Has there ever been a series of films with the same characters but with switching genres?
Like having an action film like Die Hard, where John and Holly McClane get back together at the end, followed by a sequel that is a romantic comedy about their relationship, followed by science fiction that is about their son getting abducted by aliens.
I tend to see Pitch Black
and The Chronicles of Riddick
as an example. The former is a fairly grounded science fiction thriller -- it has a few scientific implausibilities, like the two-ringed planet and the inconsistencies of the moon's orbit, but compared to most SF movies, it's quite plausible and bordering on hard SF. Yet the sequel is this way-out space fantasy, and it takes this guy who was just a human criminal in the first film and reinvents him as the Chosen One of some alien race.
Also there's the Marvel Cinematic Universe -- we've seen Captain America go from starring in a WWII film to starring in a modern sci-fi action film.
How about the Inspector Clouseau franchise? The first few films were crime/detective comedies, but then The Pink Panther Strikes Again
took an abrupt turn into sci-fi with a madman holding the world hostage with a disintegrator-ray doomsday weapon.
The Dick Tracy
comic strip also made a shift from crime stories to sci-fi in the '60s, though it reverted again some years later. Batman
comics went through a similar change in the '50s and '60s. I'm pretty sure I've heard of a comic-strip hero from the '30s or '40s who started out as a flying ace or something and was then reworked into a space hero in the Flash Gordon
vein, but I can't remember what it was. And the first couple of issues of The Fantastic Four
were basically monster comics, with the shift toward superhero-vs.-supervillain stories happening around issue 3 or 4.
Oh, how about the Lou Grant character being spun off from the half-hour sitcom The Mary Tyler Moore Show
to the hourlong drama Lou Grant