Well, it looks like The Expendables are done (for now) and things look quiet for the foreseeable future in terms of old-school action.
But surely there has to be SOME upcoming actioners that could have franchise potential?
Why yes, I do believe there are.
Let’s take a look at upcoming movies and see if they could be the next big action series.
Denzel Washington stars in this reboot of the 80’s TV series which frankly bears little resemblance to it. The film looks more like Taken with Denzel looking like he’s at his badass best. The story is about a former black ops commando who faked his death for a quiet life in Boston but comes out of his retirement to rescue a young girl and finds himself face to face with Russian gangsters. It looks like it should be hardcore stuff and will hopefully be nice and violent too. If it’s successful then it just might have a future as an adult-oriented franchise.
Michael Jai White has been talking about this project for a while, promising us that Falcon is an action hero for the new generation. Falcon Rising is the first installment in the CODENAME: FALCON franchise and introduces former marine John “Falcon” Chapman, a dark anti-hero driven by guilt and suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, who will destroy himself unless given something else to destroy – a useful weapon-of-last-resort for the U.S. State Department. When Chapman’s sister is brutally attacked while on assignment in Brazil, Chapman flies into Sao Paulo to track down her assailants, quickly entering the city’s seedy underbelly and discovering a world of drugs, the sex trade, corrupt cops, and organized crime syndicates battling for control.
From what we’ve seen so far, it looks like it’s going to have plenty of ass-kicking with MJW looking particularly ripped as well. Falcon Rising is meant to be the first part of a potential trilogy so fingers crossed it is awesome and a big hit. I’d love MJW to finally have his own franchise.
The November Man
Surprisingly enough, the studio has already green-lit a sequel to this new Pierce Brosnan movie and it isn’t even out yet. The plot involves an ex-CIA operative who is brought back in on a very personal mission and finds himself pitted against his former pupil in a deadly game involving high level CIA officials and the Russian president-elect.
It would be great for Brosnan to have another franchise under his belt, rather than just Bond. The movie hits theatres next week so we’ll see how the box office fares and if it has sequel potential.
Michael Fassbender will star in this highly anticipated videogame adaptation that we all hope won’t suck. The story is about a bartender who is captured by a large corporation and is forced into a machine, named “The Animus”, allowing him to relive the memories of his ancestors — Most of whom are Assassins — to retrieve powerful and dangerous artifacts.
I have high hopes as Fassbender is one of my favourite actors and rarely attaches himself to poor movies. I think this has “franchise” written all over it.
Another videogame adaptation, but it’s also a reboot after the unsuccessful Timothy Olyphant movie Hitman from 2007. Originally Paul Walker had been cast as the protagonist but since his tragic death, the role went to Rupert Friend. The supporting cast so far isn’t exactly blowing my skirt up so we’ll see if this is a hit or another failed videogame movie. I love the character of Agent 47 so hopefully they get the formula right this time.
I’m not sure if this could work as a franchise but with the cast including Tony Jaa, Dolph Lundgren, Ron Perlman, Michael Jai White and Peter Weller, we all want it to kick ass. Watching all these guys on screen together is already a mini-Expendables and is one of our most anticipated movies of 2015. The plot is about an NYC detective called Nick who goes to S.E. Asia and teams up with a Thai detective to get revenge after his family is killed by a Serbian gangster with international interests.
Olympus/London Has Fallen
Olympus Has Fallen was one of my favourite action movies of the past few years; it truly felt like a Die Hard sequel and I hope that the upcoming sequel London Has Fallen is just as good, if not better. It was announced the other day that the film now has a director in Fredrik Bond who has previously helmed Charlie Countryman in 2013.
With Gerard Butler, Aaron Eckhart, Angela Bassett, Radha Mitchell and Morgan Freeman returning as Secret Service agent Mike Banning, US President Benjamin Asher, Secret Service Director Lynn Jacobs, Leah Banning and Speaker Trumbull respectively, the sequel’s plot will see the characters headed to London to attend the funeral of our Prime Minister. World leaders from far and wide are in attendance, but it turns out that it’s all a dastardly scheme to get them in one place for a mass assassination and a seismic change to the world order. Only Banning, the Prez and a distrustful MI6 agent can put a stop to the madness.
A British Spy joining cast? Fingers crossed they cast Statham or Adkins.
If ever there’s a movie that probably didn’t need a sequel, it was Jason Statham’s Mechanic, however production is now underway and this time the story is as follows: Arthur Bishop thought he had put his murderous past behind him when his most formidable foe kidnaps the love of his life. Now he is forced to travel the globe to complete three impossible assassinations, and do what he does best, make them look like accidents.
Franchise material? Not sure but Statham is always watchable and needs a new franchise to pay the bills. I enjoyed The Mechanic so I’d be interested in seeing how this turns out.
I just did a blog about this the other day as I have high hopes for the reboot, mostly due to all the talent involved; With a cast that includes Alain Moussi, Dave Bautista, Scott Adkins, Tony Jaa and GSP, we just might have ourselves a new martial arts series. It would be great if this got a theatrical release and became a financial success. There aren’t enough martial arts movies in theatres today and until The Raid 3 comes along, we’ll need someone to keep bone-crunching alive. Alain Moussi said to me that he would love this to become a franchise with Kurt Sloan taking on different opponents each time.
In case you missed it, the story is about David and Kurt Sloan who are the descendants of a well-known Venice, California dynasty of champions. Both are top-notch fighters and athletes in the prime of their lives. When David wins the Karate World Championship, a promoter lures him to Hong Kong despite Kurt’s protests that the man is a crook. Not soon after, Kurt receives a letter from David and heads to Thailand to meet him. When he arrives, he discovers his brother is dead. The man responsible is the viscous Tong Po. Desperate to seek revenge, Kurt turns to Xian Chow, his brother’s former mentor. To defeat the man who killed his brother, Kurt must look within himself to find the strength and courage of a champion.
So fear not, lovers of all things violent; we still have plenty of other upcoming action movies. Some may end up better than others but anticipation is always the most fun anyway. Any of these you are really looking forward to?