Whether you’re basing your movies and TV shows on books, graphic novels, or anything else really, there comes a time when your source material runs out. However, in our wonderfully capitalist society, this doesn’t mean the end of the franchise. Quite the opposite, in some cases. Besides for sequels, prequels, interquels and paraquels (which are actual words, I googled them), you can also continue your story in spin-offs.
In a lot of cases, I think spin-offs are the lesser of two evils. Instead of stretching a story past breaking point, taking other aspects of your universe and expanding them feels less like beating a dead horse. Case and point, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, which is already practically becoming a universe of its own, considering they’ve decided to make 5 movies in total before the first one has come out. Yes, technically it’s a Harry Potter pre-sequel, but considering the characters and timeline are all different, I’m calling it a spin-off.
Another sort of spin-off you can look at is Deadpool. Ridiculously popular, and poking loads of fun at the original franchise that birthed it, Deadpool stepped out of the shadow of the X-Men franchise and became a runaway success.
On the other hand, some spin-offs can still feel a lot like blatant cash-grabs. This mostly affects animated films, with Minions standing out as a prime example of this, but Puss in Boots and Penguins of Madagascar immediately come to mind as well. When everything that can (or should) be told has been told, make a spin-off of the cutest, most-kid friendly characters in your movie so you can sell more merchandise. Ah, capitalism.
So which do you prefer? A spin-off of your favourite movie or TV series, following different characters and timelines? Or are you content to watch the plethora of prequels, sequels and n-quels that carry on your favourite franchise?
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Critical Hit as an organisation.
Last Updated: November 16, 2016
Alien Emperor Trevor
November 16, 2016 at 11:21
Sequel > spin-off > prequel.
I’d much rather see main characters moving forward than side characters being expanded upon, and both are infinitely better than a prequel… where you already know the ending.
November 16, 2016 at 13:46
Frasier. Need I say more?