Sequels And Franchises!

Kurt Russell, Vin Diesel and Paul Walker in "Furious 7."

HOLLYWOOD—It was back in 2012, that Hollywood decided to release a plethora of sequels and franchises. It would be a risk-taker to release would-be originals that may or may not financially merit the pockets of movie execs, thus 2015, is no different.

Hollywood decided to reap the rewards of sequels for this year once again. As you may know, sequels are usually made if the films preceding them were notably successful. It’s usually fair-game to expect that when a sequel’s trailer hits the screens it’s usually to attract serious buzz among movie-goers. There are often debates among movie-critics whether or not the sequels live up to the names and reputations of the originals. Some argue, never interfere with a classic, while others claim they want to see more. The magnitude of the big-name movies, usually build up their franchises and earn millions.

With the hacking of Sony Entertainment Pictures, some studio executives prefer not to rehash old ideas and reboot franchises. But the name of the game is usually money, alas, the age of the sequel, prequel, reboot, remakes and trilogy is going strong in 2015. Some of the most anticipated films are: “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” with a December 18 release.

The first film in the franchise being made by Disney, which hopes to reignite the passions of fans. Series creator George Lucas sold his empire of companies to Disney back in October 2012. Disney is also slated to release, “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” on May 1. It’s an all-cast film that stars Robert Downey, Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Scarlett Johansson among many more. It looks to mirror the success of the original which made $1.5 billion at the international box office.

Several franchises are being revamped, including “Terminator,” which sees Arnold Schwarzenegger reprises his role as the titular character in “Terminator: Genysis.” Also the gates are open once again to “Jurassic World,” with dinosaurs set to cause more damage when they get released in June.

Revving it up is “Furious 7,” set to be released on April 3. The film was originally slated for release in the summer of 2014, but after the untimely death of Paul Walker, it will finally be racing into movie theaters. The first public screening took place at the South By Southwest festival, leaving the audiences in tears. The film is the actor’s final appearance as law enforcement officer Brian O’ Connor.

Walker, 40, died as a passenger in a one-car crash in Santa Clarita, California, in November 2013. Walker had completed most of his scenes before his death, however, Universal Pictures was forced to put production on hold to figure out how to continue filming without him. Walker’s brothers stepped in for a few remaining scenes as a body double along with CGI effects which make a seamless transition in the completed film. The “Fast & Furious,” franchise has grossed more than $2 billion globally. The film ends with a tribute to Walker, closing with the words “For Paul” written in black against a white backdrop.

With the debut of the block-buster auto-action film “Furious 7,” is the release of Ludacris’s eighth studio LP “Ludaversal.” Talk about perfect timing. He makes his fourth appearance in the “Fast and Furious,” franchise as Tej Parker, a formal speed racer who spends more time under the hood than behind the wheel.

Rose’s Scoop: Kanye West continues to be in the news, as he is confirmed as one of this year’s headline acts at the Glastonbury Festival. It will be the rapper’s first appearance at the world-famous music event, which takes place June 24 through June 28. Foo Fighters, Lionel Richie are among some of the musical talents scheduled to perform.