Sometimes it feels like there are no truly original tv shows or movies anymore -- it’s all sequels, prequels, reboots, and spin-offs. Of course, there’s an obvious reason for Hollywood’s obsession with re-writing the same stories: money.
Expanding on an established, popular franchise means tapping into an existing fanbase. It means building on existing hype, instead of starting from scratch, and it can even mean being able to bypass the casting process. It’s a faster way to go from idea to box office, and it often comes with a better chance studios of having a hit on their hands.
Still, plenty of fans are getting increasingly frustrated with a kind of storytelling that is increasingly lazy. They want new stories, new characters, and new concepts, not just a re-cycling of old favorites.
One great way to get the best of both worlds, of course, is by writing a spin-off. Like sequels, prequels, and reboots, spin-offs take advantage of established fanbases and characters, but they go in a very different direction.
They can often provide a fresher take on old favorites, or expand the world of a franchise sideways (not just forwards or backwards along the timeline). These might not be totally new stories, but they are a great middle ground -- and there are plenty of these on the way.
With that said, here are the 15 Spinoffs You Didn’t Know Were Coming In 2018.
15 The Nun
This horror spin-off takes the demonic nun from The Conjuring 2, and gives her an entire solo flick for horror fans to enjoy this summer. Set for release in July 2018, The Nun is rumored to be an origin story for the demon Valak, as a priest investigates the mysterious death of a nun.
Beyond that, however, the details of the plot are being kept carefully under wraps. This isn’t the first spin-off that Warner Bros and New Line Cinema have created from the hit Conjuring franchise, either.
Annabelle, a film about the creepy doll from The Conjuring was released in 2014, with a sequel, Annabelle: Creation, out this year. Conjuring fans will be hoping that next summer’s Conjuring offering is just as successful, with the possibility of more Nun films on the way if it’s a box office hit.
14 The New Mutants
In addition, the X-Men franchise has included solo spin-offs like Logan and Deadpool, as well as more than one TV series that don’t connect directly to the main universe. Next on the slate for the sprawling cinematic universe is The New Mutants, a horror spin-off from the Marvel comics. It’s unusual for a superhero movie to go the horror route, so The New Mutants is something of a risky move by Fox.
However, the R-rated Deadpool was also considered a risk, and that proved to be a huge success, so The New Mutants may be another surprise hit. Centered on five mutants who are held against their will in a government facility, the spring release (April 2018) will reveal whether comic fans are ready for a horror adaptation.
13 Black Lightning
The CW’s Arrowverse gets another super-show, as Black Lightning joins the network early next year. The CW already hosts Arrow, The Flash, and Legends of Tomorrow in one universe, and Supergirl in another universe (although the two often crossover, thanks to the established multiverse in these worlds).
Black Lightning, the story of a retired superhero turned high school principal, will be the next live-action super-series to join them. At first, Black Lightning will not directly connect to any of the existing shows, and will instead build a separate world where the titular character is tempted back to vigilante work by street gangs, while his daughters discover their own powers.
Although the series will not connect to the larger Arrowverse at first, it is highly likely that Black Lightning will eventually cross over with the rest -- potentially in the same way as Supergirl, which also started life as a solo endeavor.
12 Going Places
This indie film is actually both a spin-off and a reboot -- an impressive feat for a single movie. Going Places is a remake of the ‘74 French comedy Les Valseuses, about three misfit criminals, but it is also a spin-off of the cult classic The Big Lebowski.
Going Places manages to be both reboot and spin-off by recreating the original with one of the minor Big Lebowski characters in the lead. Bowling aficionado Jesus Quintana (John Turturro) is joined by Bobby Cannavale, Audrey Tatou, and Susan Sarandon, although the details of the other roles have not yet been released.
There may even be a cameo of The Dude in the film, as Jeff Bridges has said that he’d be up to reprise the character if the opportunity arose.
11 Untitled Grey’s Anatomy Spin-Off
Grey’s Anatomy has already launched one successful spin-off, Private Practice. Now, it’s gearing up for a second series based on the original, but this time it’s about firefighters in Seattle.
