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Definition of a sequel


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Old 06-10-2013, 09:10
Ted Cunterblast
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Inspired yet again by a previous thread, a question was raised regarding a particular film being a sequel.

And this got me thinking...with so many franchises and films based on best selling books these days, how do we accurately define what a sequel is?

This is my take on it...

For me, the Bourne movies, Harry Potter, Jack Ryan, Twilight, Hannibal Lecter and Twilight movies are not sequels. Yes, they often include the same characters, set in the same environment but they are based on specific books and are separate stories, albeit with obvious links.

And crucially, when filmmakers start to make films based on a series of best selling books, it is always accepted that they will option the other books for filming, as long as the original movie is a success, therefore the subsequent movies are planned and not an afterthought. It is also a kind of foregone conclusion that profit can be made from filming the other books if they are popular and best sellers, they just need to make sure they promote and market them right.



A sequel for me would be for example the Jaws movies, Terminator, Alien for example...movies where the original movie is made as a standalone movie with no original intention to make a sequel. Indeed, in those cases there is no way of knowing if the original movie will be a success and it is often a surprise when it becomes popular and successful...and the desire for a sequel comes largely from the studios realisation that more money can be made from follow-up movies, and to some degree a desire from the public to see more.
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Old 06-10-2013, 13:08
Takae
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There are different types of sequel, imo.

A) a continuation of the story featuring a significant character from a previous story.
B) a continuation of an universe that a significant character from a previous story inhabits.
C) a continuation of an universe used in a previous story.
D) a continuation of a significant character from a previous story.
E) a continuation of a significant theme used in a previous story.

The biggest key element of a sequel is a familiarity or recognition. A sequel has to have something viewers can recognise or are familiar with from the first story.

Example: Hannibal Lecter is the link between Manhunter, Silence of the Lambs and Red Dragon, regardless of who plays that character. Viewers are introduced to him through Manhunter or Red Dragon, so when they see Silence of the Lambs, they will recognise him from Manhunter, which makes Silence of the Lambs a sequel.

Another example: Grease and Grease 2. What links those two films is Rydell High School. Grease 2 has an almost completely different cast from Grease, but viewers will recognise many elements from Grease in Grease 2. For example, the school, Ladies' pink jackets, specific gangs (Pink Ladies, Thunderbirds, etc), the musical aspect and the reverse roles (in Grease, Sandy is a nice innocent while Danny is a bad boy, and in Grease 2, Stephanie is a bad girl while Michael is a nice innocent).

movies where the original movie is made as a standalone movie with no original intention to make a sequel.
Well, that's the thing. For at least seventy years, all studio films are seen as a potential series. That's as in, unless they have fantastic agents, most actors usually have to sign a contract with a standard clause to appear in a potential sequel or spin-off of a film they are contracted to appear in. How did you think so many actors from first films ended up in crappy sequels or spin-offs, e.g. Jennifer Garner for Elektra or Reese Witherspoon for Legally Blonde 2?

The actual sources of films are irrelevant because books and films are two separate mediums.
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Old 06-10-2013, 14:39
big brother 9
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You raise some good points op.

Might I add american pie. Its onky had 3 sequels but yhe rest have been spin offs
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