The Secret To Keeping A Universe Fresh? Don't Worry So Much About Canon

A long-running franchise can accumulate a pretty complex and labyrinthine world after it's been around for decades. And that world will include plenty of stuff that's great, plenty that's not-so-great, and a few things that contradict each other. So, what's a sprawling fictional universe to do? » 12/12/14 4:20pm 12/12/14 4:20pm

Why Not Have Competing Franchises?

Reading the Best Bond story on the mainpage reminded me that in 1983, there was not one 007 movie, but two: Octopussy, starring Roger Moore as Bond from the Broccoli family's EON Productions, released by MGM/UA in June, and the independently-produced Never Say Never Again, with Sean Connery reprising the role for the… » 12/11/14 11:21am 12/11/14 11:21am

Six Ways Franchises Go Terminal

Franchises! It's easy to understand why some folks hate them and decry their influence on the entertainment industry, but it's also easy to see why so many people love them, casual fans and hardcore enthusiasts alike. Today's vast, intricately-realized franchises forge a sense of continuity, not just through their… » 10/30/14 5:02pm 10/30/14 5:02pm

What Happens When Indie Directors Take on Big Franchises in Hollywood?

Suddenly, all the giant Hollywood franchises are being driven by alternative filmmakers. The latest news is that Rian Johnson, director of indies Looper and Brick, will direct Star Wars VIII. Can a quirky visionary really change a pop culture behemoth? Here's what happened to other indies in the franchise machine. » 7/03/14 4:17pm 7/03/14 4:17pm

Which Scifi Franchise Cries Out For A Re-Imagining?

Everybody's re-imagining old science fiction franchises, from Battlestar and Bionic Woman to Star Trek and Terminator. (Can you remember when you had never heard the verb "re-imagine?" Now, it's the only verb I ever use.) But some of the greatest classics are still waiting for their extreme makeovers. It's time to… » 1/25/08 10:53am 1/25/08 10:53am