3 Horror Franchises That Need A Halloween-Style Refresh

The new Halloween is no less than the 11th film to have that title. The franchise has been sequeled to death and even remade, but the new Halloween, which is the third of those 11 movies to share that exact title, does something quite interesting: it completely ignores almost everything about the franchise.

Even though Jamie Lee Curtis was in some of those sequels, none of them exist as far as the new film is concerned. There’s the original movie and then this one, and that’s it. This gives the new movie an immense amount of freedom as it isn’t bogged down by existing canon, and the movie uses that freedom to great effect.

It works out so well for the new Halloween that we can’t help but think that other horror franchises could benefit by being given the same treatment. Here are three franchises that would benefit by having all the sequels stabbed through the heart and having the bones burned.

Friday the 13th

The Friday the 13th franchise has a lot in common with Halloween. Both series deal with masked silent killers that have been given more sequels than we know what to do with. Both have also been remade. The thing about Friday the 13th is that almost everything that we think of when we think of the franchise was born in the sequels, not the original.

Spoiler alert if you haven’t seen the original Friday the 13th or the opening of Scream, but the killer in the first movie isn’t Jason Voorhees, but his mother. Jason died as a child at Camp Crystal Lake and dear old mom blames the camp counselors for being too busy fooling around to rescue her boy from drowning. The end of the first film gives a hint that maybe somehow Jason is alive, but that’s all it is, a hint.

If we take that movie as a starting point and then try to make a sequel, we can do almost anything we want with it. Jason Voorhees doesn’t even need to actually be a character at all. You could set the movie in the modern day and have Camp Crystal Lake once again reopening following the murders from decades ago. But of course, the killings would be back as well. Who’s doing it and why? I don’t know. I’m not here to write the entire screenplay. Not for free anyway.

If you do want to bring Jason back for this new Friday the 13th, you certainly can, but you have the complete freedom to remake Jason anyway you want. Give him a new look or even a new attitude. A wise taking Jason who quips as he kills? That’s probably actually a bad idea, but you could do it, is my point.

A Nightmare On Elm Street

No horror franchise got quite so out of hand during its run than the Nightmare on Elm Street movies. While Freddy never became the hero of his story as many movie monsters have (because child killer), the latter films got pretty ridiculous, a far cry from the truly horrifying original.

The original A Nightmare on Elm Street saw teen girl Nancy seemingly defeat Freddy by drawing him into the real world where he had no supernatural power. It ended with Nancy waking to find all her dead friends somehow alive once more. In the final seconds, we learned that this itself was just a dream and that Freddy was apparently still very much alive.

This is the perfect place from which to launch a new film. The question you have to ask is, if the movie ended inside a dream, how much of what we saw was “real?” The answer is, however much you need to be.

If Freddy successfully kills Nancy in the final scene of the original movie, then he has seemingly killed all the children of the people who killed him, which was his supposed goal the first time around. So why would he come back? Has he been brought back for a purpose? Maybe his spirit is being used by somebody as a weapon to kill people in their dreams.

If Nancy survives the first film, what happened to her? How has she survived Freddy for all these years, and what has brought them together again. Or, do you simply have a new actress as Nancy wake up from the dream and pick up the new sequel immediately following the original, continuing the fight. The plan to kill Freddy clearly didn’t work. Why not?

However, the story is handled, you could have some real fun with modern special effects in a modern Nightmare on Elm Street story. It could be the horror movie version of Inception.

Hellraiser

Hellraiser is a franchise ten films deep with the most recent entry being released earlier this year. No, really.

I found the original Hellraiser to be an utterly terrifying movie, and the sequels never really lived up to that. Similarly to the Friday the 13th franchise, most of the lore that’s associated with the franchise came in the sequels, with the original film just being about a puzzle box that opened a gateway to some sort of hell dimension when the terrible cenobites promised the opener of the box all forms of sadistic pleasures.

The sequels made one particular cenobite, Pinhead, a star character, and it humanized the cenobites, literally revealing them to have once been human. All of that can be done away with once we send the sequels to hell. The cenobites don’t need names or personality, they’re murderous movie monsters and are better that way.

A new sequel can be started up in a simple and obvious way, with the puzzle box being found and opened by somebody new. A new film wouldn’t even technically need to connect to the original film beyond the basic concepts, though it’s not really a sequel if it doesn’t. Once again (because horror movies have tropes), this movie could see its own “final girl” Kirsty Cotton return decades later. Whether she’s fighting the cenobites or whether she has succumbed to the temptation of the box, the idea here is that the new movie should focus on human characters and their desire for/battle with the box. The cenobites can be interesting creations, but they should only be monsters to contend with.

