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C'mon Hollywood: Enough with trilogies!

Aug. 7, 2012by: Paul Shirey

With the recent announcement of Peter Jackson extending his recently wrapped two-part THE HOBBIT into a trilogy, I was left scratching my head as to why it was necessary.  They tackled the production from the start with two films in mind and executed it as such.  Jackson knew he’d want to pack as many details in it as he could, so he gave himself an extra film to do his thing, even stretching the story out to include characters, battles, etc., not in the original book.  Totally respectable, given Jackson’s handling of the LOTR trilogy.  But with production wrapped and the sudden desire to film another chapter, I have to wonder if this trilogy business hasn’t gotten out of control. 

Before I launch into this, let’s look at the obvious; trilogies are made, predominantly, as a means to make lots and lots of money.  In being able to reuse sets, retain actors over a longer period of time, and continue shooting without any breaks, a production is able to extend itself without having to restart, thereby milking out another flick or two and saving mad money in an effort to MAKE mad money.

A trilogy, by definition, is “a group of three dramatic or literary works related in subject or theme,” which can be loosely interpreted, meaning that three films can be considered a trilogy as long as they feature a minimum of similarities, but don’t necessarily have to relate in story from one to the next. 

Well, I call bullshit on that. 

Whatever happened to just making a good movie?  The first DIE HARD wasn’t made to be a trilogy.  Nor was JURASSIC PARK or THE TERMINATOR or THE MATRIX or fill-in-the-blank-movie-that-has-at-least-two-sequels.  It’s not that the writer/director didn’t have it in their head that MAYBE the story could or should continue in a specific direction, but the notion was simply to make the best movie they could, rather than make one third of a good film with more to follow.

What ends up happening with trilogies is that movies start being turned into serialized entertainment, much like a TV show, rather than a single body of work within a standard time frame.  Why can’t we just sit down and enjoy a good movie from start of finish with a beginning, middle, and end?  Yeah, business is booming and Hollywood wants to squeeze every last drop of money from our pockets.  I’m fine with that, as long as the entertainment is worth it.  But, throwing out the word “trilogy” for every new film that has potential for one is getting ridiculous. 

It’s pretty arrogant to think that every film is good enough to earn that mantra.  Instead of proving their mettle at the box office, filmmakers are now announcing their new projects AS a trilogy, as if they’re guaranteed to be a box office smash.  STAR WARS: EPISODE IV may have had a lengthier series of stories in Lucas’ head, but it wasn’t a guarantee they’d see the light of day until Episode IV lit the box office on fire, thereby EARNING the right to tell the whole tale.

I’m not against trilogies.  Far from it. However, I think that a trilogy should be defined by certain criteria and it should start with making a great initial entry first.  Obviously, the box office will determine if there will be more.  If the initial film is successful, then great, by all means, continue with the plans to make a trilogy, but approach it on a one-by-one basis with a story that flows from one to the next, rather than just a series of films with the same character in a familiar setting, but nothing tying them together.  That’s not a trilogy, that’s a franchise or series, which can mix and match any number of themes, settings, storylines, etc.

The argument could be made that it’s just semantics.  What a trilogy means to me isn’t the same to you, etc., etc.  And I can relent that to an extent.  But DIE HARD 2 had nothing to do with the first, third, or fourth film other than theme alone, which does not make it part of a trilogy.   The same can be said for INDIANA JONES, ALIEN, SPIDER-MAN, BLADE, MISSION:IMPOSSIBLE, etc.  They all have sequels, which exist outside of a continuous story that flows from one film to the next, ending in a final THIRD chapter. 

I loved THE LORD OF THE RINGS films and am thankful the series was told in trilogy form (and I prefer the director’s cuts to all of those films), but I think its “trilogy effect” has had a negative impact on Hollywood.  LOTR worked because it was based on specific literary works, each of which had a three-act structure rooted in each book/film. 

The BACK TO THE FUTURE series is another great trilogy, as is STAR WARS and a few select more.  I look forward to seeing more as long as they’re actually tied together and not a cash grab, dragging out a story that could be told in one movie.

Let’s get back to the business of making one good film to start.  Earn your trilogy first, Hollywood.  It’s not a given.

