Hello there! If you are reading this, you must be a Hollywood executive desperately brainstorming before a pitch meeting. Do not fear! Prequels, sequels and reboots are hot trends right now. To make a successful one, all you need to do is follow one or more of the following paths and boom! You have your idea.
- Disregard the established lore and create a whole new universe
It appears you have chosen to set a film in a popular pre-existing universe. However, all the original actors are old or unwilling to reprise their parts. Plus, you wouldn’t want any of this super-attractive Hollywood talent going to waste, would you? If this is the case, all you need to do is pretend that you are actually working with a brand new idea and do whatever the hell you want! Do you want to destroy the home planet of a main character and then have that same character have a totally out of left field romance with another main character? Then do it! Did you prefer the other love interest your superhero protagonist had in the comics? Make that the romantic sub-plot! Honestly, as long as you actually own the rights to the original property, you are free to do whatever the hell you want to it!
Are you worried that you will angry millions of loyal fans by doing this though? If that is a genuine worry of yours, maybe consider…
- Rope the original creator into the project so that the work can be declared ‘canon’
Ah yes, you appear to be dealing with a seminal science-fiction trilogy with hundreds of millions of fans. What’s that? You’re planning a prequel trilogy to explore some of the mysterious origins of the characters and setting of the original film? Hmmm, you definitely need to bring the original creator in and have them do most of the work. That way you can sell the final product as being ‘canon’ (nerd slang for something that officially exists in the established universe) and any heat will be directed at the creator for ruining their own product! Plus, even if people hate it, you still duped them into giving you their money so win-win-win!
You anticipate that your boss will ask you how you intend to draw existing fans into the fold. All you need to do is…
- Include a load of fan service
Fans love to be made to feel special right? The way to achieve is to exclude jokes and references that allude to the original source. You can even include existing characters who will do and say stuff people remember them doing and saying. If you’re really desperate, just turn to social media and see what the deluded, obsessed fans what to see and include that in the final cut!
But how do I bring in new audiences! I hear you cry. Well, existing fans will bring their spawn along but you could also…
- Slap a PG-13 rating on the film
It is incredibly easy to adhere to a PG-13 and even with the rating, you can get away with showing so much. You have just opened the floodgates to all the little fanlings who beg their parents to take them to the movie for a birthday party, or whatever children do these days. This way, you can show the prequeled, sequeled or rebooted adventures of Obi-Wan McClaine or Jean-Claude Stallone to millions of young, impressionable people without having to bat an eyelid.
So you’ve made the movie, congratulations. You even managed to do it while skipping step two! However, you are having some trouble marketing the film. Well don’t worry; I have a solution for that as well.
Have you just rebooted a highly popular 80s film franchise without the help of the original director? Why don’t you pay them a lot of money to get them to record a testimonial saying how good your project is? It doesn’t matter how good YOUR film is, what matters is that the original creator SAYS it’s good. Alternately, do this with one of the original actors, preferably one of the ones who haven’t been badmouthing your production the entire time. And hey, if the reviews are bad, selecting the most neutral and generic ones and slap them in the trailer!