director Ruben Fleischer, writers Rhett Reese & Paul Wernick’s zippy screenplay, and an insanely talented and kinetic cast – Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone, and Abigail Breslin — Zombieland achieved critical and commercial success, grossing over 100 million dollars worldwide.