Extra Tidbit: What's your favorite "trilogy?" I'm sticking with LOTR, as I feel it's the most consistent and representative of a true trilogy. Star Wars is a close second, with Back to the Future sliding into third
Source: JoBlo.com

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3:25PM on 08/08/2012
1) STAR WARS
2) Indiana Jones (its a fucking trilogy, nothing more)
3) Back to the Future
4) TDK
5) LOTR

1) STAR WARS
2) Indiana Jones (its a fucking trilogy, nothing more)
3) Back to the Future
4) TDK
5) LOTR

Your Reply:



3:17PM on 08/08/2012
1. Mad Max
2. TDK
3. LOTR
4. Soon to be "Three Flavors Cornetto"
1. Mad Max
2. TDK
3. LOTR
4. Soon to be "Three Flavors Cornetto"
Your Reply:



10:13AM on 08/08/2012

The More Hobbit the Merrier

The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit are different from all other movie series because these two trilogies have something in common that no other movie series can lay claim to: a single story told in 3 parts. Not 3 loosely connected stories with the same characters. One story told in 3 parts. We set out to destroy the ring? Not going to happen for like 10 fucking hours and that's two movies away. We set out to destroy Smaug? That's at least one and maybe two movies away. Hell, we're not
The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit are different from all other movie series because these two trilogies have something in common that no other movie series can lay claim to: a single story told in 3 parts. Not 3 loosely connected stories with the same characters. One story told in 3 parts. We set out to destroy the ring? Not going to happen for like 10 fucking hours and that's two movies away. We set out to destroy Smaug? That's at least one and maybe two movies away. Hell, we're not even going to get there in the first movie.

The Hobbit has been expanded to 3 films, I imagine because a rough cut of There and Back Again came in well north of 4 hours. Don't think for a minute though, that each one of these films won't be at the 3 hour mark. The theatrical cut of King Kong was 3 hours and 7 minutes for fuck's sake and it didn't even have 15 main characters to deal with (Bilbo, Gandalf, and 13 Dwarfs).
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-1
1:00AM on 08/08/2012
(1)The Dark Knight
(2) LOTR
(3) TGF
(4) Toy Story
(5) Back To the Future
(1)The Dark Knight
(2) LOTR
(3) TGF
(4) Toy Story
(5) Back To the Future
Your Reply:



11:49PM on 08/07/2012
Although I'm certain that there are people who will disagree with me, I don't feel the act of making two sequels that follow a commercially successful film, automatically makes it a trilogy. In my mind a trilogy is a story that is told in three parts. You mentioned two great ones, Lord of the Rings and Star Wars; another one is The Godfather. Back to the Future doesn't really seem like trilogy to me although it may technically be one. It's a great series of films that feature the same
Although I'm certain that there are people who will disagree with me, I don't feel the act of making two sequels that follow a commercially successful film, automatically makes it a trilogy. In my mind a trilogy is a story that is told in three parts. You mentioned two great ones, Lord of the Rings and Star Wars; another one is The Godfather. Back to the Future doesn't really seem like trilogy to me although it may technically be one. It's a great series of films that feature the same characters, but I can't imagine that Back to the Future was originally conceived as a 3 part story. I think there are quite a few film franchises, but not that many true trilogies.
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10:56PM on 08/07/2012
I like em!!! My fav 3'somes: 1: LOTR Extended Cuts 2: Star Wars: Originals and 3: Dark Knight Trilogy.
I like em!!! My fav 3'somes: 1: LOTR Extended Cuts 2: Star Wars: Originals and 3: Dark Knight Trilogy.
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9:28PM on 08/07/2012
The Original Trilogy: Perfect example of why this article is wrong.
The Prequel Trilogy: Perfect example of why this article is right.
The Original Trilogy: Perfect example of why this article is wrong.
The Prequel Trilogy: Perfect example of why this article is right.
Your Reply:



12:29AM on 08/08/2012
And bashing the Prequels will officially get old in 5...4...3...2...oh wait, it got old 6 years ago. Never-mind.
And bashing the Prequels will officially get old in 5...4...3...2...oh wait, it got old 6 years ago. Never-mind.
7:47AM on 08/08/2012
Bashing the prequels will never get old!! They deserve every bit of bashing they get.
Bashing the prequels will never get old!! They deserve every bit of bashing they get.
8:36PM on 08/07/2012
Whenever the second "Before Sunrise" sequel comes out, that's my favorite trilogy. "Before Twilight"?
Whenever the second "Before Sunrise" sequel comes out, that's my favorite trilogy. "Before Twilight"?
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7:03PM on 08/07/2012
I'm not really sure this article has much to do with trilogies. Most movie series aren't trilogies any more (Indy, Bourne, Pirates, etc). Sure studios hope a big film will be successful so they can make money from sequels, but I don't find that as bad as all the reboots/remakes that happen these days, those are worse offenders.