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Solo: A Star Wars Story Settled A Millennium Falcon Continuity Issue

If you watch movies enough times, regardless of how much you may enjoy them, you’ll start to pick up on errors and mistakes. The Star Wars franchise is no exception, and one example of this is the Millennium Falcon. When Han Solo’s beloved ship was introduced in A New Hope, it only had three landing gears, but three years later in The Empire Strikes Back, it had five landing gears. So when it came time to make Solo: A Star Wars Story, the crew decided to rectify this continuity issue through the Kessel Run sequence. Solo‘s visual effects supervisor, Rob Bedrow, explained:

While the Millennium Falcon wasn’t a new ship when it came into Lando Calrissian‘s possession, the suave gambler kept it in excellent condition. But successfully navigating through the Kessel Run is one of the hardest things a pilot can do in the Star Wars universe, and no ship is going to get out of there looking perfect. With Han Solo and Chewbacca at the helm, not only was the Millennium Flacon’s front-facing escape pod ejected, but it also lost two of its landing gears during a maneuver to evade a pursuing TIE Fighter.

So there we have it. Canonically, the Millennium Falcon started out with five landing gears, and Han just didn’t bother to replace them in the years between Solo: A Star Wars Story and A New Hope. But that changed leading up to The Empire Strikes Back, and James Clyne, Lucasfilm Design Supervisor, noted to ABC News that Han and Chewbacca made some adjustments to the ship during their time with the Rebellion. In Clyne’s words:

I guess Han and Chewie didn’t see much need in installing more landing gears on the Millennium Falcon during their smuggling careers, but once they started going on missions as Rebels, they changed their minds. If you’re fighting back against a tyrannical government, you might as well ensure that your ship can land properly. In any case, throwing in this little continuity resolution is a blip compare to everything else Solo: A Star Wars Story offered, but for the hardcore Star Wars fans, I imagine it’s welcome.

Solo: A Star Wars Story is now available on home media, and while the chances of a sequel being made don’t look good, the Star Wars saga will continue when Episode IX is released on December 20, 2019.

Mark Ruffalo To Play Twins In New HBO Series

In I Know This Much Is True, Mark Ruffalo will play a pair of twin brothers by the names of Dominick and Thomas Birdsey. The show will follow their parallel lives, and THR reports that the story will be epic, with themes of betrayal, sacrifice, and forgiveness throughout. It will be set in 20th century America. The brothers — who are obviously identical twins — won’t lead carbon copies of the same life, so the show should deliver double doses of Ruffalo in the best way.

Manifest Just Got Some Good News From NBC

NBC got mysterious in the 2018-2019 TV season with the premiere of Manifest. The series, which follows the passengers of a plane that went missing for five years only to suddenly reappear with no obvious explanation, premiered back in September. Only four episodes of the new show have aired so far, but NBC clearly has faith that it will continue to deliver. The Peacock Network has officially ordered three additional episodes of Manifest‘s first season.

The order for three more episodes brings the total episode count for Season 1 up to 16. Although 16 episodes is still significantly shorter than the full season orders other shows typically receive, generally ranging between 20 and 23 episodes, the increased length bodes well for Manifest. It’s also worth noting that shows with shorter seasons tend to be serialized shows primarily based on a central arc.

Shows like NCIS and The Big Bang Theory can run open-and-shut stories each week before moving onto the next; shows like Manifest that tell one big story can actually work much better without trying to stretch an arc into several more episodes than are strictly necessary. 16 could be the sweet spot for a Manifest episode count.

The relatively early news of the increased episode count likely means that the folks behind the scenes will have plenty of time to craft how the story will progress through to the season finale. If NBC had ordered three extra episodes when Manifest has already aired nine or ten installments, producers may have had to scramble to make the story stretch to 16. That doesn’t have to be the case now.

There’s even more good news for viewers who are already hooked on Manifest. Deadline reports that NBC intends to run original episodes of the series in the first quarter of the new year without airing any reruns. TV fans who despaired at all the NBC hiatuses early in 2018 due to the Winter Olympics will get new episodes of at least Manifest in early 2019. Manifest is the second freshman NBC series to get exciting news from the network recently.

