Today's mass purging of sequel news: How To Train Your Dragon, Clash Of The Titans, Journey To The Center Of The Earth, Transformers
Rather than employing our usual million-shallow-cuts approach to bleeding out today’s inevitable sequel news, we’re going to get it all out of the way at once, knowing full well that by the time we think we’ve finally swept the factory floor, somebody’s going to throw the switch and get the gears cranking on Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married: The Quickening. But let’s see what we can knock out before then.
First up is DreamWorks’ How To Train Your Dragon—the underdog 3D animated feature beloved for its unassuming nature, soon to be transformed into a “multimedia franchise” that encompasses big-screen sequels, a live arena show along the lines of Walking With Dinosaurs, a TV series, and an online “virtual world.” In discussing the Dragon expansion, DreamWorks head Jeffrey Katzenberg noted that the film became an unlikely success because it is DreamWorks’ best-reviewed film, which puts it in the “beloved category.” (And naturally, the best way to ensure a film remains “beloved” is to serve it up repeatedly with slight variations, sort of like the “beloved” Shrek franchise.)
And while reviews of Clash Of The Titans have generally been more blasé (“competent and efficient,” raves Keith Phipps), the film stands to be one of those blockbuster hits-that-no-one-really-loves anyway, which of course means it’s readying its own sequel for as early as 2012. According to Deadline New York, director Louis Leterrier has already said he will not return, but Sam Worthington will, “as well as most every character that survived.” Warner Bros. is reportedly looking for a director and writer who can distill Greek mythology competently and efficiently into another joyless theme park ride before the Sam Worthington unit is shipped off to the Avatar 2 plant.
In that same article, Warner Bros. says it's also looking to fast-track a sequel to the slightly more fun but no less gimmicky Journey To The Center Of The Earth by fall of 2011, but at the moment it’s hinging on whether to do so without star Brendan Fraser, whose profile is expected to rise exponentially this weekend with the release of Furry Vengeance, after which he will only talk “Harry Potter money.” Or maybe we’re just making that up to amuse ourselves, and instead it could be that Fraser is, as DNY reports, loyal to original director Eric Brevig, who won’t be able to make JTTCOTE on that schedule, as he’s too busy working on Yogi Bear 3D, and holy crow, when did every major film release become an EPCOT Center ride? Should Fraser balk, one possible solution would be to base the film around Josh Hutcherson, who played Fraser’s son in the first picture. No Brendan Fraser? You, sirs, shall have a mutiny on your hands.
Finally, all residents of Chicago are hereby forewarned that, beginning July 4, Michael Bay plans to totally awesome up your streets with some kick-ass inconvenient closures and wicked detours while he films Transformers 3: Return Of The Rise Of The Triumphant Legend Of Revenge-itude. The Chicago Film Office calls the upcoming shoot “a blockbuster in every sense of the word; in terms of economic impact, stunts, and special effects”—and disruptions to anyone trying to travel down Michigan Avenue, most likely. But it’s all in the name of art!