I kinda get what you're trying to say, however. Take Snow White and the Huntsman. The film was ok, but the ending was rather lame b/c you could tell they were
I'm not really sure this article has much to do with trilogies. Most movie series aren't trilogies any more (Indy, Bourne, Pirates, etc). Sure studios hope a big film will be successful so they can make money from sequels, but I don't find that as bad as all the reboots/remakes that happen these days, those are worse offenders.

I kinda get what you're trying to say, however. Take Snow White and the Huntsman. The film was ok, but the ending was rather lame b/c you could tell they were planning for a seqeul. Same with some of the underused characters (like the dwarves) that weren't given much to do in the first film. As a result, I'm only mildly interested in sequels because the first film didn't fully impress me b/c they were trying to hard to set up a trilogy.
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+1
5:49PM on 08/07/2012
I love trilogies-dont diss!!!
I love trilogies-dont diss!!!
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4:48PM on 08/07/2012
While I agree that movies shouldn't arbitrarily be made into three movies, I also don't necessarily want to sit through a five hour hobbit, and it would be hard for me to come out against making trilogies as a broad concept, when Christopher Nolan just finished w/ one of the greatest trilogies of all time.
While I agree that movies shouldn't arbitrarily be made into three movies, I also don't necessarily want to sit through a five hour hobbit, and it would be hard for me to come out against making trilogies as a broad concept, when Christopher Nolan just finished w/ one of the greatest trilogies of all time.
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4:28PM on 08/07/2012
I think you miss the point of some classic movies. The point of a movie trilogy is to show the progression of the story on a long term basis instead of just a single movie. Many of the movie trilogies that were listed were following the lives of the main character whether it be indiana jones in his pursuit of lost treasures or ripley's unending battle with the zenomorphs. The point of a trilogy is to expand on that character so that the original movie is viewed not just as a singular story but
I think you miss the point of some classic movies. The point of a movie trilogy is to show the progression of the story on a long term basis instead of just a single movie. Many of the movie trilogies that were listed were following the lives of the main character whether it be indiana jones in his pursuit of lost treasures or ripley's unending battle with the zenomorphs. The point of a trilogy is to expand on that character so that the original movie is viewed not just as a singular story but part of a larger story telling of the lives of those characters within the movie. The only way a movie stops being a trilogy is when it no longer truly features any of the original characters and just follows an idea with little else in common with it. That is what partially screwed up star wars to some extent. The original one felt so out of place with the original star wars that people felt it had almost no connection. It took at least 2 more movies to finally build the story together to complete it thus completeing the story. Even then there was never a complete story with some fragments missing, The point is trilogies should not be viewed the same as other single movies because you are judging something based on pieces of the pie instead of the pie itself. When you judge the whole thing together its either good or bad but judging it by itself is just generally flawed. Besides I thing you are forgetting that when lotr was released they had to cut hour endless hours of extra footage just to make proper time requirements for the movies. This way peter jackson doesn't have to do a seperate version. He can stack in all the extra footage he wants and put it into 3 great movies. That way when you see it you only have to see one version instead of 2 versions with another having almost 2 hours of extra footage per movie.
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3:58PM on 08/07/2012

Trilogies are Extinct

Franchises have taken over the market. George Lucas killed trilogies. We now have reboots, spin-offs, prequels, sequels and re-imagings. I am lucky to see 1 decent movie from Hollywood, let alone 3. It is all about $$$, just ask Marvel. They pumped out very mediocre movies - Iron Man 2, Capt & Thor just to get to Avengers, which was just above mediocre. Also, do we really need a trilogy to complete the "incredible" story of the Transformers??? Even Pixar has gone to the $$ well. I can bet Pixar
Franchises have taken over the market. George Lucas killed trilogies. We now have reboots, spin-offs, prequels, sequels and re-imagings. I am lucky to see 1 decent movie from Hollywood, let alone 3. It is all about $$$, just ask Marvel. They pumped out very mediocre movies - Iron Man 2, Capt & Thor just to get to Avengers, which was just above mediocre. Also, do we really need a trilogy to complete the "incredible" story of the Transformers??? Even Pixar has gone to the $$ well. I can bet Pixar didn't plan a trilogy w/ Toy Story, but $$ sure played a part in it. Blame Twilight for making 3 books into 4 movies...the Harry Potter franchise is guilty as well as Hunger Games now. So why wouldn't Peter Jackson milk the hell out of this thing - we will all pay to see them. Welcome to the Suck!!!
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3:15PM on 08/07/2012
Choosing a favorite trilogy is too hard. I guess the best way for me to decide is choosing the trilogies where all three movies could compete for the best of the three. I would go with Toy Story, Dark Knight, and Indiana Jones. I know a handful of people would argue Temple of Doom wasn't as good as the other Raiders and Crusade but I personally think it is.
Choosing a favorite trilogy is too hard. I guess the best way for me to decide is choosing the trilogies where all three movies could compete for the best of the three. I would go with Toy Story, Dark Knight, and Indiana Jones. I know a handful of people would argue Temple of Doom wasn't as good as the other Raiders and Crusade but I personally think it is.
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2:28PM on 08/07/2012
I have tried to look at trilogies as the three acts needed to tell a much larger story. Sadly that is rarely the case. Something tends to go wrong when the story telling is stretched over an increasingly long amount of time, which is why we tend to get less than stellar third entries most of the time.
Now maybe I'm naive, or perhaps not as jaded about the ever present and evil "Hollywood" out to grab me by the ankles, hang me upside-down, and shake the money from my pockets every time I leave
I have tried to look at trilogies as the three acts needed to tell a much larger story. Sadly that is rarely the case. Something tends to go wrong when the story telling is stretched over an increasingly long amount of time, which is why we tend to get less than stellar third entries most of the time.
Now maybe I'm naive, or perhaps not as jaded about the ever present and evil "Hollywood" out to grab me by the ankles, hang me upside-down, and shake the money from my pockets every time I leave my house. But when I hear about the new Hobbit trilogy all I can think of is the ridiculously talented crew getting a chance to create more art regardless of what the men-in-suits may be concocting behind closed doors.
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2:13PM on 08/07/2012

