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Forget Wayne's World 3: 8 Movie Sequels Actually on Track for 2015-16

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This week reports surfaced online that we'd be getting another installment of Wayne's World. Sadly, it was just a rumor. But it got us thinking of other sequels that are definitely coming down the line.

1. Kung Fu Panda 3 (2016)

There's already a tentative release date: March 18, 2016. According to the Los Angeles Times, in a first for any Hollywood animated feature film, this new installment will be made in China as a co-production. It's too soon to know what Chinese animation will add, as Oriental DreamWorks only launched this past February. The deal allows the studio to take 50 percent of box-office ticket sales in China compared with the typical 25 percent for foreign films there. However, worldwide distribution of the film isn't expected until 2017.

2. Finding Nemo 2 (2016)

This summer, the rumors turned into an inevitability when Nemo director Andrew Stanton confirmed that he'd be returning to the depths of the ocean for a sequel to the hit 2003 film. Stanton has won Academy Awards for the first Nemo and Wall-E, but after his live-action blockbuster John Carter flopped, Stanton opted to return to his bread and butter in the animation studio. The news only added fuel to existing speculation that Pixar may order more installments from other perennial winners like Toy Story, Wall-E, and Up. After the re-release of the first Nemo in 3D earlier this year, there's clearly a built-in audience counting down the days until 2016.

3. How to Train Your Dragon 3 (2016)

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Confused, because you don't recall the second one coming out? That's because the first sequel to the massively successful How to Train Your Dragon is slated to open on June 20, 2014. And the DreamWorks team is so confident that it will also be a smash hit that a third film is already on the schedule. It makes sense once you consider that the series was thought of as a trilogy. Director Dean DeBlois is reportedly on board with the plan. DreamWorks' full schedule shows that it plans to release three to four movies each year over the next few years, with its core mission being to keep the winning franchises fresh in people's minds in hopes of selling large amounts of licensed merchandise along the way.

4. The Avengers 2 (2015)

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Marvel Studios announced in August that the next film in the franchise will come on May 1, 2015. During the interim, fans will get more films based on their favorite characters: Iron Man (May 2013), Thor (Fall 2013), and Captain America (Spring 2014). It'll be up to writer/director Joss Whedon to weave together all those storylines—but if the first Avengers film was any indication, he's up to the task. But some fans believe the final release date could get pushed off as a result of the additional work involved. Stay tuned.

5. Star Wars: Episode VII (2015)

When Disney acquired Lucasfilm earlier this month, it announced that it plans to make more Star Wars films—and fans went wild. The first film is slated for a 2015 release. No director has been chosen for the project as of yet, but according to reports, "Screenwriter Michael Arndt 'has already written a treatment for the next three Star Wars films and is in line to write the script for Episode VII.'"

6. Avatar 2 (2015)

Originally, Fox executives hoped to have this sequel open in 2014, but the release date has been pushed back to 2015. Maybe it's taking so long because director James Cameron is reportedly filming both the second and third films at once. As of this summer, Cameron was still working on the script and hadn't begun shooting. What's clear, though, is that Cameron has some new tricks up his sleeve. "We can have Chinese Na’vi; [and in the live-action sequences] we can also have Chinese actors who speak English in the film," Cameron said in September. "We are projecting a future in Avatar, and if you project that future out, it is logical that there would be a number of Chinese amongst the contingent on Pandora."

7. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2 (2015)

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Francis Lawrence, currently directing The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (due out November 2013), recently agreed to helm the rest of the series. Lionsgate split the final novel into two parts; the first half hits theaters November 2014, and Part 2 is set for November 20, 2015. It seems like a good strategy after the first installment grossed nearly $700 million worldwide.

8. Hotel Transylvania 2 (2015)

Sony Pictures Animation confirms that a sequel to Hotel Transylvania has been ordered and is scheduled for release on September 25, 2015. Since the news came down just two weeks ago, very little else is known, even whether director Genndy Tartakovsky is attached to the project. It's another good example about how money talks in Hollywood. According to one writer at MTV, "It wasn't received especially well by critics, but it broke the September box office slump and that's all that counts."

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IFC Films
10 Surprising Facts About The Babadook
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IFC Films

In 2014, The Babadook came out of nowhere and scared audiences across the globe. Written and directed by Aussie Jennifer Kent, and based on her short film Monster, The Babadook is about a widow named Amelia (played by Kent’s drama schoolmate Essie Davis) who has trouble controlling her young son Samuel (Noah Wiseman), who thinks there’s a monster living in their house. Amelia reads Samuel a pop-up book, Mister Babadook, and Samuel manifests the creature into a real-life monster. The Babadook may be the villain, but the film explores the pitfalls of parenting and grief in an emotional way. 

“I never approached this as a straight horror film,” Kent told Complex. “I always was drawn to the idea of grief, and the suppression of that grief, and the question of, how would that affect a person? ... But at the core of it, it’s about the mother and child, and their relationship.”

Shot on a $2 million budget, the film grossed more than $10.3 million worldwide and gained an even wider audience via streaming networks. Instead of creating Babadook out of CGI, a team generated the images in-camera, inspired by the silent films of Georges Méliès and Lon Chaney. Here are 10 things you might not have known about The Babadook (dook, dook).


