With Robert Downey Jr. this week suggesting that a third Sherlock Holmes film is on the horizon – seven years after the release of A Game of Shadows – we decided to investigate the future of five other franchises who recon there’s more to come…at some point.
1. The Chronicles of Narnia
Last seen: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (2010)
C. S. Lewis’ Narnia books have been somewhat tortured by this on and off franchise. The adaptations kicked off with 2005’s The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, and sequels followed in 2008 and 2010. Disney dropped out after the first two and details have been scattershot concerning the fourth. Supposedly, Joe Johnston will direct The Silver Chair later this year but will anyone actually care?
2. The Adventures of Tintin
Last seen: The Secret of the Unicorn (2011)
At various points in the past seven years, various members of the Tintin cast and crew have promised various release dates for a supposed sequel to the Steven Spielberg animation. The last we heard was that the film follow-up would be called Tintin and the Temple of the Sun and would be helmed by Peter Jackson as soon as he wrapped on another ‘secret’ project with Amblin. With no sign of that one, never mind Tintin, we have our doubts.
3. Pirates of the Caribbean
Last seen: Dead Men Tell No Tales (2017)
This one’s a franchise that just won’t die, despite the efforts of its cast and crew. A four year gap separated films three and four, with a further six years passing before last year’s fifth. Dead Men Tell No Tales closed on a would-be cliffhanger and performed well at the worldwide box office – if not nearly as well as its predecessor. Joachim Rønning is the rumoured director but there’s no confirmation yet.
4. The Goonies
Last seen: The Goonies (1985)
There’s a reason everyone was stunned when the director of the original Goonies film, Richard Donner, announced his plans for a sequel back in 2014, that being that it’s totally unnecessary. Only last year Sean Astin fuelled the flames by suggesting ‘it’s likely’ but no, no it isn’t.
Last seen: Shrek Forever After (2010)
When it was announced that the fourth Shrek film would be titled: Forever After, it seemed clear that DreamWorks were closing the franchise’s final chapter. Except, six years later, NBCUniversal stumped up $3.8bn to buy the animation studio and decided to revive the franchise. The Boss Baby‘s Michael McCullers has hinted that the new film will reinvent the series, whilst Eddie Murphy – who voices Donkey – recons we’ll be seeing Shrek 5 by 2020.
6. Fantastic Four
Last seen: Fantastic Four (2015)
20th Century Fox had announced a Fantastic Four sequel before the first in their reboot franchise it was even released, cursing the film in the process to critical and commercial failure. The sequel disappeared from Fox’s release schedule within months and then Disney moved to buy Fox. Even if they don’t, we think this iteration is history.
Likelihood: 1/10 – although the team will 10/10 return to try again someday
7. The Matrix
Last seen: The Matrix Revolutions (2003)
Viewed as a trilogy, The Matrix films were a franchise that just kept giving…less. If you thought it was all over, then perhaps think again. After years of speculation, rumours arose last year that a relaunch was being developed for the franchise, likely dumping its creators – the Wachowski brothers – in the process. This is worryingly plausible.