Over the weekend, I watched the always wonderful and under-appreciated Titan AE. It had been a while since I’d seen it — maybe a five years or so — and I was amazed how great that movie still is. Think about it: an animated film that nearly kills the entire human race before the title screen. Gutsy.
The thing is Hollywood is overrun with reboots and sequels. Within the last few weeks we’ve all been fawning over three films in particular, Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, Jurassic World, and Terminator Genisys. Now, I will personally be at each of these films opening night, but there have been so many films in history that didn’t even deserve the sequel they got as other films continue to languish with no thought toward further exploration.
A.E. is quintessential Joss Whedon, who helped pen the script, and the main character, Cale Tucker, is one of the last few humans in a galaxy filled with weird creatures that scorn his species. That is completely ripe for further exploration with the original film still living as the nucleus of a larger franchise.
Watching Titan A.E. made me wonder what other sci-fi gems were out there that felt like they still had stories to tell. The only other glaring franchise in my mind is also Dune. Except we should just give up on the possibility of a live-action treatment and revive Alejandro Jodorowsky’s original scripts and images as an animated epic, much like they were planning to do with Jodorowsky and artist Jean Giraud’s Incal.
I would watch the shit out of that.
I’m not saying we should go crazy and start rebooting everything possible. Some franchises are completely perfect just the way they are. I don’t need that movie where I see Marty McFly travel to the year 2155 and have cyborg McGriff-Biff Tannen Jr. tell our protagonist to make like a laser and beam out of here. But the words “reboot” and “sequel” do not need to be pejoratives.
What other corners of the sci-fi world deserve further exploration? Not in the search for more money, but films that genuinely feel like they have stories left to be told.