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Feature Film Franchise Preview for 2014: Part 1

Feature Film Franchise Preview for 2014: Part 1

| On 03, Jan 2014

The hangovers are subsiding, the resolutions are broken, it’s time for a preview of franchise releases scheduled in 2014. Of the 134 films with official release dates, 51 are part of a visual franchise, not including novel adaptations. It includes sequels, prequels, remakes, reboots, spinoffs and video game adaptations. 38% of feature films are from unoriginal storyline. The continuing downward spiral of Hollywood releases is mind numbing.

Here is a sneak peak for the first three months of 2014, arranged by release date:

 January 3


Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones
Nothing is more creepy than a couple of possessed bug-eyed kids. The fifth official film of the “found footage”horror franchise, The Marked Ones takes place after the death of a woman during a party. Instead of calling the local police, the soon-to-be-dead party goers take a camera to investigate. After discovering black magic items, missing tapes from the 3rd Paranormal Activity film (for continuity, I assume), the film’s star (Andrew Jacobs as Jesse), discovers an inhuman bite mark on his arm and hilarity ensues!  Oh, and this film is being described as a “cousin” to the four previous films, not a sequel, prequel or reboot, so as to distinguish it not as a franchise vehicle, but a “franchise vehicle.”

Watch the trailer

January 10

TheAdventure CurseoftheMidasBox

The Adventurer: Curse of the Midas Box                                                                                                                Based upon the novel “Mariah Mundi” by G.P. Taylor, this fantasy adventure film with its Indiana Jones archeology theme is intended to be a film franchise starring Michael Sheen, Sam Neill and Lena Headey.  Now filmmakers are threatening  before the first movie is seen by the public, but judging from the direct-to-video design of the poster and the fact its available on iTunes the same day, this looks to disappear.

Watch the trailer

The Legend of Hercules
“Joey, do you like movies about gladiators?” No movie year will be complete without two similar films competing for our hard earned money. “The Legend of Hercules” is the first of two Hercules movies for 2014 and somewhere in the neighborhood of 50 total since the birth of cinema over 100 years ago. This one is directed by Renny Harlin (Die Hard 2, Nightmare on Elm Street 4) and stars Kellan Lutz from the Twilight film series.

Watch the trailer

 January 17


Jack Ryan:Shadow Recruit
We get it, Chris Pine likes to ride motorcycles. The fifth film and a series reboot from the Jack Ryan action adventure novels by Tom Clancy, Shadow Recruit is the first not to be a adaptation but an original story conceived by screenwriter Hossein Amini.  Trying desperately to become the American James Bond series, Pine, best known as the new Captain Kirk, is the fourth actor to portray Jack Ryan, after Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford and Ben Affleck.  The supporting cast includes Kevin Costner, Keira Knightly and Kenneth Branagh who also directed. This film will be dedicated to Tom Clancy, who died on October 1, 2013.

Watch the trailer


The Nut Job
The first 3D computer animated film for 2014, the Canadian/South Korean/American production is based on the 2005 short “Surly Squirrel”  by Peter Lepeniotis, who also directs this adaptation. Voices include Will Arnett, Brendan Fraser, Gabriel Iglesias, Liam Neeson and Katherine Heigl.

Watch the trailer

January 24

I,Frankenstein                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Not based on Mary Shelley’s Gothic 1818 story but on Kevin Grevioux graphic novel, the film follows the original monster of Victor Frankenstein, who needs to stand between supernatural creatures looking to overthrow the human race in an ancient city. Aaron Eckart is Adam Frankenstein, aka The Monster and Bill Nighy as Naberius, leader of the demons, aka the Bad Guys.  Adam Frankenstein has been described as an intelligent and evolved man (aka The Monster), so geeks of the world will be up in arms on January 24.  Just to make this perfectly clear…this film is NOT a comedy.

 Watch the trailer

February 7

The Lego Movie
After the success of the “Transformers” film franchise, toy manufactures are attempting to expand their reach with film productions. The privately held Denmark-based Lego Company has even created a film studio, Lego A/S. Their first of probably many feature films features Chris Pratt, Will Arnett, Elizabeth Banks, Morgan Freeman, Will Ferrell, Liam Neeson and Nick Offerman voicing various Lego-built characters.