All things considered, Manifest scoring some additional episodes in Season 1 comes as no surprise. It already became the highest-rated new series in the valuable 18-49 age demographic and total viewers. It broke a record with its premiere, becoming the top time-shifted series premiere on record for NBC with a Live+Same day viewership of 10.41 million people. After a few days passed for Live+3 day calculations, Manifest bumped its viewership up to 16.13 million. The premiere scored a ratings win with 3.63 in the key demo.

Delayed viewing is a big deal for Manifest. Overall, the show is averaging a 3.9 rating in the 18-49 demographic and 17.2 million viewers in Live+7. Unless the show loses a huge chunk of its audience in the remaining episodes of Season 1, a renewal for Season 2 is just about as much of a sure thing as can be found on network television.

Tune in to NBC on Mondays at 10 p.m. ET to catch new episodes of Manifest. It’s only one entry in the fall TV lineup, so you have plenty of other options if airplane mysteries aren’t your thing.

10 Things To Remember About The Original Halloween Before Seeing The Sequel

Michael’s First Kill

In 1963, 15 years before Halloween’s events, we see a young Michael Myers make his first kill. On Halloween night, Michael’s sister, Judith, was preoccupied with having a night of fun and sex with her boyfriend. Unbeknownst to her, young Michael was watching their every move, and as soon as her beau left the room, he entered with a kitchen knife and stabbed her to death. Just as he finished his evil deed and left the house, his parents came back from a night out, discovering their son in a costume, wearing a mask and holding a bloody knife in his hands.

Of Course Donald Glover Wore An Awesome Disney Shirt To His The Lion King Recording Sessions

Disney’s ongoing development of live-action remakes of its beloved animated classics is in full-swing since re-imaginings of Dumbo, Aladdin and The Lion King are set to debut in 2019. Regarding that last project, we just can’t wait to see Donald Glover be king as Simba in Jon Favreau’s remake of one of Disney’s most celebrated musicals. After quite a bit of radio silence on the exciting release, the director released himself with some of the Lion King cast during a recording session, with Glover repping one of the members of studio’s Fab Four. Check it out:

The fashionable quadruple-threat may be donning a super-slick pose in the tweet alongside director Jon Favreau and his co-stars Seth Rogen and Billy Eichner, but his Donald Duck shirt screams Disney fanboy. Considering Donald Glover is playing Simba, Rogen will be Pumbaa and Eichner will be Timon, the best guess is the trio was recording a new version of “Hakuna Matata” for the live-action film. The R&B stylings of Glover, known in the music world as Childish Gambino, combined with the comedians next to him in the above will be a spectacle in of itself when the new The Lion King comes out in summer 2019. Glover also has roots as a stand-up comedian, so he fits right in.

Disney’s new Simba also had the opportunity to play another iconic character for the studio earlier this year in Solo: A Star Wars Story as a young Lando Calrissian. Donald Glover has spent his career thus far doing a variety of projects, including starring in the comedy TV series Community, writing quite a few highly-successful albums as Childish Gambino, and writing and starring in the FX series Atlanta. Glover’s partnership with Disney propels him in the mainstream in a way he’s never been in before.

Aside from Donald Glover’s starring talent, Beyoncé is also offering up her vocal talents as Nala in the upcoming The Lion King live-action project. The film consists of many other hilarious actors such as Keegan-Michael Key as Kamari, Eric André as Azizi and John Oliver as Zazu. The impressive ensemble also includes Chiwetel Ejiofor as Scar, John Kani as Rafiki and James Earl Jones reprising Mufasa, because of course. Elton John also recently said he is returning to compose some additional songs for the end, resulting in him teaming up with Beyoncé. It’s a lot to take in, and hopefully more cast photos such as this will come out, as each of them filter in and out of the recording studio for The Lion King.

With the remake less than a year away, Disney fans are getting excited to see the sun roll high through the sapphire sky once again, this time with more realistic animation for the animals residing in Pride Rock. The Lion King comes to theaters on June 19, 2019.

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey Cancels First Live Event

If you’re on the hunt for the “Epic Mercenary” target that was supposed to be part of the first Assassin’s Creed Odyssey live activity, it looks like the trail has gone cold as Ubisoft has canceled the event. It sounds like this is only a minor hurdle, though, as the developer aims to have things figured out in time for next week’s event.

The above tweet rolled out recently through the Assassin’s Creed feed, informing Odyssey fans that the previously scheduled live event for the refresh period beginning Oct. 16 has been totally cancelled. At launch, Ubisoft announced players would receive regularly occurring events within the latest Assassin’s Creed game to help keep things fun and fresh. The live events were planned on an alternating schedule, with mercenary targets and mercenary ships moving in and out of rotation.