Disagree

When it's nothing more than a cash grab (see: chipmunks) then, sure, trilogies are bad. However just because it wasn't intended to be a threesome isn't necessarily a bad thing. Sure, some may ignore/barely reference moments in the last one or two films, but it is about the story arc of the character, broken up over three long acts. As for Hobbit, much of the content may not be in the book, but they are taken from referenced events (Gandalf seeking out the Necromancer) or tidbits from the many
When it's nothing more than a cash grab (see: chipmunks) then, sure, trilogies are bad. However just because it wasn't intended to be a threesome isn't necessarily a bad thing. Sure, some may ignore/barely reference moments in the last one or two films, but it is about the story arc of the character, broken up over three long acts. As for Hobbit, much of the content may not be in the book, but they are taken from referenced events (Gandalf seeking out the Necromancer) or tidbits from the many pages of appendices and notes from Tolkein himself. If he made it a la Zack Snyder, it would not fit very well with LOTR since it was written for a different audience in a different time. Elongating it to make it compliment the other trilogy is anything but "c'mon" worthy.
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3:05PM on 08/07/2012
The discussion isn't just about The Hobbit. That's merely the catalyst for the article. Time will tell if Jackson has enough to stretch two films into three and if it pays off. I'm a fan of the series, so I hope it works out, but I'm just not sold on the idea. We'll see.
The discussion isn't just about The Hobbit. That's merely the catalyst for the article. Time will tell if Jackson has enough to stretch two films into three and if it pays off. I'm a fan of the series, so I hope it works out, but I'm just not sold on the idea. We'll see.
2:00PM on 08/07/2012

Extra Tidbit

1. The Dark Knight
2. Toy Story
3. Back to the Future
1. The Dark Knight
2. Toy Story
3. Back to the Future
Your Reply:



12:35PM on 08/07/2012

Not so great Article

Yeah, I totally disagree with JoBlo's point. There's absolutely nothing wrong with trilogies if they make sense story-wise. Genre sites like JoBlo kill me because whenever something goes commercial or becomes popular, they immediately start hating on it (for hate sake alone). Contrary to popular fanboy belief, movies are not made to just satisfy you. That's a job to alot of people, and a trilogy is job security to alot of people. I can count on two hands how many "trilogies" started out in the
Yeah, I totally disagree with JoBlo's point. There's absolutely nothing wrong with trilogies if they make sense story-wise. Genre sites like JoBlo kill me because whenever something goes commercial or becomes popular, they immediately start hating on it (for hate sake alone). Contrary to popular fanboy belief, movies are not made to just satisfy you. That's a job to alot of people, and a trilogy is job security to alot of people. I can count on two hands how many "trilogies" started out in the board room as a trilogy. Most movies that are successful generally want to repeat that success. And there's nothing wrong with that. It's a business first and foremost and if one forgets that, they will get their feelings hurt (as this article suggests).