Watch the trailer

February 12

RoboCop                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Joel Kinnaman stars as the aluminum siding cyborg police officer in this remake of the 1987 sci-fi film, which spawned two sequels, a TV series, countless literary adaptations and much money. The film also co-stars Michael Keaton, Gary Oldman, Jackie Early Haley and on his continuing quest to star in all franchises at least once, Samuel L. Jackson.  And in an interesting  tribute to the original film, Miguel Ferrer co-stars as Antoine Vallon. In the 1987 version, Ferrer played Bob Morton, the creator of RoboCop, this time played by Gary Oldman.

 Watch the trailer

February 14

About Last Night
Valentine’s Day 2014 will be a trip down 1980’s nostalgia with two remakes from that decade of excess. First up is About Last Night, remake of the 1986 Rob Lowe/Demi Moore film, which was an adaptation of David Mamet’s 1974 play, “Sexual Perversity”. The romantic-comedy stars Kevin Hart, Michael Ealy, Regina Hall and Joe Bryant.

Watch the trailer


Endless Love
The second remake on Valentine’s Day will be based on the 1981 Brooke Shields film that was an adaptation to Scott Spencer’s 1979 novel.  An unknown cast and director will probably lead this film to remake oblivion.

Watch the trailer

February 28

Son of God
Biblical epics will be making their grand return to cinema in 2014 with “Noah” and “Exodus” , but first up is “Son of God.” Based on Mark Burnett and Roma Downey’s successful 10-hour History Channel miniseries, this version will feature certain selections from the series as well as deleted scenes .



300: Rise of an Empire
Nothing gets much better than a field of dead gladiators, and we will be getting plenty of that in the follow up to “300.” Taking place before, during and after the events of the 2007 film, the action film is directed by Noam Murro who takes over from writer and producer Zack Snyder, who is busy with the Superman franchise at the moment.

Watch the trailer

March 7

Mr. Peabody &Sherman
Fans of the 1960’s animated series “The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show” will probably be dragging their grandchildren to see” Mr. Peabody& Sherman.” Based on the “Peabody’s Improbable History” segments from the aforementioned series, the DreamWorks  Animation production features the voices of Ty Burrell, Max Charles, Stephen Colbert, Leslie Mann, Ariel Winter,  Allison Janney and Stephen Tobolwsky.

Watch the trailer


March 14

Need for Speed
Fans of Jesse from “Breaking Bad” will get to see Aaron Paul starring in this adaptation of Electronic Arts popular series of video games, celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. This may be the only opportunity to see a fast car film with no clear direction, with the “Fast & Furious” on hiatus due to Paul Walkers death.

Watch the trailer


Veronica Mars
Based on the UPN/CW neo-noir mystery series that ran 2004-2007, devoted fans have been begging for the return of the series for several years.  Creator Rob Thomas and the cast launched a Kickstarter campaign in March 2013 and a month later over 90,000 fans donated over $5 million to see a full length feature film, making  it the most successful film project launched by the crowd sourcing  website.

Watch the trailer

March 21

Muppets Most Wanted
The sequel to 2011’s “The Muppets,” the film co-stars Ricky Gervais, Ty Burrell and Tina Fey and finds the Muppets in an international crime caper while on tour in Europe.  This marks the eighth feature film in 35 years for The Muppets and the second after a 12 year absence from theaters.

Watch the trailer

March 28

A Haunted House 2
The first film made almost $60 million on a $2.5 million  budget, guaranteeing a sequel. The comedy returns Marlon Wayans into a world he knows best; screwball comedies based on pop culture references.

The Raid 2: Berandal
Also known  as “Berandal”, this is a sequel to the 2012 hit “The Raid:Redemption.” Iko Uwais reprises his role as Rama in the Indonesian action series.

This covers the first three months of 2014 feature film franchises. Check back soon for sneak peaks for the remainder of the year.

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