Earlier this week, anyone who booted up Assassin’s Creed Odyssey was greeted with a message stating that Damais the Indifferent was on the run. The object of the live event was to hunt down and defeat the mercenary in order to earn some sweet in-game loot. Unfortunately, the bugger never showed up to fight. Ubisoft was initially hopeful they’d be able to figure out what went wrong and get the event back on track but, in the end, they hit up social media with the sad news that the event had been totally axed.

The announcement jokes that Damais “bailed” at the last minute, likely due to being afraid of going toe-to-toe with the game’s protagonist. A follow-up note says that he’ll be back at some point, though, to give players a “fair fight as soon as we track him down.”

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is a massive game with a lot of moving parts and these live events are just one piece of the puzzle Ubisoft hopes will keep players returning to the game for months to come. In other words, it’s not super shocking that things didn’t go as planned and, based on additional messages, it looks like there will be smooth sailing in the weeks ahead.

I meant that literally, as next week’s live event will take players out to sea. Rather than push the whole schedule back a week, it looks like Ubisoft is just skipping over Damais for the time being and will jump straight to the next activity, which will be a ship battle. Ubisoft tells players to “keep an eye on the Aegean Sea,” as an epic ship is expected to pop up come Oct. 23.

Hopefully, the developer will pull a Bungie here and turn an in-game hiccup into a running joke, which they’ve been known to do quite a few times in Destiny. Maybe they’ll keep this “Indifferent” thread running and call him Damais the Moderately Determined next time around, and maybe even give him some new gear to make it look like he’s been putting in some extra preparation after chickening out.

When Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3 May Finally Begin Shooting

Although Marvel hasn’t officially announced its Phase 4 slate yet, we’ve gradually been learning which movies will be part of this next era of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. At the start of the year, it looked like Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 would be one of the 2020 release, potentially being the second Phase 4 entry out of the gate, after Spider-Man: Far From Home. However, weeks after James Gunn was fired from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, production was indefinitely delayed, and today brings word that shooting might not begin until February 2021.

To put this into perspective, back when James Gunn was still attached to Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, the plan was for it to start rolling cameras in February 2019, providing more than enough time for it to be ready for a summer 2020 release. But Gunn’s off-color tweets from a decade ago resurfacing changed everything, and after Disney cut ties with Gunn, the studio made it clear that it’s in no hurry to find a replacement director. If Production Weekly is to be believed, clearly this still stands, as principal photography on the threequel is now more than two years away.

What’s particularly interesting about all this is that although Disney dismissed James Gunn from directing, the studio still plans on using his script. Assuming that none of the lead actors have dropped out (which could legitimately be a possibly with Dave Bautista, Gunn’s most vocal supporter), it’s curious why it would take so long to hire a replacement director and get the ball rolling again.

Maybe Kevin Feige and the other MCU bigwigs shifted things around and found a way to make Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 fit better later in Phase 4, but given how popular these characters are, one would imagine it’d be better for them to return sooner rather than later. Assuming this production update is true, that means we shouldn’t expect Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 to come out until 2022. That means five years will have passed since Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2‘s release, the longest gap between any same series MCU movies. Currently Thor: The Dark World and Thor: Ragnarok hold that record with four years.

As things stand now, the only scheduled Phase 4 MCU movie is Spider-Man: Far From Home, which comes out on July 5, 2019. It’s hard to say which upcoming MCU could fill the production void left by Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, although it probably won’t be Black Panther 2, as that’s reportedly not rolling cameras until late 2019-early 2020. But Black Widow and Doctor Strange 2 are also among the candidates, so we’ll have to wait what ends up taking those summer 2020 release dates.

Stay tuned to CinemaBlend for more updates on what’s happening with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. In the meantime, the Guardians themselves will return when Avengers 4 comes out on May 3, 2019, and you can look through our Marvel movies guide to learn what else this superhero franchise has in development.

Halloween Could Have One Of The Best Horror Openings Of All Time

For a while now there have been reasons to think that Blumhouse’s new Halloween is probably going to be a huge hit when it opens in theaters. The real question has been: How big will David Gordon Green’s film be? Now, we may have an answer, as Halloween looks to be headed toward one of the best horror openings of all time. In fact, it could make as much as $70 million.

This forecasted $70 million opening bow would give Halloween the second-best horror opening of all time after 2017’s IT, which opened in September of last year to $123 million. A $70 million performance would also put Halloween in the record books alongside Venom for October performances in what is turning out to be a stellar month at the box office.

