10 Franchises That Are Now Unrecognizable From Their First Movie, According To Reddit

10 Franchises That Are Now Unrecognizable From Their First Movie, According To Reddit

While Fast X has had a well-documented troubled production, it looks like it’s back to business as usual, as Daniela Melchior has teased an epic car stunt that will be in the tenth Fast and Furious movie. With all of the wild stunts and globe-trotting narratives in the new Fast movies, they’ve come a long way since the original 2001 crime drama.

But the Vin Diesel-led series isn’t the only franchise that’s completely unrecognizable from the first movie, and giving sequels higher concepts seems to be part and parcel with building a franchise. That could be either a good or a bad thing, and Redditors have chimed in with which franchises they think are the biggest culprits.


Jurassic Park/World

T. rex watching Gennaro in Jurassic Park

Onwardalan argues that the Jurassic Park series is completely different from where it first started 30 years ago. The Redditor notes, “Thinking back on the Jurassic films, the first two were the only good films (with the first being a classic) but even The Lost World felt a lot different from Jurassic Park.”

But it isn’t just a factor of quality when it comes to the current state of the franchise compared to the original movie. The original 1993 release was made better by its limitations, as it wasn’t possible to make the movie completely out of CGI, which led to the seamless blend of digital and practical effects. Now, the series’ effects are completely CGI. And though it’s endlessly entertaining seeing dinosaurs savagely tear cities apart, the franchise is in no way grounded in any sort of reality, unlike the original.

Mad Max

Tom Hardy as Mad Max in Fury Road

Ty_kanye_vcool points to the dystopian action series Mad Max as straying way too far from the original movie. The Redditor explains, “Every Mad Max film is completely unlike any of the others, but the first one doesn’t even take place after the apocalypse.” Whether it’s the setting or even the actor depicting the iconic character, the Mad Max series has taken so many different forms.

It isn’t even clear whether Mad Max: Fury Road is a continuation of the same character, a reboot of the world, or even a completely different character from the one in the original trilogy. And in that respect, maybe the series hasn’t changed all that much given that fans can’t tell the difference.


Rambo camouflaged in mud, and killing a Soviet soldier in Rambo: First Blood, Part II

2KYGWI argues that the Rambo series has lost its way and forgotten what made the original so great. The Redditor posits, “First Blood: a thriller about a traumatized, PTSD-affected veteran. Sequels: action-heavy shoot ’em ups.”

The original Rambo was a movie that was improved by studio meddling, as it was originally a 3.5-hour epic, but it was ultimately condensed down to a much leaner 90-minute thriller. Unfortunately, the sequels learned all the wrong lessons from the original movie, and while they’re all lean movies, there’s no story or mystery. However, as Quentin Tarantino wants to remake the original film, the franchise could find its way again if the celebrated filmmaker ever does get his way.

Fast & Furious

Paul Walker as Brian OConnor at a street race in 2 Fast 2 Furious

2001’s The Fast and the Furious was the start of a street racing zeitgeist and became a 2000s instant classic. Whether it was reality shows like Pimp My Ride or video games like Need for Speed, the movie single-handedly influenced almost every form of entertainment. But while the two sequels followed the same formula, the franchise is now made up of high-octane blockbuster action movies.

Though they admit it might not be a bad thing, this user accuses the Fast and Furious franchise of being completely unrecognizable from the original movie. The Redditor argues, “Not necessarily terrible, but The Fast and the Furious kinda swayed from the original premise. Street racing to jumping cars from buildings, et cetera.” The biggest stunt in the 2001 movie was when a car drove underneath an 18-wheeler, but the crew is now skydiving out of planes in cars and even going into space.

Evil Dead

Ash describes his shotgun to the villagers in Army of Darkness

Run-of-the-mill ’70s and ’80s horror movies generally followed the same pattern, as they saw groups of teenagers going to a cabin in the woods for the weekend, and before they know it, they’re either attacked by supernatural entities or a masked serial killer. 1981’s The Evil Dead was no different, as the group of friends is haunted by Deadites.

