Calista’s Cinema Conversations: Movies with spin-offs and interconnected stories

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The new film “Glass” is a sequel to both the 2000 movie “Unbreakable” and the extremely popular 2016 film “Split.” Though most of the backstory of “Unbreakable” and even a little of “Split” was explained to clarify the plot of “Glass,” this got me thinking about other movies that weren’t sequels but feature the same story or characters as other films. This week is dedicated to those films that have spin-offs or storylines connected to other films.

Another very recent and popular example of this week’s topic is the new “Fantastic Beasts” series, which is a kind of prequel spin-off of the young-adult fantasy series “Harry Potter.” “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” and “Fantastic Beasts: Crimes of Grindelwald” focus on the events that lead up to the famous story of the boy with the lightning scar we know and love. The films follow magical creature enthusiast Newt Scamander and his American wizard friends as they discover secrets the magical community was trying hard to hide. Though the second film, “Fantastic Beasts: Crimes of Grindelwald,” is extremely confusing and posed more questions than it answered, it felt like the movie was leading up to a big reveal in the next part of the franchise. I definitely recommend both of these films for fans of the original “Harry Potter” series. I even recommend the films to non-fans or passive viewers, as the special effects were entertaining on their own.

Another huge and successful movie franchise that has its own set of spin-offs and origin stories is the Star Wars series. In addition to the main eight-part series following the demise and rise of the Skywalker family, the spin-off “Rogue One” and the origin story “Solo: A Star Wars Story” that became interesting additions to the galaxy far far away.

Another recent film with an intertwining story is “The Nun,” which told the backstory of the demon from “The Conjuring 2.” Set in the 1950s in a Romanian monastery, a nun-in-training and a priest discover there is something truly evil behind the death of a nun at the monastery. The film brings the story full circle, even tying in to a small plot point found at the beginning of the first “The Conjuring” film.

Intertwining storylines are an excellent way for films to gain anticipation from audiences. The idea that there is another story to tell through the use of the same characters, worlds or stories is appealing and, when done well, can boost a film’s popularity among viewers. There is always more of a story to tell after each film is made, the hard part is figuring out which stories should be told and which should be left on the cutting-room floor.


Calista Giroux is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at calista.giroux@gmail.com.

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