In some cases, the characters or setting of an original film or video game become so valuable that they develop into a media franchise. Generally a whole series of sequels is made, along with merchandising. Multiple sequels are often planned well in advance and actors and directors may sign extended contracts to ensure their participation.
This can extend into a franchise's initial production's plot in order to provide story material to develop for sequels called sequel hooks. For instance, the film Kung Fu Panda begins with Po, a giant panda, somehow having a goose for a father and the story deliberately avoids giving a definitive explanation of how that is possible. Po's quest to answer that question forms part of the plot of Kung Fu Panda 2, which in turn establishes Po and Tigress' deepening relationship and the last minute appearance of a supposedly dead species as story material for the next film.
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“The media transforms the great silence of things into its opposite. Formerly constituting a secret, the real now talks constantly. News reports, information, statistics, and surveys are everywhere.”
—Michel de Certeau (19251986)