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Hollywood reinvents franchises with sequels, reboots

Published: Thursday, Oct. 6 2011 5:41 p.m. MDT

Miles Teller, left, stars as Willard and Kenny Wormald stars as Ren McCormack in the remake of the 1984 film "Footloose." It's due out in theaters this month.

Santiago Gonzales Sanchez, Paramount Pictures, Stephen Vaughn, Paramount

Superheroes, dinosaurs, time travel and angst-filled teenagers wanting to dance aren't exactly new ideas to Hollywood. In fact, popular ideas are milked for all they're worth.

The movie industry is always finding ways to add sequels to some of the most successful franchises. And when all sequel options are exhausted, Hollywood takes to reboots to renew interest in audiences.

It's been 10 years since the dinosaurs of "Jurassic Park" roamed the big screen, but Steven Spielberg recently revealed the movie series is far from being finished.

"We have a writer who is writing a treatment and hopefully we will make 'Jurassic Park 4' in the next two to three years," Spielberg said at Comic-Con.

Spielberg didn't give any plot details during the announcement, but Joe Johnston, who worked on the first three films, said the newest installment may be the start of a new trilogy.

The men in black will be back after a decade-long hiatus as well. The last "Men in Black" was released in 2002, and the third installment will transport Agents J and K back to the 1960s.

The plot details are being kept under wraps, but Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones are still in the picture. However, Josh Brolin will play a younger Agent K in the time-traveling plot, according to The Daily Mail. The film is slated to hit theaters May 25, 2012.

The Bourne franchise is working on a fourth film called "The Bourne Legacy," the same title of the fourth book in the Bourne book series. But the film won't follow the book, nor will Jason Bourne (or Matt Damon for that matter) make an appearance.

"It's a completely original screenplay," director and screenwriter Troy Gilroy said on hollywood-elsewhere.com. "This is not a reboot or a recast or a prequel. No one's replacing Matt Damon. There will be a whole new hero, a whole new chapter … this is a stand-alone project."

"The Bourne Legacy" will be released Aug. 8, 2012, exactly five years after the release of "The Bourne Ultimatum."

Adding to the list of action-packed franchises giving fans another film to mull over is the "Mission Impossible" series.

The first three films were spaced four to six years apart, with the first being released in 1996. But Tom Cruise will be back Dec. 21 this year as Ethan Hunt in "Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol," and producer J.J. Abrams gushed about Cruise still having what it takes to do the dangerous stunts.

"Tom Cruise did a number of stunts on the tallest building in the world outside the building for six days in a row," Abrams said in an Entertainment Tonight article. "I cannot honestly believe the insurance company let him do, but they did. The story is great. It's fun, I think it's going to be a really fun movie. I'm excited."

On top of pumping out sequels, Hollywood is recycling old ideas and renewing them for younger generations in the form of reboots and remakes, especially in the superhero realm.

Despite Tobey Maguire's success as Peter Parker in "Spider-Man" (2002), "Spider-Man 2" (2004) and "Spider-Man 3" (2007), Columbia Pictures is taking another shot at the franchise but with Andrew Garfield as the spider-bitten teen.

While the trailers released so far have given off a similar vibe to the earlier franchise, director Marc Webb has said the plot is going to focus more on the disappearance of Parker's parents.

"We're creating a world of our own devising, but we take cues from the comics. There's a lot of stuff to explore and define and that was part of the fun of creating this universe in a new and different way," he said in an MTV.com article.

The first film is due to hit theaters July 21, 2012, and a sequel has already been commissioned with a release date of May 2, 2014.

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