With the news this week that Summit Entertainment is considering splitting the last Twilight book, Breaking Dawn, into two films (whether it needed them or not), the comparisons with Warner Bros’ Harry Potter movie franchise were hard to ignore. To both Warner and Summit, Harry Potter and Twilight, respectively, are their reliable cash cow, and as much blood that can be beaten out of the necessary stones is very welcome to both companies’ bank balances.
But we’ve been a bit worried about them. After all, sooner or later, both companies are going to have to admit defeat, and appreciate that they’ve run out of source material.
Never fear, though, because that’s where we come in. And if any lowly Warner Bros or Summit executive wants to give their career a boost and take some of these ideas into the next ‘blue sky’ meeting, then they do so with our blessing, and our usual 10%.
HARRY POTTER ORIGINS: HAGRID
Seriously, they could mine these forever, as the X-Men franchise may yet choose to do. How many side characters have stories that could be explored, all the while secretly paying for cameos from the usual lead actors of a franchise just so you can plaster their mugs on the poster?
It’s right and proper that these are done in order, and thus it makes sense to start with Robbie Coltrane’s Hagrid, given that he was the first actor to be cast in the films. Everyone else can take a ticket and wait in line. We’ll skip the Draco Malfoy one, though, if it’s all the same.
TWILIGHT PRESENTS: TEEN WOLF NEW
Just take some inspiration from the American Pie franchise here, as it’s descended into straight-to-DVD bollocks (the latest one is terrible, too). All you need to do is keep some very loose link to the original cinematic films – perhaps a piece of bum fluff you found on the set or something – and you can add the ‘Presents’ moniker, thus raking in at least a small amount from the most lemming-like of fans.
For Twilight, given the wolf pack, why not go the whole hog and tie it into a Teen Wolf sequel to try and double their money? Genius, we tell you…
HOGWARTS: THE NEXT GENERATION
That strange noise you hear is Disney execs trying to work out how to bludgeon a new High School Musical movie out of the sausage machine, given that all of the stars of the first three would cost more than £50 to rustle together now. The answer is simple! You introduce a new batch!
And when you think about it, there’s little reason this couldn’t happen at Hogwarts too. Imagine how wonderfully they could shoehorn in dialogue about the Potter legend, namedropping in a few characters from the past to look like they give a shit? All the while letting a new bunch of brats run riot. They’d love it.
TWILIGHT: THE ANIMATED MOVIE
As any movie executive will tell you, if you’re at the end of your cinematic run and the audiences are moving on, you need to cut a few costs. The biggest outlay is on actor salaries, but they tend to be much cheaper if you just need them to do voice work. Hence, follow the path of the Star Wars Clone Wars movie and bring everyone back in animated form!
Granted, you won’t make quite the same money as the live action movies, but the most curious of Twihards (sorry) is likely to at least give the DVD a quick rental. And as long as Robert Pattinson is in there somewhere, and does at least one interview where he points his skin in the direction of a teenage girl’s magazine’s photographer, everyone’s a winner.
BREAKING DAWN/DEATHLY HALLOWS PART III
Ah, go on! You know you want to! Never mind that Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows isn’t the longest book in the series – you’ve still managed to work two films out of it! If that’s the case, why not get three? Feck it, go for four if you want. Film them all at the same time, cut the running time down to 90 minutes apiece and release them all four months apart, and they’ll be laughing all the way to whatever bank is still left standing these days. Marvellous. Would work perfectly well for Breaking Dawn too.
TWILIGHT: THE DIRECTOR’S CUT
Come one. There’s got to be a unicorn sequence or something on the cutting room floor. Or some narration that they want to mess around with. Some effects? Some extra farting in the background that they want to cut out? You don’t need much to make a director’s cut now, and this would seem to be an obvious cash cow. You could also put it in 3D, too, which instantly allows you to add a quid or two to the ticket price, to no obvious benefit for the viewer.
HARRY POTTER & THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS: SPECIAL EDITION
Those first two Potter films are looking just a little bit ropey these days. How about going back in, swapping out some guns for keys, updating the special effects and throwing in an old useless scene that you didn’t include first time around? Then, for added interest, claim that you’ll only release it in cinemas for three weeks, before it goes off to live in the DVD bargain bins for ever. It’s a cunning plan, and it might just work…
HARRY vs EDWARD
When you’re shit out of options, you need to do the cinematic mash-up. And honestly? This is the one we’re dying to see. It follows the path set by Nightmare On Elm Street, Friday The 13th, Alien and Predator, in that if your franchise is struggling by itself, bang two together and the film will sell itself.
The best bit of this scam is that the film itself can be shit, and you don’t have to kill anyone off, no matter what you promised in the marketing for it. Thus, we’re left with a bare fist fight between Daniel Radcliffe’s Harry (complete with Ron adding in an “oh, bloody hell” from time to time), and Robert Pattinson’s Edward Cullen. Beautifully, the script can keep them apart for 80% of the film with nonsensical shit, too, and end with the characters exactly the same in every sense.
Still, if that doesn’t work, there’s always the…
This is the bit that the Hollywood executives can’t wait to get to. Just because you’ve taken one run at all of the books, who says you can’t go again in ten years time, and pluck another collection of actors just getting used to their pubic hair and thrust them into the limelight? Rinse and repeat every decade, and both J K Rowling and Stephenie Meyer need never work again!
THE FINAL OPTION
If you’re utterly stumped, and nearly two decades have passed since the last film, then there’s only one option left: you need to call George.
George Lucas knows exactly what we want. We just want to see the characters again, and he just wants to play with his computer games. Let him do a sequel to either franchise in 20 years time, and everyone will be a winner. At least until they get the film back home on DVD for a second viewing…
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