FAVS:
01.LOTR
02.SW: Ep 4-6
03.Matrix
04.Transformers
05.Marvels "Marvel Universe"
Your Reply:



2:49PM on 08/07/2012
It's interesting that you say you disagree, yet the points in your response are all exactly what I've already said in the article. "There's absolutely nothing wrong with trilogies if they make sense story-wise" In the article, I state, "If the initial film is successful, then great, by all means, continue with the plans to make a trilogy, but approach it on a one-by-one basis with a story that flows from one to the next, rather than just a series of films with the same character in a familiar
It's interesting that you say you disagree, yet the points in your response are all exactly what I've already said in the article. "There's absolutely nothing wrong with trilogies if they make sense story-wise" In the article, I state, "If the initial film is successful, then great, by all means, continue with the plans to make a trilogy, but approach it on a one-by-one basis with a story that flows from one to the next, rather than just a series of films with the same character in a familiar setting, but nothing tying them together."

As for "hating on" trilogies, I said, "I’m not against trilogies. Far from it. However, I think that a trilogy should be defined by certain criteria and it should start with making a great initial entry first." That's not jumping on a "hater" train without paying the fare, kemosabe.

And, lastly, your "money" point. Let's review from the article once again; "trilogies are made, predominantly, as a means to make lots and lots of money. In being able to reuse sets, retain actors over a longer period of time, and continue shooting without any breaks, a production is able to extend itself without having to restart, thereby milking out another flick or two and saving mad money in an effort to MAKE mad money."

Does that sound like I'm confused about the filmmaking process? I'm curious if you even read the article based on the response and just decided to launch into a diatribe. I'm all for healthy debate, but regurgitating the points made in the article and saying you disagree, when it seems that you actually DO agree is rather perplexing.


12:21PM on 08/07/2012

Great article

Makes me think of how Amazing Spider-Man was so busy setting up its trilogy, they neglected getting the first movie right. Instead it's just a big pile of meh and I could care less about the inevitable sequels thanks to that movie being so generic and lame.

One of the best comments I ever read online was this: Stand alone, stand proud, give the audience a good time and don't skimp on the good stuff. All the best trilogies - or sequels, really - follow this very philosophy.

As for faves:
Makes me think of how Amazing Spider-Man was so busy setting up its trilogy, they neglected getting the first movie right. Instead it's just a big pile of meh and I could care less about the inevitable sequels thanks to that movie being so generic and lame.

One of the best comments I ever read online was this: Stand alone, stand proud, give the audience a good time and don't skimp on the good stuff. All the best trilogies - or sequels, really - follow this very philosophy.

As for faves: Toy Story, LOTR, Back to The Future, original Star Wars trilogy, Indy (there were only 3 in my mind).
Your Reply:



12:32AM on 08/08/2012
How exactly does LOTR follow that philosophy?
How exactly does LOTR follow that philosophy?
11:01AM on 08/07/2012

Though I hate trilogies for the opposite reason...

...both ways kind of meld together into the same problem. So many movies are begging to be franchises, like Indiana Jones or Star Wars, Jurassic Park, Matrix and countless others. Simply create a great, new, fresh story with the same characters. But studios love to drag to AND stop at the 3rd.

And don't get me started on films based on comic books. Here you have a source in many cases dating back 60+ years, with a mythology spanning billions upon billions of pages of material... yet you
...both ways kind of meld together into the same problem. So many movies are begging to be franchises, like Indiana Jones or Star Wars, Jurassic Park, Matrix and countless others. Simply create a great, new, fresh story with the same characters. But studios love to drag to AND stop at the 3rd.

And don't get me started on films based on comic books. Here you have a source in many cases dating back 60+ years, with a mythology spanning billions upon billions of pages of material... yet you adapt that into 8 hours, and stop quickly just because 3 is a nice cute number? And how many comic book 3quels felt hastily and forcefully halted to a semi-final crappy "conclusion" by the end, whilst cramming as much as possible before "the end," and tarnishing the whole film itself along the way? I hope (and think) Marvel knows what they are doing now, as I believe the MCU continuity will last literally forever (as it should). This of course adds extra pressure to get it exactly right the first time, without the precious option of a reboot, but that is a good thing.

Oh yeah, fuck trilogies. If you can make another good film, do it. If you can't make another good film, don't. Don't worry what "number" it will be, and don't let that factor into the film itself.
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+2
10:52AM on 08/07/2012

ET

1) Dark Knight
2) Star Wars
3) Back to the Future
1) Dark Knight
2) Star Wars
3) Back to the Future
Your Reply:



