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Franchise-Driven Retitling

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Sometimes people come up with a name that is perfectly reasonable for a work but is not reasonable for a franchise and with a new franchise being built, they have to go back and rename the work for all future promotional materials.

This can often come about because the title of the first work depends heavily on an element in that work but not in the others. Possibly, the executives have chosen a theme to market and name the series (such as the lead character's name) and the early installment is the odd man out.

Naturally this can be happening when you have a first work that nobody was sure was going to be popular and so they didn't think of a franchise when naming it. It can also happen during an adaptation process — book series often only pick up a series name much further down the line, often unofficially, and often don't bother with this process. When they come to being adapted to another medium, somebody will have plans for a franchise but not a name.

Subtrope of Retronym, can help lead to Early-Installment Weirdness. See also The Original Series, where the first work has to be renamed because the franchise was named after it.


  • Akalabeth: World of Doom was titled Ultima 0: Akalabeth in the Ultima Collection, as it is considered a precursor to the original Ultima.
  • Raiders of the Lost Ark is sometimes renamed to Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark to match later films in the franchise, most notably its DVD release. This is somewhat odd since Indiana Jones is one of the eponymous raiders.
  • First Blood led to the sequel Rambo: First Blood Part II and the third film is called Rambo III, dropping the First Blood part of the title. Confusingly enough, the fourth film is simply titled Rambo; the original plan being to mirror what was done with Rocky Balboa and call it John Rambo (as it was in some regions).
  • The book The Lost World was adapted into the movie The Lost World: Jurassic Park. Not as cheap as it seems, considering there already was a famous dinosaur adventure story called The Lost World — one which had directly inspired Michael Crichton. People could have been forgiven for getting confused.
  • The British comedy films Follow That Camel and Call Me A Cab were re-titled when the producers realized they were Carry On films in all but name. So they became Carry On... Follow That Camel! and Carry On Cabby.
  • Command & Conquer: Tiberian Dawn was initially released with just the title of Command & Conquer and either appending 95 for the original and (Gold) for the Updated Re-release on Microsoft Windows. However, game files and code revealed the Working Title of Tiberian Dawn. While official re-releases, even in the 2020 Remastered Collection, strictly refer to it as just Command & Conquer, fans (and This Very Wiki) prefer to refer to it as Tiberian Dawn to differentiate it. This may be for the best as otherwise Command & Conquer could refer to the franchise, the game itself and the music track from Renegade.
  • Gege Akutami released a four-chapter mini-series on Jump GIGA titled Tokyo Metropolitan Curse Technical School. Due to the popularity of the series, his sequel series Jujutsu Kaisen started up in Weekly Shonen Jump, and Tokyo Metropolitan Curse Technical School was subsequently complied into a single volume titled Jujutsu Kaisen 0.
  • Star Wars: The first film was originally called just Star Wars. The 1980 sequel, Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, featured an episode number and subtitle in the opening crawl as part of its Genre Throwback nature to give the impression of a long running film serial. When the original film was re-released in 1981, Episode IV: A New Hope was added above the original opening crawl.
  • Following Twilight, the film adaptations of the novels New Moon, Eclipse, and Breaking Dawn all carried the supertitle The Twilight Saga. The Hunger Games and Divergent later followed this trend with their respective film series. Funny enough, some TV airings of the first film call it The Twilight Saga: Twilight
  • The sequels to Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney all carried the "Ace Attorney" name, since some of the sequels (namely Apollo Justice and Ace Attorney Investigations) don't actually star Phoenix Wright. In Japan, the series is called Gyakuten Saiban ("Turnabout Trial") with no mention of protagonist names, so they just use simple Numbered Sequels.
  • In Japan, The Mystery of Mamo was originally titled Lupin III, but with two television series, a live-action film, and another movie on the way, they had to retitle it to distinguish what the movie was. It is now officially known as Lupin III: Lupin vs. the Clone.
  • Happened briefly with the Friday the 13th series when Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday and Jason X were named after the central slasher instead. Granted, this was more of a legal thing. note 
  • The yearly Halloween special animations by Aitor Molina were called The Halloween Revenge and numbered. Since the fourth installment was the first with a solid story and established the Shared Universe, it was renamed "Infernals & Lemons" after the "Infernals & Lemons" story.
    • The tradition of calling "The Halloween Revenge" plus number was stopped because the fifth part was delayed until it became its own thing. "Infernals & Yrions" became the canon fifth installment and The Fantasia Revenge the sixth. The numeric system was abandoned to make animations at any moment under the name "The X Revenge".
    • The third collaboration between Oscar and Aitor is being announced as "Infernals 3" before giving an official name.
  • Pitch Black spawned the Chronicles of Riddick franchise. Some re-releases titled the film The Chronicles of Riddick: Pitch Black.
  • The first Space Quest was released with the subtitle Chapter I – The Sarien Encounter. The VGA remake was titled Space Quest I: Roger Wilco in the Sarien Encounter to more closely match the Character Name and the Noun Phrase title theme starting with Space Quest IV: Roger Wilco and the Time Rippers.
  • Since there was already a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles video game on the NES, the arcade game of the same name was ported to the NES as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Arcade Game. Likewise, the arcade sequel,Turtles in Time, became Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV when ported to the Super NES due to the existence of The Manhattan Project, the third NES Turtles game that was developed in parallel.
  • The first arc of the Warrior Cats series simply had the name Warrior Cats (in the UK) or Warriors (in the US). To avoid the first six books being confused with the series as a whole, the 2015 reprints gave the first arc the new name Warriors: The Prophecies Begin.
  • Persona used to combine this with Market-Based Title. Hoping to create and capitalize on a unified brand for all Shin Megami Tensei spin-off games, Atlus USA prefixed Persona 3 and Persona 4 with "Shin Megami Tensei" for their international releases, whereas in Japan the connection to SMT remained implicit. However, they stopped doing this around 2012 after Persona became a More Popular Spin-Off.
  • The first book in the Hilda series was originally titled Hildafolk. It was later changed to Hilda and the Troll when it was reprinted in 2015 to maintain consistency with the rest of the series.