In 2013, Syfy released a little movie produced by The Asylum dubbed Sharknado, which didn't appear much different from the animal hybrid movies Syfy and Asylum had released in the past, like Dinoshark and Sharktopus. For whatever reason, Sharknado became a massive hit for the network, spawning a sequel each year, with the new installment Sharknado: The 4th Awakens airing Sunday, July 31 at 8 PM ET. How long can this franchise continue, though? According to the screenwriter, at least until Sharknado 7.
The first movie was watched by 1.37 million viewers, which is slightly less than the typical Syfy movie, but it had become incredibly popular on social media. This lead to an encore airing the next week, which drew in 1.89 million viewers, and a third screening two weeks later which drew in 2.1 million, the biggest audience ever for an encore Syfy movie airing. 2014's Sharknado 2: The Second One drew in 3.87 million viewers, although the third installment, Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No! dropped a bit with 2.81 million viewers. As for the future of this franchise, Screen Rant spoke with Thunder Levin, who has written all four Sharknado movies, who teased that he has the stories worked out for three more sequels.
"As to whether we will see other creatures in 'nados in the future, I can't say for sure. Who knows if there will even be any more Sharknado movies? I guess it depends on the ratings. I have actually developed a story arc for Sharknado five through seven - for the next three movies - and I've submitted that to The Asylum and we'll see if they want to run with it or not and we'll see if Syfy wants to do anymore of these. If they do, I'm ready to go and there's no telling what you might see."
The upcoming installment The 4th Awakens, a clear reference to Star Wars: The Force Awakens, got some help from the fans as well, with the use of an innovative online campaign. The Asylum and Syfy actually let the fans decide whether or not Tara Reid's character April should live or die, after the cliffhanger ending of Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No! The fans voted her back in, but she appears to be a cyborg of some sort.
The new trailer for Sharknado 4 also revealed a number of different "nados," like the Firenado, Cownado and much more. If the ratings suffer another sharp drop, it's possible that The 4th Awakens may be the last installment of the Sharknado franchise, but we'll find out soon enough. Stay tuned for more on Sharknado: THe 4th Awakens as we get closer to the July 31 premiere date on Syfy.