The weirdest cinematic universes currently in the works
Ghostbusters

You’ll be surprised at these proposed sequels, crossovers and spin-offs

Not content with squeezing countless related films out of superheroes and Star Wars these days, Hollywood is now turning its attention to ever more unlikely material in a bid to create further shared ‘cinematic universes’.

At first, this kind of uber-franchising made some sort of sense. But it’s getting increasingly bizarre.

Here are seven of the weirdest cinematic universes currently in the works.

The Conjuring

The Conjuring

James Wan’s enjoyably spooky supernatural horror has just spawned a well-received sequel, which conquered the box office in the US, and is out this week in the UK. Nothing too out of the ordinary there. But what’s a little stranger is that the various ‘supporting’ monsters from the saga are now getting their own standalone movies.

First we had the dull, lacklustre orgin story of creepy doll Annabelle, which is itself now getting a sequel, and now The Conjuring 2 is spawning a spin-off for spectral antagonist ‘The Nun’. How long before we get the inevitable crossover with Insidious (with Patrick Wilson presumably playing two characters) is anybody’s guess…

Sicario

Sicario

The idea of taking last year’s gripping, murky cartel thriller and turning it into some kind of cash-cow franchise would be laughed off as preposterous by film buffs everywhere – if it weren’t being mulled over as a serious prospect in Hollywood right this moment.

First came the news that an unnecessary sequel was being considered. Now, it’s being reported that a third film is also planned, and that they will be “three anthology movies with some of the core actors and in the same world”. It’s an intriguing prospect to be fair. Whether or not they’ll pull it off with any credibility is another matter.

Shrek

Screencap from Shrek

In a bid to crank as much value out of its recognisable faces as possible, Comcast wants animation studio DreamWorks to resurrect their beloved green ogre – all in the apparent pursuit of merchandise and “theme park attractions”. Lovely.

Four Shrek movies was pushing it in the first place. Now as many as FOUR A YEAR are planned. After Puss In Boots got his own spin-off, it’s surely only a matter of time before other characters get standalone movies, as well as prequels and sequels stacking up.

Men In Black/Jump Street

Jump Street Men In Black

The kind of lunatic idea that’s so outrageous it just might work. As we mulled over last year, talented Jump Street writer-directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller are overseeing an audacious and unlikely crossover between lost sci-fi comedy series Men In Black and their entertaining cop comedy saga. James Bobin (The Muppets, Alice Through The Looking Glass) has reportedly been in talks to direct.

Genius prospect or inevitable disaster? It’ll be interesting to see what emerges.

Hanna-Barbera

Scooby Doo gang

A big-screen Scooby-Doo reboot is planned for 2018 – but it doesn’t end there.

Warner Bros apparently think the entire back catalogue of Hanna-Barbera cartoons is rich pickings for a fully-fledged shared universe. Famous names include The Flintstones, The Jetsons, and The Addams Family, so there’s countless possibilities for quirky comebacks. Though how they’ll slot together is the tricky part.

Hasbro

rihanna battleship

Thought Battleship was weird? You ain’t seen nothing yet.

The toy giant’s film studio is plotting many more feature movies somehow derived from children’s play figures and plot-less board games, with Monopoly, Hungry Hungry Hippos and Play-Doh – yes, Play-Doh – all slated to get their own films in the coming years. Bizarre.

Ghostbusters

Ghostbusters

The controversy around the forthcoming Ghostbusters reboot is very real. But it doesn’t end there.

Original Ghostbusters director Ivan Reitman has said:

“We want to expand the Ghostbusters universe in ways that will include different films, TV shows, merchandise, all things that are part of modern filmed entertainment. This is a branded entertainment.”

Future projects on the big screen are rumoured to include a new all-male Ghostbusters movie, followed by a third project that crosses-over the two new teams of stars.

It all sounds like a bit of a mess to us.

More:

Ghostbusters reboot just became an unholy mess

Five things we want to see in Men In Black/Jump Street

Do we really need a Scooby Doo cinematic universe?