Four the last time…Geoff Boucher asks, EPR answers – give us another dude with fuzzy feet but let Spidey, Jack, and the Mutants go their separate ways.

LA Times’ Geoff Boucher posed the following question on his web log: which of these films should not  add a fourth installment to the franchise – LOTR, Spidey, Jack Sparrow, Hombres Equis?  A gratuitous and rhetorical question really, short answer being whichever would lose money.  But EPR has never been one for short answers.  Hence, thus, and obviously therefore… he provided Geoff with the following response:

Foot Merkin...the Prequel

Foot Merkin...the Prequel

Estimado Compañero Jefe: The question posed appears to be backwards. The issue is less about which franchise should fade away (this assumes the other three all deserve to sail forward) but rather which single franchise should in fact continue (this suggests that the remaining three soap operas should ride off into the blissful post-celluloid sunset of DVD rentals, cable reruns, and eternally attenuating residuals…which they should). That being said, the Lord of the Rings “franchise” is the only one that makes any sense whatsoever. This is because there is actually a book to base it on and – more importantly – nothing else. As the fourth (well, first) and final book of the Hobbit/LOTR epic, a Hobbit project is a logical prequel to LOTR and unless the lost works of JRR Tolkien are suddenly unearthed, the audience can achieve a sense closure with the series. Pirates is simply played out. Each installment was entertaining but painfully forced. X-Men has already abandoned the core franchise in favor of spinoffs so what point would there be in getting the gang back together? And Spiderman…well…if people are going to keep paying money to see over-budget pieces of poop… you certainly can’t blame Raimi et al. for continuing to make them… but I would vote they put Spidey out to pasture. With a glut of superhero movies in the pipeline – most of which will probably be better than any 4th incarnation of Peter Parker – Spiderman’s only guaranteed audience is the extreme Stan Lee stalker / Comic-Con types and the little kids who like the Happy Meals – two categories that are not mutually exclusive, so beware of double counting. Moreover, LOTR has continued to build momentum (critical as well as box office) while the others seem to be withering on the vine – a lucrative vine – but not a pretty one to look at. Finally, LOTR fans are big dorks of the highest caliber (and I say that with pure admiration). They will go ape for another flick if only for the opportunity to love it or hate it or spend many celibate nights debating its fidelity to the book.


~ by El Pollo Rico on October 6, 2009.

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