Editorial: Our Favorite Non-Superhero Movie Character Crossovers
by Ben Pearson
July 3, 2012
The Characters of Nicolas Winding Refn's Pusher Trilogy
The upcoming Swedish film Snabba Cash (aka Easy Money) shares some thematic elements with Nicolas Winding Refn's Pusher crime trilogy about the harsh life on the streets as a drug dealer. Refn reportedly bailed on Danish film school to make this first movie, and you can absolutely see the seeds planted for his eventual masterpiece, Drive, in his visceral and violent style on display here. Mads Mikkelsen plays a side character in the first movie, but becomes the lead in the second film, and a drug lord name Milo—who appears in all three films—is the central character in the third entry. Seems like The Bourne Legacy is taking a page out of this book, expanding a previously established world with some of the same characters (Joan Allen, Albert Finney, etc.) and a different lead (Jeremy Renner).
The Races of Aliens and Predators in Alien vs. Predator Films
Fanboys were clamoring for this one in magazines (remember those?) and fan-zines for years before the internet even existed, and when this film finally came together, the results were… a bit disappointing. If memory serves, there weren't too many iconic fights between the two behemoths, and I know nobody was expecting a great story, but by taking two R-rated franchises and making this combo into a PG-13 flick, they really cut the legs out from under themselves before they even got started. I just wish Danny Glover from Predator 2 could have showed up somehow. (And yes, while we're on the subject, technically Prometheus could go in this category, but let's leave that one alone for a while. Seems like it's taken enough of a beating.)
Freddy Kruger and Jason Voorhees from Freddy vs. Jason
Horror fans were probably scanning this list from the start in hopes to see this one mentioned, although like Alien vs. Predator, the years of anticipation for this movie resulted in a pretty mediocre movie. The ending for Freddy vs. Jason was one of the most frustrating things I remember from that year of moviegoing, leaving me with another "all that… for this?!" response. Backtracking through their individual franchises with numerous sequels of their own, I think it's best that these characters stay there and never meet again… unless it's in something awesome, like The Cabin in the Woods 2. Only time will tell.
Jason Statham as Frank Martin from The Transporter in Collateral
I'll admit this one is stretching it, but it's also one of the most fun to think about. Michael Mann's Collateral is one of my favorite movies, and when Statham shows up in the opening scene and makes a drop with Tom Cruise's Vincent character, it blew my mind to think that this might be his Frank Martin from the Transporter series dropping off one of his famous packages. If you'll recall, his character had a strict set of rules, and rule number three was "never look in the package." So I'm guessing this crossover took place chronologically sometime before the events of the first Transporter, since Martin seemed to soften up a bit after that. He had a reputation as one of the best in the business, someone who would deliver any package, anywhere, with no questions asked. Maybe he made a quick trip to Los Angeles before heading back to the French coast. In my mind, Collateral will always have a special guest appearance by Frank Martin.
Honorable Mentions: A recent piece on SlashFilm pointed me to a series of films called The Trilogy, which I didn't include in this list because I haven't had time to watch them yet. (They sound really cool, though.) Plus, there are more obvious examples, like the Pizza Planet truck that appears in almost every Pixar film (including Brave!), and R2-D2's cameos in movies like Raiders of the Lost Ark and J.J. Abrams' Star Trek. These are our favorites though. Any more we left out? Reply below! Favorite crossovers?
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