Crystal Skull & 9 More Times A Torch-Passing Movie Didn’t Work Out That Way


Whenever a movie franchise gets to a certain number of installments and/or years, a reboot is inevitable. A good way to do this organically is to have the current cast pass the torch to the next generation. That said, not all of these legacy movies succeed in their goals.

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Take the fourth Indiana Jones movie for example: Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull was meant to let Indy retire and have a successor, but fans rejected this idea harshly, and now there is a fifth Indy movie in production with Harrison Ford still in the lead role. And Indiana Jones isn’t the only franchise whose attempt at a legacy movie suffered such a fate.


10 Indiana Jones & The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull Implied That Mutt Would Be The Next Indy

Indy And Mutt Examine Some Clues

Released almost 20 years after The Last Crusade, the fourth Indiana Jones movie was billed as both his grand finale and the start of a new generation. The movie ended with Indy finally marrying his first onscreen love interest Marion Ravenwood as Mutt Williams picked up his hat, hinting that he would take up his father’s mantle and bullwhip.

This didn’t work out for many reasons, especially fans not liking the idea of Shia LaBeouf replacing Harrison Ford. Besides that, Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull was the weakest Indy movie to date. This led to the upcoming fifth movie’s greenlighting, which is being touted as a return to form— complete with Nazis instead of aliens and Ford back in the driver’s seat.

9 Halloween: Resurrection Botched Michael Myers’ Arrival In The New Millennium

Laurie Taunts Michael One Last Time

Originally, Halloween H20: 20 Years Later was the grand finale for Michael Myers’ slasher legend and Laurie Strode’s character arc. However, due to its success, H20 was followed up by Halloween: Resurrection, which was the franchise’s first entry in the 2000s that’s also been regarded as one of the worst movies in the series.

Resurrection didn’t just kill off Laurie in the opening seconds to signify the end of the original Halloween generation, but to reintroduce Michael in the self-aware, MTV-styled horror of the new millennium. This failed so hard that not only did it lead to Rob Zombie’s remakes, but Resurrection is mockingly best remembered for rapper Busta Rhymes kicking Michael’s butt.

8 The Expendables 3 Replaced Its Action Legends With Fresh-Faced Newcomers, Which Completely Misses The Point

The Cast Of The Expendables 3

The entire selling point of The Expendables movies is to celebrate old-school action movies by starring action legends who rarely if ever shared the screen in their heydays. The Expendables 3, meanwhile, seemingly forgot the franchise’s goals and replaced the old guard with younger Expendables like Ronda Rousey halfway through.

Not helping matters was the sequel’s watered down PG-13 rating, which was a far cry from its predecessors’ hard R classifications and the genre it was paying homage to. Franchise star and creator Sylvester Stallone admitted that many of the decisions behind The Expendables 3 were « miscalculations, » and promised that any sequels would return to form.

7 Men In Black: International Expanded The MIB In Lackluster Fashion

Agents H And M Look At The Superweapon

Men In Black may have closed with a trilogy capper in 2012, but that didn’t stop Columbia Pictures from reviving it. In 2019, Men In Black: International expanded the MIB’s world by going global and featuring a new group of world-protecting agents. International aimed to start a new MIB movie franchise and needless to say, it didn’t work.

International was as by-the-numbers as a buddy-cop movie could get, and its script was so bland that not even the tandem of Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson— both fresh off Thor: Ragnarok where they demonstrated the wonderful on-screen chemistry they are capable of— could make it sound fun. Whatever future MIB plans were there were quietly scrapped in light of the movie’s underperformance.

6 Charlie’s Angels (2019) Failed To Revive The Nostalgic Spy Franchise’s Popularity

The New Angels Get Ready For A Fight

The Charlie’s Angels franchise is unique because all of its entries— from TV shows to movies— are all part of a connected universe. The latest movie isn’t a reboot but a belated sequel to the 2000s duology, which in turn followed-up the original ’70s TV show. The 2019 movie starred a new trio of Angels who work for (presumably) the original Charlie after the previous Angels’ retirements.

