Among the many life-altering experiences you can go through as a fan, the reality of finally seeing two of your all-time favorite franchises come together in a single movie is very near the top of the list (though, like Turk, meeting Lando Calrissian in-person takes the number one spot for me).
For the film viewer, a lot of the thrill comes down to wanting to watch two awesome and beloved characters duke it out. We want to know whether we were right in deciding who would win when we enacted the epic battles scenes in our back yard (of course, the writers of these versus films usually create some sort of tie to avoid offending the die-hard fanboys of either character).
We get so pumped over crossover movies that we’re often forgiving of how dubious the plots actually are. The studios are well-aware of the money-making potential of tapping into two (or more) fanbases. That’s why we’re been favored with such cinematic masterpieces as Freddy vs. Jason, Alien vs. Predator, and Lake Placid vs. Anaconda (gotta hand it to Syfy for that one).
But there’s still a treasure trove of untapped material out there. And since Hollywood is pretty much out of original ideas by now, I thought I’d do it a favor by suggesting the “Versus” movies that absolutely need to happen.
Terminator vs. Planet of the Apes
That’s right. We know Arnie’s looking for ways to stay relevant (did you really think his political career was anything more than a successful attempt to stay in the limelight in the face of aging and a changing action film environment), so let’s give our favorite Austrian a chance and pit him against our Simian overlords.
Think about it. It’s perfect. Two franchises about human enslavement by the beings who were supposed to serve us. The possibilities are endless. The plot could involve:
- The machines/humans sending back a Terminator bot to destroy Caesar and prevent the ape uprising
- The apes sending a Terminator to kill John Conner, a human who leads the human resistance against the apes
- Humans and apes joining forces as biological allies against the common foe of the machines
Any one of those scenarios, or a combination of them, would be certain box office gold! Obviously, no matter what plot the studio ends up using, all we really want is a scene of Schwarzennegger wresting an eastern gorilla. Seriously, Hollywood–announce this movie and you can go ahead and take my money before pre-production even begins.
Smurfs vs. Oompa-Loompas
Prepare yourself for a battle of miniature proportions between our favorite little people on film. Although the two groups are from different parts of the world (Loompa Land is located somewhere in the South American rain forest and the Smurf villages are presumably in the forest of Belgium or France), we can surely come up with a reasonable way to bring them together.
Maybe Willy Wonka fires the Oompa-Lumpas for demanding a higher wage of cocoa beans and then hires the Smurfs as replacements. A battle ensues over who stays employed (don’t you ever mess with an Oompa-Loompa’s livelihood).
And if we decide to go with the Loompas from the 1971 Willy Wonka film (who wouldn’t?), inter-tribe warfare may be more conceivable since the lederhosen makes the singing organge dwarves appear more European in origin.
As to who would win, that’s hard to call. Oompa-Loompas perhaps have the physical edge since they’re described as knee-high whereas the Smurfs are the height of three apples. But we have a lot more media depicting the intellect and cunning of the smurfs, while all we’ve really seen of the Oompa-Loompas is them following orders within the confines of the Wonka factory. Who do you bet your money on?
Mowgli vs. Tarzan
Literature’s most well-known feral children, and the subjects of a couple of Disney’s most beloved animated films. Most people are familiar with these characters from the numerous Jungle Book and Tarzan adaptations in media. We marvel at their having not only survived, but dominated their wild surroundings.
But who is the more competent wild man? I’m honestly surprised no official crossover has been made as of yet, considering Disney’s possession of the two properties.
To make such a story truly interesting, I think the film would have to be live action and really cover the full breadth of these two characters. The movies tend to gloss over so much, perpetually portraying Mowgli as a kid and Tarzan with his “Me Tarzan, you Jane” shtick.
In the books, however, both Mowgli and Tarzan become well-acquainted with the ways of men while retaining their closeness to the wild they grew up with. Heck, Tarzan learns to fluently speak over 13 languages!
It’s hard to say who would prevail among such formidable contestants. Tarzan has gone toe to toe with everything from gorillas and lions to rhinos and dinosaurs. He was raised by apes. While Mowgli hasn’t had the opportunity to confront a T-rex (as far as we know), he’s gone up against tigers and was raised by wolves.
Probably the only way to make this any more interesting is to throw George of the Jungle into the mix.
Despicable Me vs. Megamind
Gru and his minions are currently among Universal’s hottest properties. Not wanting to lose its place as the second-best creator of animated films behind Disney-Pixar, Dreamworks released Megamind just a few months after the first Despicable Me.
Although Megamind doesn’t get a lot of mention when it comes to these kinds of movies, I think it’s a solid flick that holds its own. A lot of that, I feel, is due to the interesting and flamboyant main character, voiced by Will Farrel. Just imagine an animated movie featuring Will Farrell and Steve Carell together. It’d be Anchorman in cartoon form!
And the thing is, these two movies actually feel like they could exist in the same universe. Despicable Me, for instance, establishes a world full of heroes and villains. They also have similar animation styles. Since Megamind limits its happenings to Metro City, it’s conceivable that the two villains-turned heroes didn’t compete with each other due to having different jurisdictions.
But I like the two characters too much to want to see either pummeled. I’d rather have a brief backstory involving a past rivalry between the two and have the main plot revolve around them teaming up to save the day.
And if we really wanted to, we could probably add in Monsters vs. Aliens, which has the same feel as the two movies in discussion. That would allows us to include the voice talents of Seth Rogen and Stephen Colbert. Put all that together and we’d really have one monster of a movie!
Indiana Jones vs. The Mummy
Obviously, the Mummy films are an homage to Indy, so it’s no wonder they have so many things in common. A 1930s setting, supernatural element, and light-hearted adventure. So, studio execs, please just go ahead and do what we’ve all been thinking about for years–find a way to put these two together.
Pretty much, I want to see Indy pitted against the Mummy. I think Dr. Jones is all-around more competent than Rick O’Connell (I mean, come on–at 73 Harrison Ford could probably still pulverize Brendan Fraser). There’s no doubt their brief and obligatory scuffle would end with Indy wiping the floor with O’Connell.
The true interest would be in seeing how Indiana–who meets the supernatural but for the most part fights human adversaries (especially Nazis) would deal with a powerful mystical entity like Imhotep and his army of undead.
Surely, such a crossover can be done. If Disney can work with Universal to work out the Hulk’s cinematic appearances, they can put differences aside to give us the Indy/Mummy movie we deserve.
Star Wars vs. Marvel
What can I honestly say about this that wouldn’t be redundant? Have Earth’s mightiest heroes travel to a galaxy far, far, away to engage in some major butt-kicking. Captain America wielding a lightsaber, Iron Man fighting Boba Fett, Nick Fury (Mace Windu?) piloting the Millennium Falcon. The stuff dreams are made of.
Honestly, I don’t care what plot is used to make all this happen. It can be the most inane, ridiculous contrivance imaginable–I just want to see these characters on the screen together.
I’m even willing to go with Patton Oswalt’s proposition:
Let’s face it, this is why Disney bought Star Wars and Marvel, two of the biggest things ever. You can’t tell me this isn’t their final goal.
I hope you enjoyed my nerd fantasies. Let me know in the comments what franchises you want to see turned into awesome versus movies.