The Latest Sad Trend in Franchise Continuation
Upon seeing there is a new Texas Chainsaw Massacre in theaters, there is a sense of “Haven’t we said all we could about this franchise?” There was the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre as well as the original series. There was the bold re-imagining that occurred just a few years ago and a sequel to the bold re-imagining.
To clarify, the new movie is intended as a direct sequel to the original movie. Please keep in mind that the new movie is ignoring every other direct sequel in the franchise. The new movie is also ignoring the bold re-imagining released just a few years ago. Going into this movie, you are supposed to pretend that there was only one Texas Chainsaw Massacre movie. The sad part is that this line of thinking appears to be the convoluted wave of the future.
Arnold Schwarzenegger is returning to the Conan franchise in the upcoming The Legend of Conan. Hold onto your swords because this one will get slightly confusing. You can forgive them for pretending that the 2011 Conan the Barbarian reboot never happened. Schwarzenegger had nothing to do with that movie and almost no one saw it.
However, going into The Legend of Conan, you are also somehow supposed to pretend that Conan The Destroyer never happened. We are not entirely sure what continuity errors would occur if you admitted that Wilt Chamberlain had a film career. The trouble is that Schwarzenegger actually starred in Conan The Destroyer.
There is also the relatively minor detail that Conan the Destroyer hints at a future in which Conan is a king. This is presumably the same future which is now to be shown in The Legend of Conan. The result of the new trend is that you are effectively aping the most convoluted series of all time. The sad part is that we are not even talking about The Planet of the Apes series.
Yes, big budget filmmaking is attempting to take queues from the Highlander series. In the original movie, the entire premise was that the war between immortals was coming to an end. That is the whole reason why they screamed, “There can be only one” all the time. In the end, the war is over and Connor MacLeod had achieved the “prize.” This was supposed to be a conclusion to the story.
Unfortunately, Highlander would become one of the lowest-grossing movies ever to spawn a franchise. Next, we were treated to Highlander 2: The Quickening. The Quickening changed the immortal story to something about the immortals being aliens. Don’t worry about that explanation. Highlander: The Sorcerer ignored it completely. The director’s cut of Highlander 2: The Quickening also ignored the explanation completely. In a move more confusing than having your final villain be Mario Van Peebles, the franchise continued.
There was a television series that ignored the events of all three movies, but the original pilot at least featured Christopher Lambert as Connor MacLeod. The series featured a seemingly demented serial killer named Duncan Macleod who murdered immortals at the drop of a hat as well as his own human friends. They decided to make a movie called Highlander: Endgame starring Duncan, played by Adrian Paul, as well as Christopher Lambert as Connor.
In the end, the first movie is completely eradicated by the fact that Duncan removes Connor’s head and becomes “The One.” Duncan is The One until you get to Highlander: The Source. Now, there is a rumor of a “bold re-imagining” of the original movie ignoring everything starring Ryan Reynolds. In retrospect, Star Wars and its expanded universe is starting to look like a model of sane consistency.