Editor sick to stomach with sequels and such

We’ve seen it countless times. We’ve sat in the movie theater waiting for that reel to display the title of the show we came to see. But while we wait, there are the trailers. The screen goes black, flashing a quick shot every millisecond, hinting at the upcoming movie but still obscuring the picture like a group of puzzle pieces. Then the camera pans up to reveal…Jack Sparrow, back for another pirate adventure, sponsored by Disney, coming to a theater near you next summer. Oh great.

Cash grab. That’s all it really is: cash grab. In light of the corporate bigwigs brainstorming a new idea, the established merchandise just increases its canon. Did that summer blockbuster pull in a few million? Well we better get to work on the sequel, then.

But not every film needs a sequel, and that’s the point a majority of movie producers don’t get. And it’s not just “Pirates of the Caribbean.” How about “Star Wars,” “The Hangover,” “Fast and the Furious,” the “Saw” franchise? The list goes on. What about some upcoming sequels to whet your appetite? “Taken 2,” “Wrath of the Titans,” “Avatar 2” AND “Avatar 3.” Is your head spinning yet? How about “Finding Nemo 2,” “Star Wars 7-9” and “The King’s Speech 2”? Take a breath; that last set of films isn’t in production – yet.

Don’t even get me started on Hollywood’s latest craze – reboots. “Star Trek” (2009), “Conan the Barbarian” (2011), “The Amazing Spider-Man” (2012), “Superman: Man of Steel” (2012), “The Hulk” (2008) and then “The Incredible Hulk” (2010) two years later. How does Hollywood get a reset button? Where is the drive to go back to the drawing board and start fresh with the same material? What do the director, actors and crew from the “failed” film think when they get word that their work is going to be glossed over with a new and presumably better project? So much for the effort they put in.

And it’s not just the film medium, though. What about comic books? There have been several “imagined” series where Superman, Batman, Spider-Man and Captain America all bit the dust. But then, along comes another writer and illustrator and the hero is back fighting crime.

I even see cash grabbing in television. How many sitcoms have gone on way too long, when the cast members are completely different and the original viewership has become fed up? I’m looking at you, “That ’70s Show.” It worries me when TV producers don’t have a plan in place to end the show. The program keeps going and going until its lack of ratings gets it canceled without a proper ending.

I don’t grind my teeth every time I see a sequel to a feature film being planned. Some of them are good, when they’re planned as trilogies or what have you. I’m just sick of my wallet being lightened whenever I watch “the next chapter,” and frankly, sometimes the original story was just right.

DAN KUBACKI

kubacki00[email protected]