Top 10 Franchises Hollywood Needs To Give Another Chance

Written by Joshua Kazemi These franchises started off with movies that kind of fell flat and could have been a lot better, but still have have a lot of potential for future tries. WatchMojo presents the top 10 franchises that need to get another chance from hollywood. But what will take the top spot on our list? Zorro, Avatar: The Last Airbender, or the Blade franchise? Watch to find out! Watch on WatchMojo: Big thanks to WoodyWould for suggesting this idea, and to see how WatchMojo users voted, check out the suggest page here: WatchMojo.comsuggest/Top+10+Franchises+Hollywood+Needs+to+Give+a+Second+Chance

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Dear Hollywood: if at first you don’t succeed, try try again! Welcome to and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 franchises Hollywood needs to give another chance.

For this list, we’re looking at franchises from any type of media – whether that’s movies, TV series, comics, books, whatever – that have been previously adapted to the big screen, but that we feel deserve to be given a new life for modern audiences. A franchise is still eligible for this list if there’s been talk of a revival, but if those projects are in advanced stages of production, they’re excluded.

#10: “Gremlins” franchise (1984-90)

Cute, fluffy pets that turn into terrifying creatures helped make “Gremlins” an ‘80s comedy-horror classic, inspiring the minds behind the film to produce associated video games and a sequel. But, despite the fact that there’s been talk of a third film for years; we’ve seen no official Gremlins-related content since the early-2000s. What gives? A modern take on “Gremlins” with a good mix of practical and contemporary visual effects could reintroduce these iconic creatures to a new generation. Plus, can you imagine the merchandising possibilities? But if they do bring Gremlins back, let’s hope they actually follow the rules this time!

#9: “The Addams Family” franchise (1964-)

A common trend in Hollywood these days is adapting beloved TV shows into irreverent, self-referential comedies, and The Addams Family is more than ready for this treatment. Starting out as a series of New Yorker comics in 1938, Charles Addams’ Addams Family then made the jump to TV in the ‘60s and film in the ‘90s, with the macabre atmosphere and bizarre humor carrying over to each iteration. With its timelessly weird characters, its enduring theme of family and its classic theme song, The Addams Family would be a reboot Hollywood wouldn’t regret. We’ll start practicing our snaps.

#8: “The NeverEnding Story” franchise (1984-96)

What began as a German fantasy story in 1979 turned into a franchise consisting of a film trilogy, TV shows, computer games and more. But we gotta say: this series would benefit greatly from a modern update. The original 1984 film is a magical world filled with fantastical imagery and interesting creatures, all of which could be recreated and modernized using current visual effects. The recent surge of Young Adult novels being made into films also makes “The NeverEnding Story” a prime franchise to reboot. We’d all love another chance to hop on Falkor the Luckdragon and be transported back to Fantasia.

#7: “The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen” franchise (1999-)

One of the biggest disappointments about 2003’s “The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen” film, besides the fact that the trainwreck was one of Sean Connery’s last on-screen performances before he retired, was how it failed to live up to Alan Moore’s popular comic book. To say this franchise could benefit from a reboot is an understatement, because – in today’s comic book movie landscape – filmmakers now have a blueprint for what works and what doesn’t work when assembling a large team of heroes onscreen. Plus, audiences would likely welcome these famous literary figures as protagonists in place of the superheroes we’re used to.

#6: “Night of the Living Dead” franchise (1968-2009)

The 1968 George A. Romero classic basically defined the modern zombie, resulting in a total of seven movies and even more remakes. The original itself got the remake treatment in 1990, and it was divisive to say the least: some liked the similarities between the two versions, while others found the remake completely unnecessary because of them. Regardless, the popularity and legacy of the franchise has only been strengthened in the early 21st century thanks to the new zombie craze. It’s high time we spend at least one more night with the living dead – especially considering how much source material they’d have to choose from.

#5: “Super Mario Bros.” franchise (1981-)

As long as they’ve been making video game movies, they’ve been making BAD video game movies. 1993’s “Super Mario Bros.” didn’t help the genre. Based on a character that debuted in 1981’s “Donkey Kong” and who’s since jumped his way to TV, comics and more, “Super Mario Bros.” the movie has become a cult classic, but mostly because it’s that bad. However with a UK Blu-ray re-release, fan-made sequel comics and the continued popularity of the Nintendo franchise, this film seems ripe for a modern reboot. Who better to buck the trend of bad video game adaptations than the most iconic video game character ever?

#4: “Spawn” franchise (1992-)

Comic book movies aren’t going anywhere, and thankfully they’re only getting better. So, it makes sense that fans want to see forgotten characters return to the big screen: characters like Spawn, the former Black Ops operative-turned-hell-spawn who wages war against heaven and hell – literally. Once the subject of a poorly reviewed film and a well reviewed animated series, as well as video games galore, this anti-hero is just the kinda character that deserves a second chance. Deadpool and Logan proved that audiences are ready for edgier, R-rated comic book fare – and that’s something Spawn would only benefit from. His distinct visual style deserves the modern-day visual effects treatment.

#3: “Zorro” franchise (1919-)

Beginning his life as a character in a story by Johnston McCulley, Zorro has swashbuckled his way from books and comics to television, stage plays and movies for the better part of a century. The defender of the common people and champion against tyranny; Zorro was fodder for Hollywood as early as 1920, appearing on the big screen regularly for decades. In terms of modern adaptations, 1998’s “The Mask of Zorro” was his most recent success, with its 2005 sequel failing to live up to the legendary name. However, it’s been long enough that we’re ready to welcome the masked avenger back, perhaps with a more gritty and realistic reboot.

#2: “Avatar: The Last Airbender” franchise (2005-)

Throughout its three-season run, this beloved animated series received universal praise, winning a Primetime Emmy Award and making room for the sequel series “The Legend of Korra.” That’s why hype was high ahead of M. Night Shyamalan’s live-action adaptation in 2010. Then people saw it. By unsuccessfully trying to condense the show’s 20-episode first season into one film, and by choosing to whitewash the casting, this film failed on many levels, ultimately winning the Worst Picture Razzie. Fans of this Nickelodeon franchise are still pleading for a proper film adaptation, and rightly so. And if the next one pronounces the main characters’ names correctly, it’ll be halfway there.

Before we reveal our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.
- “Police Academy” franchise (1984-94)
- “Beverly Hills Cop” franchise (1984-94)
- “Escape from” franchise (1981-98)

#1: “Blade” franchise (1973-)

After first appearing on comic book pages in 1973, the ruthless vampire-hunter known as Blade slashed his way onto the big screen in 1998. Despite that film’s lukewarm critical response, it proved popular with fans and spawned two sequels. Since then, Blade has remained relevant in pop culture thanks to its comic book run, video game appearances and TV adaptation, but nothing on the big screen since “Trinity” in 2004. Now that the film rights to Blade have reverted back to Marvel Studios, the character could make a great addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. And in a post-“Twilight” world, we could use all the vampire slaying we can get.

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