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Movie Mom

Bob Mondello on the Challenge of Naming Movie Sequels

posted by Nell Minow

sharknado 2NPR’s Bob Mondello has a delightful commentary on titles of movie sequels.  Somehow he neglected to mention “Sharknado 2: The Second One,” which democratically allowed the fans to pick the title via Twitter votes.  That approach could have prevented some of the problems Mondello identifies:


A while back, when producers were abbreviating everything — Mission Impossible 2, for instance, had posters that read M:I-2 — there was a horror flick that wanted to try that: a sequel to Halloween that was supposed to be taking place 20 years after the first one. So the poster had Jamie Lee Curtis staring out from the darkness above great big letters saying H20. It looked like she was selling a really sinister brand of bottled water.

Another title that raised all the wrong questions was for a story about the king from whom we declared our independence in 1776. In Britain, the stage play was called The Madness of George III. But when it was turned into a film, the producers worried that Americans wouldn’t know who George III was, so they added the word “King” — The Madness of King George — while dropping the Roman numeral at the end, for fear that audiences would think they’d missed parts one and two.

Mondello’s piece is a lot of fun — and very true.

  • Toby Clark

    I remember a story told by one of the Coodabeen Champions about a guy in a motel video shop in the late 1980s, who rented a video of a production of Shakespeare’s Henry V. When asked by the clerk what made him choose that one, he replied, “Oh, I don’t know, you know, they’ve only made what, four Rockys, this Henry Five must be really something.”

    • Nell Minow

      Too funny, Toby!

  • Pingback: Bob Mondello on the Challenge of Naming Movie Sequels | Spiritual Physical Mental Health Network

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