Despite what the major studios and production companies may think, not every successful movie needs to launch a multi-film series and retrofit itself as part of a cinematic universe. Believe it or not, there was once a time when blockbusters arrived to tell a complete story in two hours, and then they were never seen or heard from again.
Some of the greatest action flicks ever made like True Lies, The Rock, Face/Off, Con Air and Air Force One could have easily been sequelized and spun off for further adventures given the high concept premise and marketable stars in the cast, and almost all of them were under consideration to get follow-ups at one point, but looking back, the legacy of each one is enhanced by the fact that the law of diminishing returns was never allowed to set in.
Netflix’s Extraction doesn’t quite belong in the same rarefied air as the aforementioned classics, but it’s easily one of 2020’s best actioners, not to mention the streaming service’s most-watched original movie ever. Multiple sequels are inevitable at this point, but in a recent interview, producers Joe and Anthony Russo hinted that there could be an entire shared mythology built out from Sam Hargrave’s directorial debut.
“I’m still not gonna commit because I think it’s more exciting to surprise people, but I will say this, we are working at building out a universe of films that could potentially explore some of the other characters from the first movie and some new characters, and see more historical interaction between the characters. So if you’re interested in David Harbour’s character, you just may get to see him in a future Extraction movie.”
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As much as subscribers would love to see more from the world inhabited by Chris Hemsworth’s deadly Tyler Rake and the various shady operatives he’s been forced to deal with over the years, a fine line needs to be walked to avoid oversaturation and watering down the core appeal of what made Extraction so popular in the first place, because we’ve already seen plenty of shared universes fail in the past when the creative team fundamentally misunderstood what people actually wanted from them.