For a franchise to succeed, more so than a pre-existing fanbase, good special effects or good plot after the second instalment (although that final one is as important as it is rare), it needs strong, memorable characters. An iconic image for the poster and someone who the audience can immediately cheer for/boo at is the real key to success. There’s exceptions to this rule – Riddick has kept scraping along despite having an inherently despicable hero at its centre – but for the most part it’s here where the likes of Battleship fail.
Which is why it’s crazy when the latest in a series with a well set up cast neglects to include one of the fan favourites. Here are nine such characters who left the franchise for one entry, but swiftly came back for whatever reason (and it’s not always as simple as you think).
Normally when I’m doing a list I tend to be pretty loose in my choices – if I can vaguely justify and entries inclusion it’ll feature – but today I’m following an exact rule. These must be characters who make appearances in every other film in the series, so returned straight after their missed episode.
Potential Future Entry: Jason Bourne – The Bourne Legacy
I’m futureproofing this article here in the hope that one day Matt Damon will return to his superstar franchise as plot required amnesiac Jason Bourne. The Bourne Legacy was a serviceable entry in the spy franchise (I don’t hold the others as highly as many others so its weaknesses were lessened), but Jeremy Renner’s Aaron Cross was instantly forgettable. The return of Jason is the only way the franchise can go forward, making the continued development of the Damon-less Bourne 5 a rather flat prospect.
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