However, as Eikerir notes, “Evil Dead took quite the turn by the time it reached Army of Darkness and I love every second of it.” While Evil Dead II essentially retells the same story, it’s through a comedy-horror lens. And Army of Darkness takes the concept even further, as it sees Ash suffer the same problem yet again, but this time in the Medieval Age.

Friday The 13th

Uber Jason in the virtual reality version of Camp Crystal Lake in Jason X

Eraserhead310 thinks Friday the 13th is a far cry from what it started out as. The Redditor explains, “Imagine showing someone the first Jason movie and Jason X. There’s no way he’s guessing they’re from the same franchise.” The Reddit user is referring to a movie that takes the series into outer space, and the film is notorious for being the “jump the shark” moment in the series.

However, there are some fans of the movie, and even Tarantino loves Jason X. In fairness, the film does have one of the most inventive kills in the franchise, as Jason shatters a person’s head after it has been dipped in liquid nitrogen. Nevertheless, it couldn’t be more different from the simple slasher premise of the original movie.

Mission: Impossible

Ethan Hunt on a bungee line in Mission Impossible.

Everyone knows the Mission: Impossible movies as the action franchise where Tom Cruise keeps topping himself with subsequently dangerous and elaborate stuntwork. But Frightened_by_bark reminds users that it wasn’t always like that. The Redditor notes, “the Mission: Impossible movies now are entirely different from the espionage thriller that Brian De Palma made where the big set piece was a near silent computer hack.”

De Palma managed to turn a quiet one-man stunt in an empty room into the most intense scene of the 1990s. And though they’re still spy movies at their core, jumping off mountains on motorbikes and hanging off planes in flight couldn’t be more different from the 1996 release.


Saw 2004 Lawrence Gordon

Pandeism observes that the Saw series has strayed way too far from the original concept. The Redditor adds, “Developed into the killer having seemingly superhuman powers and unlimited resources.” There isn’t more of a difference between the first and last movie in a franchise than Saw, as the 2004 original takes place almost entirely within one room.

However, in fairness, the only reason why the original film is like that is that the creators were extremely limited by the budget. They probably would have made a much bigger movie if the budget allowed for it. But, ironically, the film ended up being completely innovative because of it.

Iron Man

Apocaloid thinks the Iron Man series ventured way beyond the limits set by the first movie. The Redditor is talking as much about the character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as much as they are about the Iron Man movie series. The user explains, “It’s jarring seeing how grounded the first movie is with the main antagonists being… Afghanis? and themes about war profiteering.” They then complain about how that same character ends up fighting “Barney in space,” clearly referring to Thanos.

Being a part of the MCU, it was only natural for the Iron Man series to develop the way it did, and Thanos was always planned to be the big bad of The Infinity Saga. But straying so far from the original movie could either be a good thing or a bad thing for fans, as some love the intergalactic space battles, and others prefer the more grounded stories.

Star Trek

Benedict Cumberbatch in Star Trek Into Darkness

Spinyfur argues that the Star Trek franchise is lost in space and unrecognizable from the earlier movies in the long-running science fiction series. The Redditor posits, “It used to be a series of optimistic sci-fi short stories about humans exploring the universe. Now it’s MCU in space.”

While the MCU is the MCU in space, the Reddit user does make a good point, as they’re getting at the fact that the Stark Trek movie franchise is way more action-oriented. The series used to tackle philosophical debates and tell stories that are allegories for racism and protecting the environment.

NEXT: 10 Reasons Why Kirk Is The Best Star Trek Captain, According To Reddit

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About The Author

Stephen Barker
(1418 Articles Published)

Currently residing in Madrid, Stephen Barker has been a staff writer at Screen Rant since 2020. Since graduating from Manchester Metropolitan University with a bachelor’s degree in Film, Television, and Cultural Studies in 2014, he has written for numerous movie and music websites. Stephen has been obsessed with movies since he first watched Jurassic Park on VHS, and with a deep interest in screenwriting, he loves 70s character-driven movies. But he’s just as much of a defender of Batman & Robin, The Fast and the Furious, and Small Soldiers.

Visit Stephen’s personal blog, Quaranste, where he writes about guilty pleasure movies, his latest musical discoveries, and how he stays creative during global pandemics, or contact him directly: Quaranstine@gmail.com.

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