-2
10:46AM on 08/07/2012

Agreed

Honestly I have mixed feelings about The Hobbit right now. I love the LOTR, but I don't understand why 2 movies were necessary. One big fun Hobbit adaptation would have sufficed. The world of Middle-Earth has already been established and the book's story is short and to the point. Shoehorning new segments to link it to the rest of LOTR felt wrong to me. I feel like the film's focus will shift from Biblo's adventure with Gandalf to a whole bunch of other "bigger" Middle-Earth/One Ring things
Honestly I have mixed feelings about The Hobbit right now. I love the LOTR, but I don't understand why 2 movies were necessary. One big fun Hobbit adaptation would have sufficed. The world of Middle-Earth has already been established and the book's story is short and to the point. Shoehorning new segments to link it to the rest of LOTR felt wrong to me. I feel like the film's focus will shift from Biblo's adventure with Gandalf to a whole bunch of other "bigger" Middle-Earth/One Ring things leaving the core of the story to be lost in the mix.
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11:01PM on 08/07/2012
Jackson's Middle Earth is so big bold and gorgeous I could watch 10 more movies set in Middle Earth.
Jackson's Middle Earth is so big bold and gorgeous I could watch 10 more movies set in Middle Earth.
+11
10:43AM on 08/07/2012

This is a bit contradictory though.

I mean I get it. I'm not always a fan of how films are instantly introduced as "franchises" instead of films. As much as I love the Marvel movies (and I really do), other than Iron Man, a few of them do feel like they're just getting the origin stories out of the way so they can move on to the bigger money raking franchise fair.

However what you're saying here, is that you love trilogies that exist as a continuing narrative, but hate that film-makers set out to make a three arc narrative
I mean I get it. I'm not always a fan of how films are instantly introduced as "franchises" instead of films. As much as I love the Marvel movies (and I really do), other than Iron Man, a few of them do feel like they're just getting the origin stories out of the way so they can move on to the bigger money raking franchise fair.

However what you're saying here, is that you love trilogies that exist as a continuing narrative, but hate that film-makers set out to make a three arc narrative from the beginning and want them to make one good film first and make a sequel based on it's success. Can you see how that contradicts itself a little bit?

Essentially what you're saying with this article is that you want film-makers to make a one off successful and complete film, and if they earn themselves a cash grab sequel, find some way to spin it so that it ties in with the original film's narrative. But not even Nolan did that with the Batman movies, they were contracted as a trilogy originally. I mean the Back to the Future sequels only work so well because they completely fluked themselves into an open ending where they COULD go into other possibilities. If you want a good strong narrative based trilogy of movies, you have to at least give some sort of thought about where you'd like the characters to go past the first movie, you can't expect film-makers to just make the first movie and hope there's enough questions left at the end to answer in two more. That's what leads to sequels that just keep certain characters in entirely new situations, which apparently you're not a fan of.

Also I hate to break it to you but Indiana Jones, Alien, Die Hard, Mission: Impossible, Terminator and Star Wars aren't trilogies anymore, and haven't been for years now., as much as we'd all like to forget that for most of them. They are simply franchises, which you should be happy about as they all now fall outside of your complaints of trilogies without a connected narrative.

(Also how can you say that the Spider-Man movies don't count as an on-going narrative when Harry Osborn has this massive arc throughout the three movies?)
Your Reply:



3:01PM on 08/07/2012
@Guy..."However what you're saying here, is that you love trilogies that exist as a continuing narrative, but hate that film-makers set out to make a three arc narrative from the beginning and want them to make one good film first and make a sequel based on it's success."

Yes and no. You're missing the point. I would rather filmmakers set out to make a great film first. I don't give a shit how the do it. Whether they throw in bits that would relate to a part two or a part three is up
@Guy..."However what you're saying here, is that you love trilogies that exist as a continuing narrative, but hate that film-makers set out to make a three arc narrative from the beginning and want them to make one good film first and make a sequel based on it's success."

Yes and no. You're missing the point. I would rather filmmakers set out to make a great film first. I don't give a shit how the do it. Whether they throw in bits that would relate to a part two or a part three is up to them, but I want to see a solid, cohesive film with a three-act structure. Not a three act structure stretched out between three films.

What has traditionally happened is that the filmmakers will throw out the notion that they will potentially do a trilogy based on the success of the first film, then film 2-3 back-to-back as a cost-saving measure. It makes sense on the books, but the films suffer as a result (in my opinion). I think Pirates of the Caribbean is a perfect example of this (which has now gone on to continue beyond it's "trilogy,").

As for Alien, Indy, Die Hard, etc., they may have gone on to become franchises with a fourth (almost universally lackluster) or fifth entry, but at some point in time were referred to and even packages as trilogies, which was just bullshit. The only similarity they had in terms of narrative was a few of the same characters popping up here and there.

The Spider-Man films had a decent enough narrative structure, but aside from Harry's weak arc and Peter and MJ's on/off again romance, what else was there? Plus, they were two shakes from a lamb's tail in making a fourth with the same crew. Instead we got the snooze fest that was TASM.

