If you're one of those people who are worried that Hollywood has run out of ideas, fear not! We've diagrammed the next 10 years of movies for you, to demonstrate that the bigwigs out in Tinseltown are nowhere close to the bottom of their creative wells.
Back in 2002, America was a nation still reeling from the previous year's September 11 release of Nickelback's third studio album, Silver Side Up. It was the perfect environment for a popcorny espionage thriller like The Bourne Identity to make a killing at the box office, especially when it features Matt Damon riding a guy down a flight of stairs like a magic carpet.
A whole neeeww world!
Ten years and two Bourne sequels later, Matt Damon has chosen zoo ownership over international intrigue. Luckily, the loss of their lead character wasn't enough to derail the franchise, and so The Bourne Legacy was released exactly 10 years after the corpse-surfing original. We can expect to see the first sequel in 2016, which will likely continue the proud tradition of being named after Damon's character despite the fact that Matt Damon does not actually appear in the film.
Remember how jazzed the planet was for the 2002 release of Spider-Man? You know, because it was the first time Spider-Man had ever been in a movie, and we as a culture were not yet collectively drowning in superhero films? Well, Sony decided to treat us to a little more of that decade-old bottled magic when they released their Spider-Man reboot, The Amazing Spider-Man, 10 years after the original.
"And we still have dozens of other adjectives for reboots to work through!"
The Amazing Spider-Man 2: The Quest for Merchandising Dollars was released this year, exactly 10 years after Spider-Man 2. The third Amazing installment is scheduled for 2017, which, as you may have guessed, will be exactly 10 years after the world chose to forget Spider-Man 3. It's like Sony is afraid to have a decade that isn't overflowing with Spider-Man sequels (not counting the barrage of annual Spider-Man spinoff films Sony has decided to put out for the rest of our natural lives.)
It's easy to forget that, since the release of the original Star Wars, there has not been a decade that didn't contain at least one Star Wars sequel. However, the previous decade was more focused on bitching about Star Wars than actually enjoying it. Well, rest easy, fans of the luckiest blind squirrel in the history of filmmaking, because the next decade is shaping up to be largely the same -- 2015 will see the release of the upcoming J.J. Abrams-helmed Star Wars: Episode VII, once again exactly 10 years after the last Star Wars film.
But 16 years after your heart gave a shit.
Judging by the multiple spinoffs Disney has planned through 2020, we probably won't have to wait another decade for the next trilogy to begin. We'll just be bombarded with annual Star Wars movies until the series folds in on itself like the Event Horizon being sucked into space hell.
After Tim Burton was politely asked to abandon the series, 1995 unleashed the Gadzooks version of the world's greatest detective in Batman Forever. Exactly one decade later, Christopher Nolan brought the Dark Knight to the world of sepia-toned growling with 2005's Batman Begins. Cut to 2015 (once a-fucking-gain, exactly 10 years later), when we were originally going to be watching Batman ponderously frown his way through 140 minutes of depressing violence in Zack Snyder's Batman v. Superman (the film recently got pushed back to March of 2016, but the pattern is impossible to ignore).
"Eh, still too colorful." -Zack Snyder
It seems like regardless of the quality of the previous series, Warner Bros. is content to give us a new Batman every decade. So whether or not you like Zack Snyder's version, you can probably expect to see a new one in 2025, 2035, 2045, and so on until the new Batman is premiering on a star in the distant future populated entirely by space werewolves.
It seems like it was only 2007 when a person could go to the theaters and have their pick between indiscernible battling robots and a teetering Johnny Depp pirate circus aimed at no particular demographic. That was the year we were introduced to the first Transformers trilogy while closing out the wildly successful Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy, which is one of the most improbable sentences in history.
Other than this one.
Well guess what, assholes? 2017 (Ten. Years. Later.) will see the release of the fifth installment in both the Pirates and the Transformers franchise, the sophomore offering in each series' respective second trilogy. Conventional wisdom dictates that this might be too much pirates and robots, but worldwide box office figures disagree.
The first half of the last Harry Potter movie premiered in 2010, one year after series creator J.K. Rowling promised that there would be no more Harry Potter books. It's safe to assume that Rowling has already collected all of the world's money, so there would be no reason not to take her at her word, right?
Haha, nope. Not only has Warner Bros. created an entire team dedicated to "global franchise development" of the Harry Potter universe, but they've also already announced plans to make a new film trilogy based solely on Rowling's 42-page Harry Potter appendix "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them," which is rumored to hit theaters between 2018 and 2020 -- placing it 10 years after the last film in the original series.
So there you have it. Next time you catch yourself wondering what exciting new thing Hollywood has in store for us, just bash yourself in the head with a brick until you forget the previous decade of movies and prepare to be dazzled.
For further gladdening news out of Tinseltown, check out 4 Reasons the New 'Star Wars' Movies Will Inevitably Be Bad and 4 Ways the '50 Shades of Grey' Film Is Worse Than You Expect.