In library world we’re always talking about movies that are based on books because to us, that’s one way to get traction with non-readers. LOOK! THEY MADE IT INTO A MOVIE! Nevermind that they cut out whole sections of the book, or mashed characters together to make it “better,” or changed the book entirely (nope, not looking at how they’re taking a 42 page paperback “auxillary” book and turning it into at least two movies and a rumored third). But what about those movies that come out with a different media base altogether? Below I’ve pulled together upcoming movies based off of games, toys, and other media that may capture our tweens’ and teens’ interest.
MAX STEEL: Already dying at the box office, poor Max was a really iffy proposition to begin with. The movie rights were originally owned by Paramount, then picked up by Mattel who owns the rights to the action figures. You might have hazy recollections of good ol’ Max on TV in cartoon versions, but his movie time will be sadly short.
TROLLS: Coming to theaters November 4, these are not your trolls from yesteryear. Voiced by Justin Timberlake and Anna Kendrick, they sing and dance and need to save their brethren from the Bergren. Already spawning a MAC and Betsy Johnson line, expect lots of singing and glitter from your tweens and young teens in your future. Embrace it or run as your temperament may dictate.
Program tie-ins could be decorating your own troll, creating your own troll character, glitter crafts, or other things in similar veins.
ASSASSIN’S CREED: Based on the extremely popular game franchise from Ubisoft, coming to theaters December 21 to battle it out the week after Star Wars: Rogue One hits. Through a revolutionary genetic technology, Callum unlocks his genetic memories and discovers he’s descended from a 15th century secret society known as the Assassins, and using this technology tries to take on the Templars in present day.
Program tie-ins could be running Assassin’s Creed co-op game tournaments, assassin training camps (similar to ninja or Jedi camps), self-defense training, or genealogy researching.
NOTE: This movie has issues with casting. In the game Callum is shown as being Spanish and his ancestor is definitely Spanish. In the movie, Callum is being played by Michael Fassbender, who is not. There is NO indication in the trailers or in casting notes that when Fassbender goes back to his 15th century ancestor that there is another actor who plays the character. That is problematic from my point of view.
RESIDENT EVIL: THE FINAL CHAPTER In what they say really, really IS the final chapter, Alice is battling the evil Umbrella Corporation back at Hive Headquarters to ring in the new year, scheduled for release on January 27, 2017. When we last left, we thought that Alice and company had finally finished off everything and she was the final survivor. Nope, it’s never that easy, right?
Program tie-ins are any and all zombie programs that you can think of, including how to survive a zombie invasion, calling in zombie corps, and zombie make-up tutorials.
LEGO BATMAN THE MOVIE: Flying onto screens in February 2017 is a more-than-welcome type of superhero, LEGO Batman. When Joker takes over Gotham, the rapping Dark Knight must start working with a new commissioner and a certain orphan in order to save the day. But will he welcome the changes in his life? Even teens will crack a smile over LEGO Batman’s antics.
Program tie-ins must include breaking out LEGOs and creating your own Batcave, Batgear, Batmobile, and any other Bat-equipment your tweens and teens can think of, and putting them on display. Bring out the video game consoles and get out the LEGO games — no one will tell if you plug in the cheat codes so everyone lives, just this once.
POWER RANGERS (2017): No, you are not seeing things. The Power Rangers are back, with the tag line “Together we are more.” Gone are the giant stiff suits and overdubbing, and in their place is an actual CGI budget and Elizabeth Banks (Effie Trinket, The Hunger Games series) as Rita Repulsa. Saban, the studio who gave us the Power Rangers, has had them in continuous production since their inception over 20 years ago. This incarnation has five ordinary high school kids in Angel Grove having to band together to save their town (and the world) from alien destruction after being chosen to be the Power Rangers. Based on the reception of this movie, there might be as many as 7 Power Ranger movies coming to a theater in the years to come.
Program tie-ins can include self-defense classes, martial arts demonstrations, and other types of showcases, as well as technology workshops based off the suits.
NOTE: I would be cautious about showing old TV episodes or cartoons of Power Rangers unless you contact Nickelodeon or Saban directly, because as of October 19, 2016, none of the episodes or movies were covered under Movie Licensing USA.