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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