Ben Warren (Jason George) is going to be the main character bridging the two series, as he chases the rush he felt saving Stephanie (Jerrika Hinton) in the season 13 finale of Grey’s Anatomy, but he’ll be the only major character making the jump.
However, many of the new characters are expected to show up in this season of Grey’s Anatomy for an introduction, before the show itself debuts "midseason." A title and exact premiere date are being kept under wraps, but it has been confirmed that the first season of the new spin-off will be a short one, at only ten episodes long.
10 Wayward Sisters
This isn’t the first time that Supernatural has attempted a spin-off series, but it could well be the first one that makes it past the backdoor pilot. The first spin-off, Bloodlines, was conceived as an exploration of monsters and hunters in Chicago, but didn’t get past the pilot episode in Supernatural season 9.
However, the new spin-off looks far more promising, and fans are getting excited to see the backdoor pilot, which is set to air as the first episode of Supernatural in 2018. Wayward Sisters will center on Jody Mills (Kim Rhodes) and the monster-orphaned girls that she takes in.
So far, that includes hunter-in-training (and cured werewolf) Claire (Kathryn Love Newton), ex-vampire-bait Alex (Katherine Ramdeen), and psychic Patience (Clark Backo).
Assuming it gets picked up for a full season, Wayward Sisters will be the female-fronted show to balance the male-dominated original. It will also give fans more Jody on screen (which can only be a good thing), as well as some different relationships to explore and hunter-training to enjoy.
9 Ghostbusters: Ecto Force
The Ghostbusters franchise has already had a reboot in 2016, with the female-fronted Ghostbusters, but now it’s getting a spin-off, too. Ghostbusters: Ecto Force is a new animated series that was planned for release in 2018, expanding the new universe of Ghostbusters that began with the film.
Of course, that doesn’t mean that we’ll be seeing the same characters pop up on the small screen. Instead, Ecto Force is set in the year 2050, and brings together different teams of Ghostbusters from all over the world.
It promises to be an interesting look at different concepts of ghosts and spirits in different cultures, with the usual fun Ghostbusters feel. Sadly, although the show was originally slated for release next year, it was then announced as "on hold" at this year’s SDCC, but that doesn’t mean that a 2018 release is impossible… just that it might not appear till 2019 (or even later).
8 Deadpool Animated Series
Ryan Reynold’s Deadpool was a massive hit when it was released in 2016, so it’s not surprising that the Merc With A Mouth is getting a spin-off animated series as well as a series of live-action films.
Co-created by Donald Glover and his brother Stephen Glover, the as-yet-untitled series will be making its debut on FXX in spring of 2018 with a ten-episode first season. It’s described as ‘really different’ from the film, and is sure to enjoy some more comic-book-style adventures that might be a little tricky (or expensive) to recreate in live-action.
With Glover at the wheel and the show appearing on the same network that also hosts Legion and Archer, it’s sure to be an impressive addition to the world of comic book TV. There’s one question left to be answered, though: will Ryan Reynolds be involved as the voice of Wade Wilson?
7 Grown-Ish (Formerly College-Ish)
The critically acclaimed sitcom Black-ish gets its first spin-off in 2018, as daughter Zoey (Yara Shahidi) heads off to college. The series was originally titled "College-ish," to reflect the setting, before being re-named "Grown-ish"-- a title that better mimics that of the parent series as well as Zoey’s current place in life.
Creator Kenya Barris explains that “Where Black-ish examines what it means to be black, Grown-ish is an examination of what it is and what it means to be grown.”
As well as cameos from the rest of the Black-ish family, Grown-ish is set to introduce a whole new cast of college characters, from Zoey’s fellow students to the school’s Dean. The first season of Grown-ish will premiere on Freeform early next year, with a thirteen episode season ordered.
The Transformers film franchise already spans five films, but 2018 will see the first spin-off movie joining Michael Bay’s universe. Bumblebee will be set in the ‘80s, expanding the Transformers universe with a story about just one of the Autobot characters (Bumblebee himself, obviously).
