The Movies We’d Watch as Live Shows

By  · Published on February 8th, 2017

‘Fast and Furious Live’ is coming soon. Here are other movie franchises that could be worth seeing live too.

On the heels of the new trailer for The Fate of the Furious, Variety reported that Universal Studios is launching a live entertainment arena tour for The Fast and the Furious franchise in 2018. The tour will feature recreations of popular stunts and cars from the series along with performance drivers and “authentic digital projections.” As one executive puts it, the tour aims to bring the action movie experience directly to the audience, “putting them in the center of the action.”

It’s an interesting play for the Furious franchise whose audience might be up for seeing iconic stunts reenacted – whether physically or digitally – like drifting car races in Tokyo Drift or that insane plane drop in Furious 7. It’s also a bold move by Universal Studios, whose parks already include live shows for films like Terminator 2 and Waterworld. But those are tame attractions compared to the arena-size events planned for this tour. Ambitious car stunts and action sequences could take the live event experience to a whole ‘nother level – maintaining the series’ global audience while creating an “immersive” movie-based experience.

Capitalizing on a franchise’s built-in audience through live events could be an interesting model that other studios might want to explore. Here’s a list of other movie franchises that could be worth seeing live:

Mission: Impossible

Mission: Impossible started off as an intriguing spy story full of memorable scenes including Ethan Hunt’s infamous cable drop. Over the course of the series, M:I films have featured some of the boldest stunts in recent years, including the nail-biting climb up the 2,717 foot tall Burj Khalifa tower in Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol and the moving plane stunt in Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation. Recreating some of these iconic moments live could be an amazing entertainment experience. And you never know, Tom Cruise is known for doing his own stunts and might want to take part in the live versions of them too.

James Bond

Stunts might not be the first thing to come to mind when thinking of the world’s most famous secret agent, but James Bond films have had some memorable stunts worthy of recreation. Roger Moore did several noteworthy stunts in his time, including a mid-air barrel roll across a broken bridge in The Man with the Golden Gun, as well as a high boat jump during a chase sequence in Live And Let Die. But the latest Bond films have proven more action-packed than ever, from the thrilling opening rooftop motorbike chase scene in Skyfall to the death-defying train sequence in Spectre. It would be a challenge to recreate these for a live audience, but if there was a way to do it then it might be well worth the price of admission.

The Dark Knight Trilogy

Live superhero shows sound like a great idea until you think of the performers prancing around in spandex, or the fact that it’s near impossible to recreate some of the special effects used for certain superhero powers. Done wrong, the shows could feel more Disney on Ice than Avengers. Doing it right would involve picking the right scenes to recreate. Take Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy, for example. The Dark Knight features a climactic chase sequence between Batman and the Joker that features a jaw-dropping truck flip. And then there’s Bane’s opening plane sequence in The Dark Knight Rises. The scenes have enough stunt-worthy action that they could be really compelling when performed for an audience. And these guys don’t wear spandex so that’s a plus.

The Hunger Games

Honestly, who wouldn’t want to watch The Hunger Games live? Think of it like an MMA or boxing match, but with pre-teens in a dystopian world. All right, maybe that sounds a bit odd but a live stage show was announced in 2014, though it’s since been delayed. The Hunger Games doesn’t have to be a theatrical show, however – it can be an immersive participatory experience. Imagine being a player in the Hunger Games: you get dropped off at the training center, where you train and make allies and enemies before heading into the arena to participate in the games alongside Katniss and Peeta. Think Escape Room meets Battle Royale. Fun, right?

Indiana Jones

The Indiana Jones franchise may not be the first to come to mind when you hear the words “action-packed” and “stunts,” but it’s packed with iconic scenes that could lend themselves well to a live event. The infamous boulder sequence and the tomb of snakes in Raiders of the Lost Ark could be recreated with visual effects and live props. There have been previous attempts to produce live attractions for the franchise, including the now defunct Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular! in Disneyland’s Hollywood Studios in Florida as well as the Indiana Jones Adventure ride in Disneyland, California, which still exists today. A revamped live show might make for some good, old-fashioned but still thrilling fun. Plus there’s the added benefit of watching Nazis get punched in the face – who wouldn’t want to see that?

You can play, too: which movie franchise would you watch as a live show? Tell us in the Responses area below.

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Writer. Audio/Creative Producer. Columnist, Film School Rejects.