Naming a Sequel

The Roman Numeral – Classy, elegant and to the point, no matter how crappy the series. 

  • Saw (2004)
  • Saw II (2005)
  • Saw III (2006)
  • Saw IV (2007)
  • Saw V (2008)
  • Saw VI (2009)

If you start with Roman numerals don’t switch to Arabic…or back again.

  • Death Wish (1974)
  • Death Wish II (1982)
  • Death Wish 3 (1985)
  • Death Wish 4: The Crackdown (1987)
  • Death Wish V: The Face of Death (1994)

The Number – Good but 62% less classy.

  • Creepshow (1982)
  • Creepshow 2 (1987)
  • Creepshow 3 (2006)

Try not to be confusing…

  • The Eye (2002)
  • The Eye 2 (2004)
  • The Eye 10 (2005)

…and if you have an interquel feel free to shoehorn it into the franchise.

  • The Lion King (1994)
  • The Lion King II: Simba’s Pride (1998) (V)
  • The Lion King 1½ (2004) (V) (interquel)

The Homophone – Substitute the number 2 for a homophone like “too”.   This gets the audience laughing before they even take a seat in the theater.

  • Teen Wolf (1985)
  • Teen Wolf Too (1987)

The Part – It  makes you look like you put a bit more effort into it then just slapping a number on it.

  • The Godfather (1972)
  • The Godfather Part II (1974)
  • The Godfather Part III (1990)

The “Plus One” – If the original movie had a number in its title just increase that number by one for each consecutive movie

  • Ocean’s Eleven (2001)
  • Ocean’s Twelve (2004)
  • Ocean’s Thirteen (2007)

The Extension–  Make a variation of the original title with sayings like “strikes back” , revenge of”, “return of”.  This has been effective from Son of Kong (1933) through I’ll Always Know What You Did Last Summer (2006) (V)

  • Planet of the Apes (1968)
  • Beneath the Planet of the Apes (1970)
  • Escape from the Planet of the Apes (1971)
  • Conquest of the Planet of the Apes (1972)
  • Battle for the Planet of the Apes (1973)

The Tweak – Keep the familiarity of the original’s title but add a clever twist

  • Honey, I Shrunk the Kids (1989)
  • Honey, I Blew Up the Kid (1992)
  • Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves (1997) (V)

The Pre-Subtitle – A phrase of two or more words that describes the contents of the movie which precedes the franchise title

  • Jurassic Park (1993)
  • The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997)

The Post-Subtitle – A phrase of two or more words that descibes the contents of the movie following the franchise title

  • Ice Age (2002)
  • Ice Age: The Meltdown (2006)
  • Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs (2009)

Have a game plan and plan ahead!  If you think you have a series in the making give it a post-title right out of the gate.

  • Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest (2006)
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (2007)

The “One Word Label” – Like naming a child.  Doesn’t describe it as much as labelling it.

  • Apocalypse II: Revelation (1999)
  • Apocalypse III: Tribulation (2000)
  • Apocalypse IV: Judgment (2001)

The Lead’s Name – Add  the character’s name to the subtitle.  Typically because the haracter had gained more noteriety than the movie itself.

  • First Blood (1982)
  • Rambo: First Blood Part II (1985)

The Statement – More like of a line of dialogue than a title.

  •  Darkman III: Die, Darkman, Die (1996) (V)

The Pun – Play off another movie’s title which has very little if anything  to do with the movie it is actually subtitled for. 

  • Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me (1999)

The Production Year – Put the year of release in the title.  How awesome is that?  And it never gets dated!

  •  Amityville 1992: It’s About Time (1992) (V)

The New Title – There is nothing wrong with slapping a new title that has nothing to do with the title before it.  How is it possible that audience ever discovered the James Bond series without a Dr. No, Part 23?

  • Dr. No (1962)
  • From Russia with Love (1963)
  • Goldfinger (1964)
  • Thunderball (1965)
  • Only Live Twice (1967)
  • Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969)
  • Diamonds Are Forever (1971)
  • Live and Let Die (1973)
  • The Man with the Golden Gun (1974)
  • The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)
  • Moonraker (1979)
  • For Your Eyes Only (1981)
  • Octopussy (1983)
  • A View to a Kill (1985)
  • The Living Daylights (1987)
  • Licence to Kill (1989)
  • GoldenEye (1995)
  • Tomorrow Never Dies (1997)
  • The World Is Not Enough (1999)
  • Die Another Day (2002)
  • Casino Royale (2006) (reboot)
  • Quantum Of Solace (2008)

The Blend  – If you can’t decide between arabic numerals or a pun just combine them

  • Gingerdead Man 2: Passion of the Crust (2008) (V)
  • Gingerdead Man 3: Saturday Night Cleaver (2009) (V)

The combinations are almost limitless.

 Stay the Course – Don’t change up the title formula throughout the series.

  • First Blood (1982)
  • Rambo: First Blood Part II (1985) 
  • Rambo III (1988)
  • Rambo (2008)

Try not to be confusing…

  • A Cry in the Wild (1990)
  • White Wolves: A Cry in the Wild II (1993)
  • White Wolves II: Legend of the Wild (1995)
  • White Wolves III: Cry of the White Wolf (2000)
  • The Amityville Horror (1979)
  • Amityville II: The Possession (1982) (prequel)
  • Amityville 3-D (1983)
  • Amityville 4: The Evil Escapes (1989) (TV)
  • The Amityville Curse (1990) (V)
  • Amityville 1992: It’s About Time (1992) (V) (re-released as Amityville:  It’s About Time)
  • Amityville: A New Generation (1993) (V)
  • Amityville Dollhouse (1996) (V)
  • The Amityville Horror (2005) (remakequel)
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