NEWS

Time-tested franchises are making a comeback

The seventies, eighties and nineties are back

The eighties, what an awesome decade. M.J. was the king of pop, “Egyptian lover” was rocking the airwaves and Bill Cosby was everyone’s favorite grand-daddy.

What a difference thirty years makes.

A wave of something is sweeping through the film industry and a glut of sequels inspired by the seventies’, eighties’ and nineties’ most famous franchises is looming large. Is it nostalgia or a lack of inspiration? No matter, the film-going public is likely going to be tickled to see those decades’ heroes dust themselves off and come out of retirement.

In the last announcement to date, Harrison Ford is scheduled to return as Rick Deckard in the “Blade Runner” sequel, to be directed by Denis Villeneuve.

Plans are also underway for a sequel to “Star Wars,” “Alien,” “Terminator,” “Rocky” and “Rambo.” Ford will also appear in “Star Wars Episode 7” this year, thirty-eight years after his debut as Han Solo in the first installment in the franchise.

There are rumors that Ford might also make a cameo appearance in the upcoming “Indiana Jones,” to be directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Chris Pratt (“Parks and Recreation”).

Other highly anticipated returns include “Alien” (1979), marking Sigourney Weaver’s comeback in the role of Ripley. Chronologically “Alien 5” happens after “Alien 2” in the series. In it, Ripley (she committed suicide in the third episode and was cloned in # 4) meets yet a new end. This newest “Alien” will be directed by Neill Blomkamp (“District 9,” “Elysium”) and will be released in 2017.

Before then Arnold Schwarzenegger will be back in “Terminator Genisys” in July, a whopping thirty-one years after the machines’ first rising (the first “Terminator” came out in 1984). This November Sylvester “Rocky” Stallone will be coaching Apollo Creed’s son. Stallone will also follow up with a new “Rambo” sequel entitled “Rambo: last blood.”

Just to make perfectly sure that we are caught in a time-warp, there’s more. Expect also to see Bruce Willis in “Die Hard 6,” and Eddie Murphy in “Beverly Hills Cop 4,” slated for release in April 2016.

Other sequels are in the works elsewhere sans original leading cast. “Ghostbusters 3,” scheduled for summer 2016, will be without Bill Murray in the cast. Matter of fact, this’ll be an all-female cast. “Lethal Weapon 5” will go on without Mel Gibson. Absent The Mel also from “Mad Max: Fury Road,” headed for theaters this May.

Finally, some past franchises won’t get a sequel as much as a simple remake. This is the case for “Highlander,” which strangely will neither feature Sean Connery nor Christopher Lambert on its cast. That film is expected to come out next year, on the thirtieth anniversary of the first film. The “Robocop” remake was done last year and earned a 49% score at Rotten Tomatoes.

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