Bumblebee has been the star of the franchise so far, so it’s not a surprise that the first solo Transformers movie will be centered on the fan-favorite character. The film stars Hailee Steinfeld as Charlie Watso, the young girl who discovers Bumblebee hiding in a California junkyard while on the run from the government.
Bumblebee was set up by The Last Knight, which hinted at the character’s past and how he lived before the first Transformers movie. The film will premiere in December of 2018.
5 Mayans MC
This Sons of Anarchy spin-off was originally planned to premiere in 2017, but given that it’s now November and there is no premiere date in sight, it’s a safe bet that the Mayans will not be back until sometime in 2018.
Set 2-3 years after the end of the parent series, Mayans MC is set to tell the story of the Reaper’s rivals (and later, friends) on the California/Mexico border. The series centers on a Mayans prospect, EZ Reyes (JD Pardo), struggling to balance his personal life with his gang affiliation and hatred of a local drug cartel.
Although FX has been very enthusiastic about the spin-off, it did hit a rough patch earlier this year, with the news that extensive re-shoots were planned for the pilot, and some roles were being entirely re-cast. Since then, FX CEO John Landgraf has said that he is ‘confident’ in the future of Mayans MC, but we’re still waiting to learn exactly when it will hit the small screen.
4 Bachelor: Winter Games
Reality shows are known for creating spin-offs, from the ever-popular celebrity editions and changed locations to gender-swapped versions. The latest for The Bachelor franchise premieres in February in 2018, and combines elements of the classic Bachelor series (attractive people looking for "love"), with an Olympic-style winter sports competition.
Planned to air at the same time as the 2018 Winter Olympics, Bachelor: Winter Games will bring back some fan-favorite contestants from past seasons of The Bachelor, as well as contestants from versions of the show in different countries (for that real "Olympic rip-off" feel).
In addition to the Olympic twist, the show was borne from a desire to create the opposite of the previous spin-off: Bachelor In Paradise. A winter version of the "competitive romance" series was the result.
3 Untitled Suits Spin-Off
Legal drama Suits also gets a spin-off in 2018, starring Gina Torres as Jessica Pearson. Former managing partner of the New York law firm where the show takes place, Pearson left the show as a regular at the end of last season, but isn’t quite finished with this world.
The finale of the current seventh season will act as a backdoor pilot for a new spin-off series about Jessica in the political world of Chicago. The female-fronted show doesn’t yet have an official title, and the premiere date for the full season will presumably be revealed after the backdoor pilot has aired next year.
The spin-off also allows Torres to get the best of both worlds; she left Suits in order to spend more time with her family in LA, but having her own spin-off allows her to do that while still existing in the wider world of the series.
The first of many spin-offs from the main Spider-Man franchise, Venom will be the second time that the comic book character of the same name is brought to life. The first Venom appeared in Spider-Man 3, and there were originally plans for a Venom solo spin-off to follow.
However, when the entire franchise was rebooted to become The Amazing Spider-Man, spin-off plans were scrapped. Now, with the web-slinger’s world being rebooted yet again (to join the Marvel Cinematic Universe), Sony are creating a series of films focusing on other characters from the Spider-verse.
The first of these is Venom, starring Tom Hardy, which hits theaters in October of 2018. Not much is known about the plot as yet, but it is likely that Sony will be aiming for an R-rating for the anti-hero’s story.
1 Solo: A Star Wars Story
This highly anticipated Star Wars spin-off/origin story will bring a young Han Solo to life on the big screen next December. Starring Alden Ehrenreich as the titular character, Solo will also feature Chewbacca and Lando Calrissian, as well as many new characters created for the film.
Like Rogue One, Solo is one of several anthology films that are being created for the Star Wars universe, hitting theaters every other year (between the most recent trilogy in the main Star Wars timeline).
The details are light so far on the plot of Solo: A Star Wars Movie, but production wrapped last month so fans are sure to start seeing some more hints and teaser trailers in the coming months before the winter release.
If Solo is a hit, this might also mean that more origin story spin-offs from the Star Wars universe are to come -- and both an Obi-Wan Kenobi and a Boba Fett solo movie are rumored to be in the works.
Can you think of any other spin-offs that are coming in 2018 that we forgot to mention? Sound off in the comments!