The last time Mark Wahlberg sat on a couch drinking a beer with a bear was 2015, and while Ted 3 isn’t happening, a Ted prequel series has already wrapped production. The upcoming comedy series from Seth MacFarlane, who will also return to provide the voice for the lovably foul-mouthed titular teddy bear, will be a prequel to both Ted and Ted 2 and focus on John Bennett’s early days with Ted, who came to life when he was a boy. Joining MacFarlane will be Max Burkholder as a teenage John, and Scott Grimes and Alanna Ubach as John’s parents Matt and Susan Bennett.
The third installment in the Ted franchise will consist of six episodes that take place in 1993, when the novelty of Ted has passed and John has to focus on high school, getting a girlfriend, and planning for college. Ted already proves to be a terrible influence on his human companion, but he’s also willing to help John tackle the trials and tribulations of his teen years like a true Thunder Buddy. There’s no word yet on when it will be released, but fans hope it will revive a franchise that has been adrift for almost a decade.
Ted 3 Was Delayed By Legal Issues And Ted 2’s Performance
Legal issues and Ted 2’s poor performance delayed Ted 3, necessitating a different approach for the franchise to continue. A production company in California tried to sue MacFarlane for stealing its idea about a beer-drinking talking teddy bear after Ted was released, and it took years for the copyright lawsuit to be withdrawn. By that point some of the damage had already been done, and momentum for Ted 3 stalled while MacFarlane and Co. were tied up in legal proceedings.
At the same time, legal issues aside, Ted 2 didn’t do very well at the box office. What felt fresh and interesting in Ted felt like a creative retread in its sequel, something not even a subplot about stealing Tom Brady’s “essence” could get around. While the plot primarily focused on Ted and his wife’s (Jessica Barth) dreams of adopting a child, it reneged on the point of the first film, and John (Wahberg) hadn’t done any growing at all. With even more jokes about pot, porn, and toilet humor than the first movie, Ted 2’s tendency to double down on what made the first film work ended up making it boring.
A Ted Prequel Series Is Secretly Perfect
Continuing the franchise with a Ted prequel series is secretly the best route forward that MacFarlane could have taken. Not only will it allow fans to see Ted and John in a different light, but it will also shake up the formula of the films so that they don’t feel played out, while at the same time giving opportunities to young actors. It wouldn’t have made very much sense if John and Ted were still hanging out when John was in his 50s, throwing the same keggers, getting high, and basically keeping him in the exact same place that he was when the franchise started with no additional personal growth.
Thankfully, a prequel can do away with other possible Ted 3 outcomes that might have involved something tragic to end the franchise, like Ted dying at the end, or John being forced to throw Ted out once and for all. There are an infinite number of fun, imaginative possibilities in a Ted series filled with adolescent hopes and dreams that can imbue the franchise with a sense of purpose. Not to mention, seeing Ted engulfed in the nostalgia of the early ’90s, when Mark Wahlberg was hitting his stride in Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch, is too good to pass up.