An Open Letter to the Hollywood Movie Machine: Now What?

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Dear Hollywood Movie Machine: You have a problem.

With the bowing of The Dark Knight Rises you have very little in the pipeline to tease me to nigh foaming at the mouth fervor. Harry Potter? Done. The Marvel Comic Book Movie Initiative (Phase 1)? Done. Twilight? Nearly done (But I wasn’t a fan anyway so as far as I’m concerned it didn’t happen!). With no more entries in the Star Wars, Matrix, Pirates of the Caribbean, or Indiana Jones franchises there is tumbleweed in the way of cultural phenomenon blowing across the movie horizon and what I want to know is: What else ya got cookin’?

Okay, so you’ve got The Hunger Games book trilogy (now being streeetched into a four movie series) but that is not enough to satiate my appetite. The proposed 50 Shades of Grey movie trilogy is empty hype until we get some real star power heat under it and an actual date for the first film. I’m totally down for a revisit to Middle Earth with The Hobbit, and seeing Daniel Craig back as James Bond in Skyfall, but I’m a greedy beast when it comes to my movies. I want more, more MORE!

Star Trek 2? Yeah, that is coming out next summer. Yes, I did like it and plan on seeing it? Do you really think I’m going to miss watching Kirk continue his streak of one-handed precipice saves, Benedict ‘Sherlock’ Cumberbatch’s still villainous turn, or the continuation of the unexpectedly enchanting romance of Spock and Uhura? C’mon.

No, I haven’t forgotten about the second phase of the Marvel Comic Book Movie Initiative. But after knocking it out of the park with Iron Mans 1 and 2, Thor, Captain America, AND The Avengers, it is going to be so very hard to duplicate. I have very high standards and as Iron Man 2 shows us, those Marvel hero movie sequels can be tricky to pull off. Your other problem is who will be tapped next for a solo franchise gig once Iron Man 3 is out and Tony Stark’s appearances are limited to The Avengers 2 and 3? Hulk? Hawkeye? Ant-Man? Whoever it is you need to start getting me excited about it now! Right now I’m just above lukewarm. Guardians of the Galaxy sounds cool in theory but so very tricky and so very disastrous if done wrong. I have my fingers crossed that it will be more Avengers and less Fantastic Four (although I didn’t think the FF movie was that bad).

Yes, I know that Superman Man of Steel is also coming out next summer and I am cautiously excited about it. But I was also excited about Superman Returns. And Green Lantern. I’m older and not so easy to rile up anymore by simply dangling a red cape with that big ole ‘S’ in front of my face. I don’t even want to discuss the possibility of a Justice League movie until after Henry Cavill makes me forget my wish to see Tom Welling in blue and red spandex (that final scene in Smallville does not count!)  AND I see Wonder Woman finally get her feature film debut. If the Superman and Wonder Woman movies actually measure up, then we can talk about DC rivaling Marvel for cultural relevance again.

Judging by the cliffhanger-itis of Prometheus, Snow White and the Huntsman, and The Amazing Spider-Man I sense you believe these to be the beginnings of huge franchises. Okay, I’ll give you that, but I also say don’t get too far ahead of yourself. All these franchises need to kick it up a notch in their sequels to gain real cult status. That self-performed C-Section in Prometheus is not soon to be forgotten but Prometheus 2: David the Android’s Disembodied Head needs more answers mixed in with the pretty cinematography.  Amazing Spider-Man 2 needs to make me forget about the awesome Spider-Man 2 and cover some new ground in the tale of Peter Parker. Snow White and the Huntsman is the bigger question mark as with the biggest draw –Charlize Theron’s Evil Queen- being dispatched by movie’s end in a way that seems pretty permanent, you’ve got a huge gap to fill which won’t be easy. The franchise will be made or broken on that casting as Stewart and Hemsworth (no matter how hot he is) alone aren’t going to make me mark down the dates of the sequel movies in my iPhone two years in advance.  Well, Hemsworth probably could if he’s still in fine form. Which, really, when isn’t that guy ripped?

Alright, so looking at all of the above maybe I got a little ahead of myself in saying you have nothing in the pipeline that will set the world on fire. I apologize. If I’m too needy and greedy and critical it’s because as a greedy pop culture beast I care too much (and pay exorbitant movie ticket fees as a result). I’ll keep the faith that you’ll keep making awesome movies.

Or at least try to try to make awesome movies.

Or at least try to make movies that at least have awesome special effects.

Yours in Obsessive Movie Fandom,

A Greedy Pop Culture Beast

Which upcoming movie is your Inner Pop Culture Beast excited about?

Hunger Games: Catching Fire


The Hobbit

Star Trek 2

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