'Sequel' poster exhibition imagines movie follow-ups that never were

'Sequel,' a new poster exhibition at @iam8bit Gallery, imagines movie sequels that never were

Given the rate at which Hollywood cranks out sequels, prequels, remakes, reboots and spinoffs, it's almost surprising that there are still beloved films that have never gotten the follow-up treatment.

Now a new poster exhibition in Los Angeles is here to pick up the slack, and to raise a few questions about sequel-itis and franchise fatigue.

"Sequel" is the brainchild of Jon M. Gibson and Amanda White, co-owners of the creative production company and gallery Iam8bit in Echo Park. The exhibition features original posters by about 50 artists imagining movie sequels that never were, such as "The Rocketeer: Crimson Skies," "Blade Runner 2054" and "Down" (a sequel to Pixar's "Up").

"It's neat because the posters aren't just something with a '2' attached to it," Gibson said during a recent interview while preparing to hang the show. "There's concepts, and there's actual story being developed here."

He motioned toward a print of Ruben Ireland's striking poster for "Labyrinth 2: Return of the Goblin King," a would-be sequel to the 1986 fantasy film directed by Jim Henson.

"It may seem simple, but it's provocative because it's a grown-up Jennifer Connelly, who was a wee lass in the movie," Gibson said. And yet, he added with a laugh, "David Bowie has not aged, which is very similar to real life."

Some of the posters in "Sequel" play off projects that have languished in development hell for years ("King Conan," a "Blade Runner" sequel), while others are more fanciful (a "Mad Max" prequel with Robert Mitchum and an Adam West "Batman" movie with the modern villain Bane).

"There's some really good ideas in here, which I'm sure is going to inspire some actual films," White said.

The opening reception for "Sequel" will be held Thursday, 7-11 p.m., at Iam8bit Gallery (RSVP online). The show runs through Nov. 23.

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