The main point of all of this is that the focus should be in making ONE GOOD FILM to start, rather than looking at all the other things you want to do in part 2 and part 3. What if the first one is a flop? Then, you're looking at it going, "Man, I wish I would've gone for it with the first one. Now, I'll never get the chance again."

Case in point: John Carter. Now, I don't know how far Andrew Stanton intended to go (and don't recall the word trilogy being thrown around, only sequel), but he mentioned in many interviews that he had big plans to dive into so much more of the Barsoom universe. However, the film flopped (and I loved it), so now we are stuck with just the one film. I have to wonder what Stanton would've done with the film had he known a sequel would never be in the cards...
10:09AM on 08/07/2012
Most movie trilogies aren't trilogies, they're just three movies.
Most movie trilogies aren't trilogies, they're just three movies.
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9:46AM on 08/07/2012
I totally agree, there are some stories out there that are worthwhile to tell within three films, and then you can tell which are the ones that were made due to the fact that the studios just simply want another hit with the same characters they used before that were successful.
I totally agree, there are some stories out there that are worthwhile to tell within three films, and then you can tell which are the ones that were made due to the fact that the studios just simply want another hit with the same characters they used before that were successful.
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9:31AM on 08/07/2012
I like the way movies work in the past. I mean, they don't need to make trilogy all the time - just continue to make great movies. For example, Lethal Weapon - I don't think Richard Donner wanted to make trilogy in the first place. It's an action movie. It doesn't need to be "Trilogy" - just more movies for the characters Riggs and Murtaugh. As for Robocop 3, in my defense, I first watched it when I was in 5th grade and who didn't jump out of their seats with joy seeing Robocop and his
I like the way movies work in the past. I mean, they don't need to make trilogy all the time - just continue to make great movies. For example, Lethal Weapon - I don't think Richard Donner wanted to make trilogy in the first place. It's an action movie. It doesn't need to be "Trilogy" - just more movies for the characters Riggs and Murtaugh. As for Robocop 3, in my defense, I first watched it when I was in 5th grade and who didn't jump out of their seats with joy seeing Robocop and his jet-pack? That was awesome. But yeah, Robocop 3 pales in comparison to Robocop 1 & 2.
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9:05AM on 08/07/2012

Concerning Hobbits

I was at TheOneRing.net the other day and came across an article from a fella that pretty much hit the nail on the head so to speak concerning what Mr Jackson may have install for us viewers in regards to the Hobbit trilogy. Now its only a theory but its a damn good read hopfully itll put minds at ease. If this is close to what he has cooking in the Middle Earth cooking pot then big fat juicy FUCK YES. [link]more-60354
I was at TheOneRing.net the other day and came across an article from a fella that pretty much hit the nail on the head so to speak concerning what Mr Jackson may have install for us viewers in regards to the Hobbit trilogy. Now its only a theory but its a damn good read hopfully itll put minds at ease. If this is close to what he has cooking in the Middle Earth cooking pot then big fat juicy FUCK YES. [link]more-60354
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12:05PM on 08/07/2012
If Thomas Monteath is correct about what Peter Jackson's planning for The Hobbit trilogy, then my respect for him, and my anticipation for this trilogy, just went through the freakin' roof!
If Thomas Monteath is correct about what Peter Jackson's planning for The Hobbit trilogy, then my respect for him, and my anticipation for this trilogy, just went through the freakin' roof!
8:46AM on 08/07/2012
Purely in the case of Robocop, but perhaps more widely with films of that time period, there was no trilogy. They made one great film, they made another fun film and then they made a turkey. Trilogies weren't the be all and end all of cinema back then like they are these days, which is sort of the point of the article (or at least the whole trilogy issue). Trllogies handled well can tell an epic story with more scale. I don't hate the Matrix sequels, they just weren't what everyone was
Purely in the case of Robocop, but perhaps more widely with films of that time period, there was no trilogy. They made one great film, they made another fun film and then they made a turkey. Trilogies weren't the be all and end all of cinema back then like they are these days, which is sort of the point of the article (or at least the whole trilogy issue). Trllogies handled well can tell an epic story with more scale. I don't hate the Matrix sequels, they just weren't what everyone was expecting. Pirates Of The Caribbean on the other hand was the definition of a badly handled trilogy. The first film found an audience then the next two films screwed that audience. The fourth wasn't too bad in many ways, but Pirates 2 and 3 were a mess, designed to fabricate a trilogy without a sufficient story. Milking unnecessary films and the desire to have boxed sets to sell at Christmas is what motivates the current trilogy obsession, rarely telling a worthwhile story. I'm not sure how much this will apply to the Hobbit though, as I think Jackson has a lot of integrity and respect for the subject matter.
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7:02AM on 08/07/2012

