The Paranormal Activity franchise faced a major challenge this past weekend with the theatrical release of Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones. The spinoff marks the fifth entry in the series and the first attempt at expanding beyond the core storyline of previous films (read our review).

Every studio, it seems, is intent on transforming their most popular properties into interconnected webs of storytelling (especially in a post-Avengers world), and while it remains to be seen whether or not this fall’s Paranormal Activity 5 can keep the franchise afloat, it looks like the creative team behind the films certainly has an endgame in mind.

According to Slash Film, Christopher Landon – the writer and director of The Marked Ones – has revealed that he, along with producers like Oren Peli and Jason Blum, are planning a grand finale somewhere down the road. Here’s what Landon had to say:

“We’ve always been looking ahead. I’ll say this much. There is a very specific end goal and I’m hoping we have enough time in the franchise to get there. We have a really big idea that’s at the finish line but we need time to get there. So we’re hoping the fans keep coming back and allow us to get them there.”

The ending of The Marked Ones does lend some indication about where the Paranormal Activity series may lead going forward, though it’s anyone’s guess exactly how Landon and company plan on developing the series’ mythology in ensuing installments.

The director did reveal, however, how the plan evolved from the self-contained original film into a more intricate tale:

“The beginning of that started in [the first film]. I don’t think Oren realized it then, because when he made the first movie it felt like a standalone movie, but then when we started making 2 and we started to see the potential and possibility there for a franchise, that’s when the real think tank element came in to play and we really started to throw out crazy ideas. Then, over the course of the last couple movies, we came to a really good, interesting place.”

The past has proven that, when done right, such universe-building can pay off handsomely for both studios and moviegoers, resulting in a fun, quality product that earns heaps of box office cash. However, there is also the chance that such big-picture thinking could exhaust the existing Paranormal Activity fanbase. Here’s hoping that the creative team’s ambitious goals for the franchise can keep it alive long enough to please devoted fans with a memorable conclusion.

Where would you like to see the Paranormal Activity series go in future films? Let us know in the comments section.

Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones is now in theaters. Paranormal Activity 5 will be released on October 24, 2014.

Source: Slash Film