Every third movie at your local studio is part of a Hollywood franchise.
That’s an exaggeration, but only a little.
Franchising reigns supreme in mainstream Hollywood. For example, you can change the actor playing Spider-Man, but the brand itself will last forever. And brand awareness is huge in the current movie market, the reason we’ll soon see movies based on Mattel dolls, Hot Wheels cars, and more spinoffs.
They, in turn, will become franchises if the box office stars match.
However, not all franchises are created equal.
The story of James Bond, as enduring as any story over the past 50 years, has never been more shaken. We don’t have the new 007 yet, and we may not have it for a while. Plus, there’s a good chance whoever gets chosen will lead to a heavier series than before.
The “Fast & Furious” story is clearly spent, say it creativelybut we will get two more installments of the same.
What about the MCU? That’s right, it kept generating cash, and spent it all. Every new movie reminds us how surpassing previous efforts still. And what is the purpose of the fourth phase of the MCU?
And then “Mission: Impossible.”
The story of a spy based on the classic TV series began in 1996, and the first three seasons proved effective rather than revealing. Tom Cruise’s Ethan Hunt has no shortage of Bond fanfare, no matter how many times he saves a day.
It’s just another action series, albeit helmed by its ever-young star.
Then Brad Bird, the man behind Pixar classics like “The Incredibles,” figured out the recipe. The 2011 hit “Mission: Impossible: Ghost Protocol” introduced Hunt’s support team – Simon Pegg and Ving Rhames – and took the action elements to Bondian levels.
Voila, the franchise found its voice after three attempts at the game. And it only grew stronger from there.
Why did Team Paramount give the green light to two new, remastered sequels to be released in 2023 and 2024?
It’s going to be tough to beat the incredible stunts seen in “Mission: Impossible – Fallout” 2018, but it would be nice if the trailer for the sequel, “Dead Reckoning Part One” didn’t just tease that.
So why does this franchise overwhelm the rest?
It begins with Cruise, an active non-political star who has kept his private life a secret (at least recently he was). Cruise is in charge of his cinematic destiny, and he meticulously selects the talent behind the scenes.
The two sequels to “M:I” are being directed by Christopher McQuarrie,” the man in charge behind the two sequels.
Plus, the new “M:I” formula gives the series a comic heart. Pegg is a nature scene stealer, and Rhames can come up with comedy and oomph in a single scene.
Add recurring players like Rebecca Ferguson and Vanessa Kirby, and you have a template built to last.
The New York Times recently called Cruise “the last real footager. We can’t say the same about his signature franchise.