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Why Hollywood needs to stop counting on nostalgia

The latest trailer for Top Gun: Maverick dropped earlier today and, by all accounts, it looks like everything we'd expect from a Top Gun sequel... only 34 years after the first one came out.

Given Top Gun was one of the biggest hits of the 80s, it's surprising it took this long for a sequel to hit. But that's not what this column is about.

Shawn and I spoke about long-after-the-fact sequels on the show several weeks ago, the Cliff Note's version of which is not everything that's old needs to be new again. Sure, 2018's Halloween was a big hit, as was Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle. But recent efforts to tap into nostalgia like Terminator: Dark Fate and Charlie's Angels bombed, and bombed hard.

How successful Top Gun: Maverick, and the upcoming Matrix 4, will be is still in the cards. But I think we're near the end of the nostalgia wave. Trends typically last four or five years in Hollywood, and Stranger Things, Star Wars: The Force Awakens and even the new Halloween are already two to four years old.

We've said it before, and we'll say it again: Hollywood should stop banking on nostalgia and established franchises, and focus on new and interesting stories to put asses in seat. Audiences still love a good story.

Now, because we can, here's the Top Gun: Maverick trailer:


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