Paramount Pictures is in the sequel business, and folks, business is booming.
The studio is gearing up for the release of Michael Bay’s Transformers: Age of Extinction, the fourth film in Bay’s lucrative franchise. And while the rest of the summer is filled with semi-original tentpoles like Hercules and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (semi-original in that they are not direct sequels to existing properties), the studio just confirmed a handful of upcoming sequels that will fill its 2016 release calendar.
At CineEurope on Wednesday, Paramount Pictures International SVP Edward Ryan mapped out the studio’s aggressive release plan (via THR), mentioning a few titles we knew about and confirming others that had been speculation to this point. For 2016, Paramount promises a fifth Transformers (as Bay has been saying Age of Extinction starts a new trilogy), a G.I. Joe 3, a Star Trek 3 (which we know will be directed by longtime screenwriter Roberto Orci), and Hansel and Gretel 2. Ryan also said that 2016 will bring the return of Eddie Murphy in a fourth Beverly Hills Cop movie, and a fifth Paranormal Activity. Looking for something original? Well, the sword-and-sandals epic Ben-Hur is getting a remake, with Wanted director Timur Bekmambetov behind the lens. I wonder if it will look like this?
Some of these films even have release dates, and they aren’t all summer blockbusters. Ben-Hur, according to BoxOfficeMojo, will drop on February 26. And Beverly Hills Cop is eyeing a March 25 release date. Those are subject to change, of course. The rest of the Paramount movies discussed by Edward Ryan were rumored to arrive in 2016, but are now confirmed.
The Transformers date strikes me as the most aggressive, particularly if Michael Bay finally decides that he is finished with Autobots and Decepticons, and is ready to move on to more non-Transformers material. Wheels will have to begin turning on a production schedule to maintain a 2016 date, as you can bet Paramount will want Transformers 5 to drop in the summer time. Right now, however, the favored Transformers weekend of late June / July 4 is occupied by Steven Spielberg’s The BFG, Sony’s Angry Birds movie, and Fox’s Independence Day 2. Crowded. But what weekend in 2016 won’t be?
So sequels will remain the rage at Paramount, which also talked about Terminator 5: Genesis, Mission: Impossible 5 and Friday the 13th 3D at CineEurope. Everything old is new again.
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