Jennifer Kent told Complex that some people thought the creature’s name sounded “silly,” which she agreed with. “I wanted it to be like something a child could make up, like ‘jabberwocky’ or some other nonsensical name,” she explained. “I wanted to create a new myth that was just solely of this film and didn’t exist anywhere else.”


Amelia isn’t the best mother in the world—but that’s the point. “I’m not a parent,” Kent told Rolling Stone, “but I’m surrounded by friends and family who are, and I see it from the outside … how parenting seems hard and never-ending.” She thought Amelia would receive “a lot of flak” for her flawed parenting, but the opposite happened. “I think it’s given a lot of women a sense of reassurance to see a real human being up there,” Kent said. “We don’t get to see characters like her that often.”


Noah Wiseman was six years old when he played Samuel. Kent and Davis made sure he wasn’t present for the more horrific scenes, like when Amelia tells Samuel she wishes he was the one who died, not her husband. “During the reverse shots, where Amelia was abusing Sam verbally, we had Essie yell at an adult stand-in on his knees,” Kent told Film Journal. “I didn’t want to destroy a childhood to make this film—that wouldn’t be fair.”

Kent explained a “kiddie version” of the plot to Wiseman. “I said, ‘Basically, Sam is trying to save his mother and it’s a film about the power of love.’”


IFC Films

Kent told Film Journal that “The Babadook is a film about a woman waking up from a long, metaphorical sleep and finding that she has the power to protect herself and her son.” She noted that everybody has darkness to face. “Beyond genre and beyond being scary, that’s the most important thing in the film—facing our shadow side.”


In an interview with Uproxx, William Friedkin—director of The Exorcist—said The Babadook was one of the best and scariest horror films he’d ever seen. He especially liked the emotional aspect of the film. “It’s not only the simplicity of the filmmaking and the excellence of the acting not only by the two leads, but it’s the way the film works slowly but inevitably on your emotions,” he said.


Tim Purcell worked in the film’s art department but then got talked into playing the titular character after he acted as the creature for some camera tests. “They realized they could save some money, and have me just be the Babadook, and hence I became the Babadook,” Purcell told New York Magazine. “In terms of direction, it was ‘be still a lot,’” he said.


Even though Kent shot the film in Adelaide, Australians didn’t flock to the theaters; it grossed just $258,000 in its native country. “Australians have this [built-in] aversion to seeing Australian films,” Kent told The Cut. “They hardly ever get excited about their own stuff. We only tend to love things once everyone else confirms they’re good … Australian creatives have always had to go overseas to get recognition. I hope one day we can make a film or work of art and Australians can think it’s good regardless of what the rest of the world thinks.”


IFC Films

In 2015, Insight Editions published 6200 pop-up books of Mister Babadook. Kent worked with the film’s illustrator, Alexander Juhasz, who created the book for the movie. He and paper engineer Simon Arizpe brought the pages to life for the published version. All copies sold out but you can find some Kent-signed ones on eBay, going for as much as $500.


It started at the end of 2016, when a Tumblr user started a jokey thread about how he thought the Babadook was gay. “It started picking up steam within a few weeks,” Ian, the Tumblr user, told New York Magazine, “because individuals who I presume are heterosexual kind of freaked out over the assertion that a horror movie villain would identify as queer—which I think was the actual humor of the post, as opposed to just the outright statement that the Babadook is gay.” In June, the Babadook became a symbol for Gay Pride month. Images of the character appeared everywhere at this year's Gay Pride Parade in Los Angeles.


Kent, who owns the rights to The Babadook, told IGN that, despite the original film's popularity, she's not planning on making any sequels. “The reason for that is I will never allow any sequel to be made, because it’s not that kind of film,” she said. “I don’t care how much I’m offered, it’s just not going to happen.”

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Internet Archive // Sketch the Cow
Play the Sneakers Computer Press Kit from 1992
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Internet Archive // Sketch the Cow

In September 1992, the computer hacking movie Sneakers hit theaters. To correspond with its launch, members of the press received a floppy disk containing a mysterious DOS program that, when launched, asked for a password. Once the reporters "hacked" their way in, they found the Sneakers Computer Press Kit. Thanks to the Internet Archive, you can play at being the film press of 1992.

It's hard to characterize exactly what this electronic press kit is. Is it a game? Sort of. It's essentially a very gentle computer hacking simulator, in which the "hacking" consists entirely of guessing passwords (complete with helpful prompts from the program itself), and the payload you discover is silly stuff like mini-biographies of Robert Redford, Dan Aykroyd, and Sidney Poitier. Still, it's a good match for the film itself, which helped set the template for Hollywood depictions of computer hacking.

A paper folder lies open on a wooden floor, with a black floppy disk on top. The folder is labeled SNEAKERS in giant red letters, as is the floppy. Inside the folder is printed material. On the right flap of the folder are instructions on how to load it.
Inside the Sneakers Computer Press Kit's paper folder. (The right flap contains installation instructions, along with a note that the studio will FedEx printed material if the user doesn't have access to a printer.)
Internet Archive // Sketch the Cow

Always remember: "My voice is my passport. Verify me." Now, get cracking on this press kit and don't be flummoxed—if you can't figure out a password right away, just wait a moment.

(Incidentally, Sneakers did also include printed materials for the press, in case they lacked a computer and/or the patience to deal with this approach. But who in the world would look at that, when they could play with this? There's also a method in the Computer Press Kit that allows the user to print out more detailed materials—provided they have a printer, and it's attached to a particular printer port on the computer.)


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