Unfortunately, the new Charlie’s Angel failed to reignite interest in the old title. Most of the criticism was aimed at the movie’s weak action scenes, though the new Angels (Kristen Stewart, Naomi Scott, and Ella Balinska) were praised. Charlie’s Angels was meant to kickstart a new series, but its weak box office put an end to those plans.

5 Batman & Robin Was Meant To Establish A Cinematic Universe Of Bat-Family Films

The Bat Family Confronts Mr. Freeze

Joel Schumacher’s second Batman movie ended by triumphantly showing the largest Bat-Family on screen to date, promising that Batgirl would join the Dynamic Duo (plus a new Batman in George Clooney) in their next adventure. Instead, Batman & Robin was laughed at and mocked so much that it’s been blamed for momentarily killing the superhero movie.

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If Batman & Robin was the blockbuster Warner Bros. wanted, Schumacher would’ve followed it up with Batman Unchained. The sequel would’ve doubled down on the passing of torches, but this time on the villainous side. Aside from the Bat-Family fighting previous movie villains through Scarecrow’s fear gas, Harley Quinn was rewritten as Joker’s vengeful daughter.

4 The New Mutants Was Positioned As The Next Generation Of Fox’s X-Men Franchise

The New Mutants Get Ready To Move On

Ever since Days Of Future Past, the X-Men movies have been struggling to find a new way forward. They dragged on with the First Class timeline which ended unceremoniously with Dark Phoenix before spinning off into The New Mutants, a movie that was unfortunately doomed from the start.

Besides its problematic shooting and countless delays, The New Mutants’ generic execution failed to inspire audiences’ interest in a new group of teenage mutants whose powers were more of a curse than a blessing. Unlike the X-Men’s more successful spin-off Deadpool, The New Mutants won’t be reemerging in the MCU any time soon.

3 2 Fast 2 Furious & Tokyo Drift Eventually Returned To Dom’s Family

The Two Fast Sequels

Despite the massive success of The Fast & The Furious, Vin Diesel didn’t return to his signature franchise until the fourth entry. While he prioritized The Chronicles Of Riddick, the franchise tried to expand into an anthology, starring a new set of characters while still being set in the extreme world of illegal drag racing.

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2 Fast 2 Furious focused on Brian O’Conner, the only returning character, during his exile to Miami. Minus Dom’s cameo at the end, Tokyo Drift was a Fast & Furious movie in name only. The Fast franchise bounced back not by retconning these spin-offs, but by canonizing them and bringing their respective characters into Dom’s ever-growing family.

2 Ghostbusters (2016) Rebooted The Franchise & Caused A Meltdown Within The Fanbase

The New Ghostbuster Team

To say that the Ghostbusters reboot lost an arduous uphill battle is an understatement. Aside from its humor just being all over the place and its strangely mean-spirited nature towards the original movies, the filmmakers and stars were subjected to vile sexist attacks from so-called fans who claimed to be defending the purity of an ’80s-era comedy about zapping ghosts with lasers.

The all-female Ghostbusters were never given a fair chance, though they found a second wind in the IDW comics. This led to Ghostbusters: Afterlife, a hard reset that ignores the 2016 movie and directly follows Ghostbusters II. Based on its trailers, Afterlife is shaping up to be the reverent film fans claim they always wanted— for better and worse.

1 Star Wars: The Last Jedi Challenged The Galaxy’s Conventions But Was Rejected In Favor Of Fanservice

Luke In The Battle Of Crait

After Star Wars: The Force Awakens, its sequel deconstructed its nostalgia not out of spite, but to basically make the space opera grow up. The Last Jedi ended with Luke Skywalker dying, but not before he passed the fires of rebellion to Rey. Additionally, both the First Order and Resistance were in shambles, leaving the galaxy’s fate to the next generation.

Unfortunately, this didn’t just anger the fanbase but inspired its worst sectors to attack and harass the filmmakers and stars online. Rather than commit to what The Last Jedi attempted to do, Disney backtracked with The Rise Of Skywalker, which gave fans everything they demanded in one of the most forgettable blockbuster movies of 2019.

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