Year of the sequel

Graphic by Ashley Sadeghy

By Ashley Emert

If there were a movie zodiac in the same style of the Chinese zodiac, then 2007 would have to be the year of the sequel. Beginning in March with the release of The Hills Have Eyes 2, a number of sequels are going to be released in theaters over the next several months.

While there are some sequels coming out this year that might make one wonder, “Wasn’t the first one enough?” (namely Alien vs. Predator 2, slated for release in August), there are also some long-awaited films making their return. Among these are the third (and, presumably, final) installments of the Spider-Man, Pirates of the Caribbean and Shrek series (all set for release in May). The fifth Harry Potter movie, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, will be released in July.

Hannibal Rising is coming out on Feb. 9 and, although it’s part of a series, is technically a prequel because it tells the story of Hannibal Lecter’s beginnings. Also, Evan Almighty is set for release in June and is basically a sequel to Bruce Almighty. This time, though, the main character is Steve Carell’s TV anchor character from the first film.

Another trend in the movies coming out this year is a string of superhero, comic book character films. The most obvious of these is Spider-Man 3, but there is also Ghost Rider starring Nicolas Cage in February and Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, yet another sequel.

Quite possibly the most intriguing movie coming out this year is Transformers. Based on the toys from the 1980s, it takes place on the planet Cybertron that is inhabited only by robots who can (surprise, surprise) transform into different pieces of machinery as their disguise. It’s hard to tell if it’s going to be serious or tongue-in-cheek, but it should be interesting nonetheless.

Speaking of interesting, anyone who has ever wondered what John Travolta would look like in drag can find out just that in July when the new film version of Hairspray is released. Travolta will be cross-dressing to play the main character’s mother, the role made famous by the drag queen Divine in the 1988 version. Christopher Walken, Queen Latifah and Michelle Pfeiffer also star in the film.

For those who enjoy a mellow mystery, Nancy Drew will be hitting movie theaters in June. Also for the kid in everyone, The Simpsons Movie is set for release in July. Not only is it the longest-running comedy on television, but now it has its own feature-length film.

With all of these remakes and sequels appearing in theaters this year, it seems that Hollywood is having a hard time coming up with new ideas. There are bound to be some great original films that are buried by all of these money-makers. Maybe Hollywood can create sequels to those, too.

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