Spinoffs are the new reboot. Big studio movies are usually part of a franchise at this point, and they are going to become even more assembly lines, what with new, constant Star Wars and Marvel movies every year or so. A spinoff is not a sequel to a movie, merely set in the same universe, and maybe or maybe not a character, major or minor, from the original movie off doing their own thing. It usually works about as well as TV spinoffs work out, which is to say, not very well.
Here are 10 movie spinoffs.
Get Him to the Greek (from Forgetting Sarah Marshall)
In the original, Jason Segel’s character was left by Kristen Bell’s character for a sleazy British rock star, played by Russell Brand in his introduction to America. The spinoff, Get Him to the Greek, marked the beginning of the selling of the Brand brand in earnest. It fleshed out the supporting character nicely, and has some wickedly funny moments.
The Scorpion King (from The Mummy)
The Rock had slightly more action hero prowess and general charisma than Brendan Fraser (who is a great comic actor), so he got his own movie set in The Mummy universe, based on events mentioned in previous Mummy movies.
Elektra (from Daredevil)
Lady Ben Affleck does lady Ben Affleck stuff. (And then married Man Ben Affleck. Fun fact.)
U.S. Marshals (from The Fugitive)
All the fun of The Fugitive, but without the high stakes or Harrison Ford or familiar pedigree of a classic TV show.
The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (from The Fast and the Furious)
The Fast and Furious movies have experienced a resurgence, after dipping for a while with the third installment, which was set in Tokyo and didn’t feature any of the main characters from the regular Fast and Furious “films.” It was supposed to be the first spinoff of many, allowing for a “Fast and Furious Presents” banner for a number of silly movies about underground car-racing set all over the world. It didn’t work out.
Ewoks: The Battle for Endor (from Return of the Jedi)
The Jar-Jars of the ‘80s, in a made-for-TV movie that your little sister loved.
Puss in Boots (from Shrek 2)
All of the pop culture references from the Shrek movies that went over your kid’s head, all of them delivered in the sexy, smoldering accent of Antonio Banderas.
Supergirl (from Superman)
Cosplay: The Movie.
Evan Almighty (from Bruce Almighty)
Steve Carell is of course a gifted comic actor and a national treasure, but we didn’t really need to see the rival guy from Bruce Almighty also interact with God and get caught up in a biblical fantasy. It’s a comedy about Noah’s Ark, which just isn’t all that hilarious. Lauren Graham looks on bemused.
This is 40 (from Knocked Up)
This is iPads.