Many successful movies go on to remakes, sequels, and series, some notable examples being “Rocky” and “Planet of the Apes.” In an interesting and exciting development, producers of such box-office behemoths and streaming steamrollers have reached out to the authors of this column for their ideas on prolonging the lifespan of several aging series (though often they might be better addressed from a palliative standpoint).
Thus, it is with great pleasure that we announce a set of films slated for release in 2023.
A group of ancient physicians, the dinosaurs of the practice, are shuttered on an island in the Pacific Ocean. Did they ever really exist—the caring, house-call-making family doctor with the large brown bag or the bellicose and belligerent scalpel-throwing chest surgeon? Medical students and interns come from around the world to see the past and marvel at what passed for medicine. But when a solar flare knocks out all power, and with it algorithm-loaded databases and medical records, it is those anachronistic physicians who step forward, chloroform and foxglove in hand, to stamp out disease.
Too Much Iron Man
Despite being a billionaire playboy and inventor, the hero of this sequel is having trouble fighting the forces of evil. He is plagued with fatigue, polyuria, and polydipsia. Every time he tries to engage the enemy, he gets short of breath. His glowing eyes have turned more yellow, but everyone is complimenting his tan. Time to check a ferritin level—it looks like he may have hemochromatosis!
Batman: The Dark Night Shift
After ruminating deeply, Dr. Wayne gave up his vigilante ways and turned to a career in medicine. Now he is working as a hospitalist. It is a dark rainy night at Gotham General Hospital. A patient named Oswald Cobblepot is admitted with fever and chills, muscle aches, and a dry cough. He is noted to be oddly dressed and carrying an umbrella. His history shows that he has had extensive avian exposure. The tentative diagnosis is a viral syndrome, but Dr. Wayne is suspicious that there is more to the story. He thinks the Penguin may have psittacosis!
The Hungry Games
A district patient is admitted for a workup of weight loss. He is made NPO after midnight. A nutrition consult is called with unexpected consequences. Don't forget to code for severe malnutrition.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Kidney Stone
There is nothing magical about Dumbledore's right flank pain. He Who Shall Not Be Named is in the emergency department. Can the intern Harry save the day?
Indiana Jones and the Temporal Artery of Doom
Jones is on a quest for the magical Substance E, the cure for a headache caused by arterial inflammation. The hero must fight to gain access to this healing miracle, traveling back in time to the 1940s in Rochester, Minnesota, and the discovery of adrenal hormones. An epic battle ensues between Jones and Kendall and his Henchman. There's nothing Nobel about this battle.
In development for 2024
Spider Angioma Man: A bite from a radioactive spider gave him powers but also chronic liver disease. Now he's got spider angiomas. Luckily Doc Ock says he has a cure.
Bridget Jones' Diarrhea: She is a 30-something young woman struggling to find her place in the world and a gastroenterology appointment.
The Scorbutic Pirates of the Caribbean: Captain Jack is back, but his hair has gotten curly and his teeth have fallen out. Is it scurvy? Put a lime in that margarita.
Hospital at Home Alone: Kevin McCallister is 90, and they are still trying to get in his house. But it's actually the home health team bringing his antibiotics.
The Return of the Magnificent Seven Patients: It's a readmission bonanza.
X-Ray Men: In the last chapter of the saga, superheroes use their X-ray vision only to discover it's carcinogenic.