When a movie or franchise needs a sequel, filmmakers have a few options. They can rehash the same old story in a different setting, or add some new characters, or just make everything bigger and louder (they’ll probably do that anyway.) Another way to shoot a sequel? Make it a Christmas movie.
Franchises from The Muppets to Harold & Kumar have done Christmas sequels. After all, what’s more marketable than the biggest shopping season of them all? Whether it’s Ernest saving the holidays or National Lampoon’s Vacation series taking a Christmas detour, franchises frequently go the Santa route at some point. Even comic book movies like Iron Man 3 and Batman Returns have made room for the Yuletide.
The good people at this Los Angeles based film school have put together a list of ten other franchises that haven’t gotten into the Christmas spirit yet, but totally should, as well as some ways they can do it:
The Wolf Pack have a history of going overboard with their partying, so it wouldn’t be a surprise if an office Christmas party gets out of control and Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms and Zach Galifianakis wake up the next morning with no memory of their night before. After some spiked eggnog leaves them hungover and disoriented, they have a series of misadventures with a naked elf, a rabid reindeer and Mike Tyson’s stolen snowmobile.
Sylvester Stallone’s all-star cast of 80s macho men supposedly wrapped up their series with The Expendables 3, but there’s easily room for a Christmas sequel. A radical Eastern European nationalist group led by Steven Seagal storm the North Pole and hold Christmas hostage and it’s up to the team of mercenaries led by Stallone, Schwarzenegger, and franchise newcomers Jackie Chan, Carl Weathers and Sean Connery to save the day. Clint Eastwood joins the series as a surprisingly badass Kris Kringle.
Boogie Nights isn’t a franchise—yet. But a Christmas Carol-inspired sequel is exactly what the Paul Thomas Anderson movie about the adult-film business needs to break into a more mainstream audience. Mark Wahlberg has become disillusioned with the porn industry, and has become a bitter recluse. It’s up to the Ghosts of Porn Past, Present and Future to visit him and get him to remember why he loved having sex on camera. Wahlberg’s cold heart warms and he finally shows some charity to poor Tiny Tim, whose porn career has left much to be desired.
In the latest Planet of the Apes film, Caesar’s evolving tribe of sentient primates have now found Christ and want to celebrate their first Christmas. Unfortunately, the humans start mucking things up again, this time putting way too many Christmas lights on their settlement across the street and totally making the rest of the forest look lame in comparison. The Apes have no choice but to outdo the humans’ decorations, building fifteen-foot tall inflatable snow globes and syncing their motorized reindeer and illuminated trees with the Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s Christmas rock ballads. It becomes all-out war between the species, and the humans have no choice but to blow it all up.
In this found-footage sequel, a young pregnant girl named Mary and her husband Joseph find no shelter at the Inn, and must spend Christmas in a nearby manger. However, there are mysterious footprints in the hay, and when nobody’s looking the barn animals start levitating in mid-air. Joseph, filming everything for his vlog, is skeptical anything is wrong, so Mary calls upon three Wise Men to help. Will they make to the stable before its too late?
Anthony Hopkins returns to his most famous role for the latest entry in the Hannibal Lecter series. Hopkins decided to invite Clarice to Christmas dinner, but a series of mishaps leads to trouble—and hilarity. The tree catches fire, two of the guests come dressed in the same skin, someone steals all the presents, and Hannibal leaves the human liver in the oven too long, leaving only the fava beans and a nice Chianti.
J.K. Rowling has always hinted she’d write another Harry Potter adventure, so why not a Hanukkah one? Out of Hogwarts and living in the city, Harry and friends decide to go a Hanukkah dinner in the Muggle world. Once there, they find that Voldemort has returned and the only way to stop him is to track down the Golden Menorah, a magical artifact from the Holy Land. Can the young wizards save the day and make it back in time for Aunt Mimi’s matzo ball soup?
The American Werewolf movies switch it up by changing cities, but for the holidays, they could easily keep it in London and change the title creature. Rudolph, shunned and excluded by his fellow reindeer, takes his revenge on the foggy capital, biting an innocent American tourist. Now, with the full moon on Christmas, the tourist finds himself growing fur—and antlers—and his nose glowing an ominous red. Anyone who crosses his path is about go down in history…
What other franchises would you add to this list? Leave your responses in the comments below and if you liked this article don’t forget to share it with your friends!