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– by Joseph Jammer Medina

Hollywood seems to be obsessed with franchises. And it makes sense. Movies are hefty investments, and investors want to make sure that they’re setting up these films to be as successful as possible right out of the gate. This means reducing the friction between getting an audience into theaters.

One such way to do this is to make a film off of an existing property. In doing this, part of your work is already done for you in raising awareness to the masses, and chances are the property on which you are basing the film also has its own fanbase who will come out to support the project. And from there, so long as the films are well received, that success can be iterative.

This explains why we are currently inundated with sequels, reboots, remakes, and shared universes. But is it possible for a large, tentpole film to be made in today’s franchise-heavy climate? Speaking with Deadline, producer Charles Roven gave his thoughts, saying:

“Yes, I absolutely think that you can launch a tentpole today that is not based on existing IP, by having the proper elements: a really intriguing idea and a world-class filmmaker. A perfect example of someone who constantly creates tentpoles that is not based on existing IP is Chris Nolan and his producing partner Emma Thomas. You can talk about Inception (not based on existing IP), you can talk about Interstellar (not based on existing IP), you can talk about Dunkirk (not based on existing IP).”

His comments are both promising and morbid at the same time. While, yes, it’s possible to create new tentpole films, his example is one of the most celebrated modern filmmakers out there. This seems to imply that the era of relatively new talent jumping in and making big movies like this are virtually nonexistent. The closest thing we’ve had to someone making a brand-new IP in recent years has been Pacific Rim from Guillermo del Toro, and times have changed quite a bit between the time that film came out and today.

What do you think of Roven’s comments? Do you think it’s possible for filmmakers beyond the Nolans and Spielbergs to actually make new, big-budget IPs? Let us know your thoughts down below!

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SOURCE: Deadline

  • Kronx

    I don’t think Dunkirk is something I would consider a tentpole film. Also, I think you get to a point where the director himself is the property being sold, like with Tarantino and Spielberg.

    But I get it. When will we get the next Die Hard? What’s funny is that when you look at the Top 10 films of that year, 1988, all but one of them is completely new. Only Crocodile Dundee 2 was a sequel. What’s more, 4 of the top 5 are comedies.

    In 2017 the top comedy was Girls Trip and it was 25th for the year.

    1988 had 3 sequels in the top 20. 2017 had 12, depending on what you count.

    I think studios are just looking to make Avengers-level money. They want homeruns every time. They don’t seem to understand that they need unique films to start the next wave of franchises. That might mean only making a lot of money instead of all the money, but it pays off in the end.

    • Bruce Norris

      If I’m not mistaken, “DIE HARD” was a novel before it became a hit movie.

      • Kronx

        True, but it wasn’t really marketed with that in mind.

        But, that would also make the Detective (1968) and unofficial Die Hard prequel. I may have to go watch it now.

  • axebox

    It’s only a matter of time before audiences get tired of something. Marvel, surprisingly, has pushed to expand rather than reproduce previous successes. Star Wars looks to be doing the same, with some expected fan backlash. I’m curious how Pacific Rim 2 and Edge of Tomorrow 2 do, and even throw Robocop in the mix.

  • Kindofabigdeal

    Isn’t Dunkirk based on a novel. Why doe they keep saying it’s an original work?
    I think movies can if they are made with a story and character in mind and not a by the studio movie. All of the failures have shown signs of being meddled. An exception being Valerian, but that just looked lame and didn’t have any stars I wanted to see. Believe it or not there are still movie stars to sell tickets. Inception was great not because of it’s bold idea and the director, but it had an all star cast. And Leo in the lead.

  • Peter James

    “Can Hollywood Made Tentpole Films Not Based On Existing Properties?”

    Yes they can made them.
    What are you talking about?
    Of course they can made tentpole movies not based on Existing properties and not only that, they can made them for a decent production budget.

    Whatever gave you the idea that they can’t made tentpole films not based on existing properties?

    (*sorry,..
    ….I had to.
    It was just lying there like low-hanging fruit.
    I’m not proud of myself)

    • Joseph Jammer Medina

      Lol let’s be real. I made you do that with that title mistake. Someone had to do something.

  • TheOct8pus

    Most studios won’t take risks on new filmmakers, especially with big budget “tentpole” films

Joseph Jammer Medina is an author, podcaster, and editor-in-chief of LRM. A graduate of Chapman University's Dodge College of Film and Television, Jammer's always had a craving for stories. From movies, television, and web content to books, anime, and manga, he's always been something of a story junkie.