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Debate – Franchise or Trilogy?


Posted December 10, 2015 by

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Franchise or Trilogy?

With the latest James Bond release, I’ve been wondering if sometimes 3 shouldn’t be the last of a story.

When we say franchise, we mean that a successful story, and by story we mean film, has been turned into a series of movies. James Bond is the perfect example of that, with 24 movies, so far. In this case the franchise is protecting the character, and his vices, while the people around him are irrelevant. They’re disposable. Usually they try to keep similar faces during the run of a the main actor. But not always with JB.

Godzilla (28 movies), Star Trek (12 movies), the Planet of the Apes (9 movies), the Avengers (13 movies) are also franchises focusing on the characters. But is it truly to tell us a one cohesive story, that could not be told otherwise? NO, it’s only to make more money to offer a more or less successful experience for the viewers. I mean, how many Spiderman movies have we seen so far, with the same story? 6. That is 6 movies, and the new Spiderman is coming out in 2017, but we will see the character in the 2016 Avengers. Maybe this time they’ll get it right? But who’s paying for all this in the meantime? We are.

When I think of a story, and I create characters, I rarely think about making it into a 12 movies. I focus on one and though I could tell you ideas about a sequel and a prequel, I believe good stories should left us wanting more. Take “Back to the Future,” the first movie came out in 1985, the second in 1989 and last in 1990. Did they know it would be a trilogy while making the first one? Of course they knew, it was planned and in fact well planned. Could they do a BTTF part 4? I’m sure they could, but why? The end of the third movie is great and leaves us to our imagination. The trilogy is complete and everyone lives happily ever after.

To me, trilogies are more unique. They contain the story and preserve the integrity of the characters. The Godfather (1972, 1974, 1990) is a great example of that, in the sense that we are introduced to something in the first film, get back to the origin in the second movie, and come back to reality with the inevitable in the third movie. Another trilogy I love is “Three Colors: Blue, White and Red.” The three movies came out within 1993 and 1994. In two years you could see the complete trilogy. In fact it was so successful that, when the third movie came out, the first and second movies were still playing. What makes this trilogy so unique, is that, each movie stands on its own. It’s only in the last 5 minutes of the third film that you realize why it’s a trilogy.

When years ago they announced the filming of “The Lord Of The Rings”I was ready to cry. I read the book as a teenager in the 80’s and absolutely loved it. Dark, funny, rich in imaginary characters and landscapes, and with an incredible journey to follow. The movies were well made and very much like “Harry Potter” achieved to take the essentials of the books so the audience could enjoy the story, without the unnecessary bits that were needed in the books but not relevant to the whole story. Where I am completely upset, is what they did with the Hobbit. Yes, the book was rich in stories and wonderful characters, but it didn’t call for a trilogy. And this is where the franchise comes back. Looking at the success of the LOTR, they thought, let’s make some money here. But let’s say they had started by making the Hobbit before LOTR, no production company would have ever agreed upon a three movie installment. But this is what Hollywood does, they milk the opportunity until they’re nothing left. But by milking too hard, you might hurt the cow. The Hobbit trilogy cost twice more to make compared to LOTR, it grossed over 3 billions, but no one cared because it wasn’t good. When I was watching it, I felt like looking at my niece playing a video game.

So the question is, shall we continue to pay almost 20 bucks to see a movie that is not worth it, but it is popular, so lets see it. Or shall we be smarter about our choices? Let’s chose what seems to be a good movie, and give our money there. In New York City, I’m able to find indie films playing on the big screen, and that’s where I want to see that type of film. But from now on, I am avoiding the big franchise, like Hunger Games, Avengers, I can wait for them to be on TV. I’m saying this, but I will see the new Star Wars in the movie theater. What is it about franchise vs trilogy? I know for me and let’s say for Star Wars, it’s the chance to see these characters come back into my life, and perhaps get a glimpse of R2D2, or even Yoda (I know he’s dead). We all want that chance to escape one more time with our favorite characters, but let’s be smart about it.

What’s your favorite franchise or trilogy? Thanks for reading.


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