Several movie franchises are coming to an end (sorta) in 2019. Nothing ever really ends in Hollywood, of course, and studios have become increasingly reliant on reboots of established IPs and brands in recent years especially. Nevertheless, 2019 is shaping up to be a big year for hit properties either calling it a day for real (again, sans a reboot down the line) or reaching an important turning point that commemorates the end of an era... and a fresh start for the franchise at large.
It's worth noting, however, that our rundown doesn't include conclusions to two-part adaptations (see IT: Chapter Two) or what may or may not be the last movie sequels in a franchise (Zombieland 2, Frozen 2, and so on). That also goes for releases like M. Night Shyamalan's Glass, which the filmmaker has indicated could be the final installment in his Unbreakable/Split universe... but could also end up being the start of something even bigger, depending on how things play out. With that in mind, let's dive into all the big-name franchise that are "ending" next year.
- This Page: Dragons, Avengers & John Wick
- Page 2: X-Men, Toy Story & Star Wars
How to Train Your Dragon
The first How to Train Your Dragon movie came out in 2010 and has since spawned a movie sequel, a TV series (DreamWorks Dragons), and next year's How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World. However, lest anyone think there could be additional spinoffs and/or sequels down the line, series director Dean DeBlois has confirmed that won't be the case. Back in September, the filmmaker told EW The Hidden World will wrap up both the How to Train Your Dragon movie franchise and TV series; as he explained, "You will understand why Hiccup says, as you heard in the trailer, ‘There were dragons when I was a boy.’ And by the end of this film, you’ll have answered the question [of] what could have happened to them.”
The Hidden World trailer footage has confirmed as much and even features an older (and bearded) Hiccup from one of the film's flash-forwards. It only makes sense for DeBlois to call it a day now, too. Hiccup's coming of age journey was always going to be a story with a clear ending and continuing the movies past this point would only risk undergoing the emotional impact of Hiccup bidding farewell to Toothless in The Hidden World (however their parting of ways plays out). That's not to say DreamWorks Animation won't try and revisit the brand down the line (they're already rebooting Shrek, after all), but as far as DeBlois is concerned, this really is the end of the line.
Yes, Marvel Studios is kinda lying about Avengers: Endgame being the, well, end for Earth's Mightiest Heroes - but at the same time, they're not. The film is not only a conclusion to Avenger: Infinity War's dismal cliffhanger ending, but also the original Avengers' stories in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the MCU's third phase in general. Life in the MCU will certainly be different after Endgame and, as far as we know, actors like Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, and Chris Hemsworth will permanently step away from the franchise after this movie. At the very least, a new generation of MCU actors will be leading the charge in Phase 4.
Question is 1) What will happen to the original Avengers in Endgame and 2) Who will lead Earth's Mightiest Heroes next? Fans have plenty of theories about the former question, with death or retirement from the superhero game being the obvious answers. As for the latter query: Phase 3 MCU additions Spider-Man (Tom Holland), Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman), and Captain Marvel (Brie Larson) are all expected to become Avengers in Phase 4, and Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) may yet join them, by the sound of it. Either way, the Avengers will look pretty different when they assemble again post-Endgame.
The John Wick franchise kicked off in 2014 and has quickly become the gold standard for American action filmmaking since then. There are also plans in motion for a TV spinoff called The Continental, which Starz green-lit at the start of the year. However, as far as the movies go, John Wick 3: Parabellum aims to bring Mr. Wick's (very) bloody and violent odyssey on the big screen to an end. Series director Chad Stahelski confirmed as much all the way back in June 2017, when he said the third film will explore John's backstory and reveal "where he wants to go... it will be a nice completion to Mr. Wick's journey".
Much like the Avengers in Endgame, there's no guarantee John will make it out of Parabellum alive. John Wick: Chapter Two ended with John being excommunicated from The Continental and on the run with every professional killer in New York on his tail - which is to say, the odds aren't exactly stacked in his favor, when it comes to him surviving the third and final movie. Still, based on what Stahelski said, the final John Wick film will be about much more than just John (and his puppy) trying to make it out of NY alive. It's an interesting question, really: after everything he's lost, what does John want now, if not a premature death?
Next Page: X-Men, Toy Story, and Star Wars
- How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (2019) release date: Feb 22, 2019
- The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019
- John Wick: Chapter 3 (2019) release date: May 17, 2019
- X-Men: Dark Phoenix (2019) release date: Jun 07, 2019
- Toy Story 4 (2019) release date: Jun 21, 2019
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: Episode IX (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019