Compared to THR‘s cool $70 million opener, studio estimates have been more conservative. Those have put Halloween‘s opening weekend in the $50+ million range. Still, even if it underperforms, anything above or around $55 million would give Halloween the best opening since IT, surpassing this year’s A Quiet Place and The Nun, which opened with $50.2 million and $53.8 million respectively.

A $70 million debut would also surpass Paranormal Activity 3, which debuted to $52.6 million in 2011 and Hannibal, which opened to $58 million in 2001 and enjoyed three weekends atop the box office.

A few weeks back, tracking had Halloween opening between $50 million to $85 million so this latest forecast ahead of the weekend is right in the middle of that range. Halloween only cost $10 million to produce; therefore, any of these numbers would seemingly make the film a huge hit. Still, there is evidence to suggest it could overperform.

As we know, box office tracking is an inexact science. Halloween could go higher or lower than $70 million. CinemaBlend’s own Eric Eisenberg laid out his reasoning that it could crack $100 million and it does have a lot going for it. Pre-sales for the film are the best for any horror movie this year and it is arriving right as the weather is turning and theaters look nice and warm. Plus, people are getting excited to celebrate Halloween and part of that involves watching scary movies.

Reviews are also solid for the film, speaking to how it carries on the legacy of the first Halloween while also appealing to modern horror sensibilities. It is that legacy that also bodes well for Halloween. Horror is hot. period. right now and the top two horror openings of all time happening in back-to-back years definitely speaks to an overall climate of interest, but there is something to be said for nostalgia as well.

IT succeeded in no small part because it was a name brand that people recognized, had nostalgic sentiment towards and wanted to see retold. Halloween is a direct sequel to the original, not a reboot, but the similarities like it having a built-in audience are still there.

The box office prospects of Halloween are also likely buoyed by its competition, which frankly, aren’t really there. Venom and A Star is Born are still out there, but most of the new releases are indie flicks. Plus, movies like The Old Man & the Gun and The Hate U Give, which are expanding this weekend, don’t have the same mass market appeal as something like Halloween.

We’ll see just how many records Michael Myers slashes through when Halloween opens this weekend. Check out our release schedule for all the biggest movies still to come in 2018.

Rockstar Employees Open Up On Social Media About Working Conditions

This past week has been a firestorm of controversy and consternation whenever the topic of Rockstar Games pops up, and it’s all because of a quote about 100-hour work weeks at the studio. Well, who better to get a clarification of the matter than from the developers themselves? Rockstar is letting its staff speak openly about the studio’s culture.

Various staff from Rockstar Games took to their Twitter accounts on social media to openly express what the working conditions are like at the company. This is one of the rare times where the NDA gag-order was lifted and employees were able to speak (somewhat) openly about their jobs at Rockstar Games.

In the instance above, Vivianne Langdon, a tools programmer who works at Rockstar San Diego, explained that there were never any times where the week required working more than 50 hours in total, which is only half of what co-founder Dan Houser mentioned that he and three others had put into several weeks during the crunch of getting Red Dead Redemption 2 finished on time.

Initially, the comment about working 100-hour weeks was spread about the media landscape, creating a lot of discussion about the working conditions at Rockstar Games, and by association other game developers.

Gary Conti, another veteran working at Rockstar England, chimed in on Twitter to offer his experience, albeit it was a lot more succinct than Langdon’s personal story, it still dismissed the notion that he was one of the people tasked with working up to 100 hours a week.

After the initial firestorm, Dan Houser issued another statement to the media, clarifying that not everyone at Rockstar Games works ridiculously long hours. Despite Houser clarifying the situation, it still didn’t drown out the initial statements, which the media and social media latched onto like the muscled-jaw of a pitbull on a rubber toy.

So considering that Houser’s attempt at damage control didn’t go over so well, Rockstar Games lifted the restriction on their employees to briefly use social media as a platform to correct the record, so to speak.

This included Wesley Mackinder, who is another veteran at Rockstar Games and someone who worked on Grand Theft Auto V. He chimed in to state that he has never worked or been asked to work more than 100 hours in a week.

The big question now is if the voices of the employees will be heard over the outraged cultivated across social media? This is probably both a blessing and a curse for Rockstar and its parent company Take-Two Interactive because while it definitely puts a lot of eyes on Red Dead Redemption 2 just weeks before its release, it also brings with a lot of negative connotations that both companies probably would prefer to not be attached to one of the biggest video game releases of 2018.