2014 in review: Planning for possible sequels

I don’t know about you, but I like to plan. Forget those yearly planners. Those are for amateurs. Mine stretches out to the end of the decade. When my wife asks if I can do something about the ants swarming the kitchen, I open my book, flip through its pages and cheerfully reply, “I’ve got a Saturday in April 2016 available. How’s that work?” She doesn’t need to answer. The look on her face says it all.

So when you ask about a seismic event in the popular culture this year, I’m thinking you know what I’m thinking. No, not the day I figured out how to delete that U2 album from my iCloud. Not even close. It’s when both Marvel and DC Comics unveiled their release schedules through the next six years. Six years! How many people know what they’re doing June 19, 2020? I do. I’m seeing “The Green Lantern”!

But why aren’t all sectors of Corporate-Mandated Moviemaking so helpful? Looking through my book, I have a couple of dozen weekends available in the next six years. Possibly even one more if my wife takes care of those ants. So in the interest of long-range planning, I offer the following suggestions, most of which, I assume, are already in some stage of development.


Disney Chairman Bob Iger insists he won’t “mandate” a “Frozen” sequel. I respect that. However, the 8-year-old girl living next door needs something new to sing besides “Let It Go.” She told me so. Or did I tell her? I can’t remember. Anyway …

"Frozen 2: I Let It Go, Now I Want It Back": Tired of being required to "control" her powers, Elsa unleashes an ice age that lasts 400 years. When everyone finally thaws, they're surprised to find they've been joined by a sloth, a mammoth and a saber-toothed cat, along with a wacky squirrel obsessed with acorns. (Holidays 2017)

"Frozen 3: Olaf's Revenge": "Do you want to build a snowman? You shall build no other snowmen! I, and I alone, am the Snowman. You shall have no other snowmen before me!" Olaf goes a little cray-cray. Probably because of that squirrel. (Holidays 2020)

‘The Hunger Games’

Author Suzanne Collins says she won’t write any more “Hunger Games” books. OK. So maybe Lionsgate combines its two popular YA franchises into one monster mash-up.

"Twilight of the Hunger Games": Edward and Bella's daughter gets reaped! Paging Katniss! (November 2017)

"Twilight of the Hunger Games, Part 2": Katniss saves the girl! Edward thanks her … and they feel an undeniable pull! (November 2018)

"Twilight of the Games: Katniss vs. Bella": Think of it like "Alien vs. Predator," but with crossbows and fangs and feelings and stuff! (November 2019)

‘Gone Girl’

Another one of these difficult authors who won’t write a sequel. With ideas like these, who needs her?

"Gone Girl 2: Look Who's Talking": It's a boy … voiced by Aziz Ansari, whom we hear (adorably) say the moment after he's born: "This has got to be the weirdest day of my life … well, so far." It gets weirder, way weirder because, you know, what's the deal with Mommy and why does she keep listening to that song "Blank Space" over and over and over again and spending so much time talking with that neighbor lady when she's clearly an idiot? And why is Daddy's door always locked? (October 2016)

"Gone Girl 3: Who's Amazing Now?" A Catholic priest warns the Dunnes that their son is indeed special, though not in the way they thought. Might this explain the strange numerical birthmark on the boy's scalp? (Summer 2018)

‘Left Behind’

The Kardashians and the Apocalypse seem inextricably intertwined. You don’t think of one without thinking of the other, right? So why not take the obvious next step? After all, they can’t be worse than Nicolas Cage.

"Left Behind: Tribulation Force": Kim and Khloe rebel against the New World Order after discovering the Antichrist's Middle East peace treaty sham threatens production of their perfume lines. (Christmas 2016)

"Left Behind: What About the Animals?": Amid their battle against Satan, the girls suffer a moment of crisis. All dogs go to heaven, right? (Christmas 2017)

"Left Behind: The Final Victory": The faithful ascend to heaven, a place where eyebrows need never be plucked, designer sunglasses don't break and no one grows older — or wiser, thank God! (Knowing stuff is so overrated!") (Christmas 2018)