Peter Jackson did not have a "the sudden desire to film another chapter"

He had a sudden desire to "make a shitload more money".
He had a sudden desire to "make a shitload more money".
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4:17AM on 08/07/2012

It works both ways

For every sequel that was stretched into two movies to make a trilogy (Robocop 2 and Matrix Reloaded) there have been movies that could have been two films and had too much story for one movie but were made as a single movie to complete a trilogy (Spiderman 3 and X-Men 3). I think with sudios making a lot of money out of Harry Potter and Twilight that they can see how a good franchise doesn't have to stop at three films. I mean, we could have had Matrix 4, Robocop 4, Spiderman 4 and X-Men 4
For every sequel that was stretched into two movies to make a trilogy (Robocop 2 and Matrix Reloaded) there have been movies that could have been two films and had too much story for one movie but were made as a single movie to complete a trilogy (Spiderman 3 and X-Men 3). I think with sudios making a lot of money out of Harry Potter and Twilight that they can see how a good franchise doesn't have to stop at three films. I mean, we could have had Matrix 4, Robocop 4, Spiderman 4 and X-Men 4 and they could have all been good movies but the studios ruined all those franchises because they wanted trilogies.

Actually, I trust Peter Jackson. I don't think this was the studio telling him to make another movie. I think this was Jackson having another story to tell based on Tolkien's work.
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4:06AM on 08/07/2012
Well based on your formal definition of a true trilogy. I would probably put up Nolan's Dark Knight Trilogy up there, but I would agree with Back to the Future & LOTR,never really been into Star Wars. To me Indiana Jones should still count as a trilogy, I think we can all eliminate Crystal Skull from the list.

If you wanna go the full blown Anthology then I would include the entire Harry Potter series & yes I realized they changed & left out a bunch from the books. Yet the whole series had a
Well based on your formal definition of a true trilogy. I would probably put up Nolan's Dark Knight Trilogy up there, but I would agree with Back to the Future & LOTR,never really been into Star Wars. To me Indiana Jones should still count as a trilogy, I think we can all eliminate Crystal Skull from the list.

If you wanna go the full blown Anthology then I would include the entire Harry Potter series & yes I realized they changed & left out a bunch from the books. Yet the whole series had a beginning & a very satisfying end.

Also hoping the rest of the Girl With the Dragon Tattoo books get made also & while i loved the Swedish trilogy, they strayed too far from the books.
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3:29AM on 08/07/2012

Extra Tidbit

TOP 3 TRILOGIES

1. Back to the Future
2. Dark Knight
3. Bourne
TOP 3 TRILOGIES

1. Back to the Future
2. Dark Knight
3. Bourne
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3:20AM on 08/07/2012
While I disagree a bit on your ideas of a trilogy vs.franchise, I agree very much so with the core premise and why it is a problem.

Tidbit- The Toy Story Trilogy
While I disagree a bit on your ideas of a trilogy vs.franchise, I agree very much so with the core premise and why it is a problem.

Tidbit- The Toy Story Trilogy
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3:00AM on 08/07/2012
I'm going with Toy Story.
I'm going with Toy Story.
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2:36AM on 08/07/2012

As for fave trilogy...

My heart says Star Wars, my brain says The Dark Knight.
My heart says Star Wars, my brain says The Dark Knight.
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2:29AM on 08/07/2012

+1000

This is why Chris Nolan (and James Cameron for that matter) has yet to deliver a bad feature film, even as he tackles a trilogy. He understands what a movie is. A self-contained narrative and production told in a grander, yet intimate, medium. The Batman films have all been winners precisely because of this...they aren't reliant on one another, but instead complement each other. Most other trilogies fail this test. And at the end of each successive film, I was able to say to myself 'if
This is why Chris Nolan (and James Cameron for that matter) has yet to deliver a bad feature film, even as he tackles a trilogy. He understands what a movie is. A self-contained narrative and production told in a grander, yet intimate, medium. The Batman films have all been winners precisely because of this...they aren't reliant on one another, but instead complement each other. Most other trilogies fail this test. And at the end of each successive film, I was able to say to myself 'if thats the end of the story, I'm perfectly content with that.'

And in between these efforts Nolan has delivered two of the best original blockbusters in recent memory with 'The Prestige' and 'Inception.' Precisely the kind of projects I wish Hollywood would more readily embrace. Neither film will spawn sequels, because the story has been told, successfully, in the span of 150 minutes or less.

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