Not every film deserves a sequel. In fact, most films don’t. Over the last few years, studios have been learning an important lesson that sequels can actually do more harm than good. Some of their attempts to cash in on nostalgia by creating sequels to films that came out 20 or 30 years ago earlier are falling flat. Hollywood executives see all the lightning that was caught in the bottle with the original film and want to recapture that black magic. But the originals are held in such high esteem that many sequels don’t stand a chance.
That said, there are still opportunities for sequels to succeed; but it takes a great script, and you need to approach it with the goal of the second (or even third) installment standing alone from its predecessor instead of recycling everything that was great about the original. Audiences don’t want to see the same house with a different coat of paint.
A good example is Blade Runner 2049 which opens on October 6th. As a sequel to one of the most beloved science-fiction films ever made, it has massive shoes to fill. But it boasts a formidable cast with Harrison Ford and Ryan Gosling, and it’s directed by one of Hollywood’s top directors in Denis Villeneuve. Time and care have been taken in making this film, and Villeneuve has promised that, although it’s a sequel, it is being treated like a standalone film with its own identity. Everything has been well thought out and carefully crafted. It has all the hallmarks of a sequel that will work, from a quality standpoint. And while quality doesn’t always lead to profit — and making money is the prime motivator — a strong critical reception is massively important when you’re dealing with sequels to cherished originals. It assures moviegoers that their memories of the original won’t be tarnished — but potentially enhanced — by the second iteration.
Despite some studios becoming gun shy, sequels and franchise-building won’t go away anytime soon. As ever, some will bomb, and some will rise to great success.
Which films are primed for a second or third edition? Below are ten that are worthy of a sequel along with the odds they will be made in the next five years.
MOVIE SEQUEL ODDS
Trick’r Treat 2: 1/9
Trick’r Treat is an underrated anthology horror film that came out in 2007 but wasn’t appreciated until it was released on DVD. Director Michael Dougherty went on to make another holiday/horror flick with 2015’s Krampus, but a sequel to the Halloween cult classic has always been something the director wanted to do.
As we have seen with other potential sequels, desires don’t always translate into lights, cameras, and action. A studio has to give it the green light. According to Dougherty, Legendary Pictures is interested and it appears we could be back visiting our little friend Sam sooner than later, so Trick’r Treat tops our list.
Triplets: 1 /1
What do I mean by Triplets? I mean one more than Twins, the 1988 comedy starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny DeVito. Why would a studio green-light a sequel to a zany comedy that came out almost 30 years ago when both of its stars are less prominent than they were at the time? Because Schwarzenegger has wanted it for the last 20 years and it made a lot of money, like $216 million on a $15 million budget.
According to Arnold, original director Ivan Reitman, costar Danny DeVito and the studio, all want it to happen. It’s rumored that Josh Gad wrote a Triplets script and Eddie Murphy will star in it as the third twin.
The internet rumors are saying this sequel has already been given the green light. But I’ll believe it when I see it because Arnold once said the same thing about a Conan sequel.
Gremlins 3: 3/2
Another Gremlins film has been bandied about for years. Who doesn’t want to see our favorite Mogwai, Gizmo, again? But there have been so many on-and–ff again announcements that you get the sense that it will never happen.
Trust me, it will happen. But in the next five years? That’s tougher to see.
Millennials love Gremlins (just like their parents did) and the franchise has a ton of marketability especially with merchandising and toys. That’s what is key here: real, sustainable nostalgia dollars.
According to Gremlins screenwriter Christopher Columbus, he has a script that is ready to go and all he needs is Warner Brothers to sign off on it and set a production date.
The Adventures of Tintin 2: 2/1
Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson had plans to not only make a sequel to Tintin but a trilogy of adventures for the young journalist and his dog Snowy.
It’s been six years, so what gives?
According to Spielberg, a busy schedule between both mega-directors has caused the delay. Apparently, there are still plans for a full motion-capture sequel somewhere down the line. While it didn’t do well at the North American box office, it made well over $200 million overseas, and it’s a highly underrated family film. It will most likely get a sequel somewhere down the line. The odds aren’t great that it’s in the next half-decade, though.
Kill Bill: Vol. 3: 9/1
Quentin Tarantino has always talked about leaving a cinematic legacy and has stated that he will retire after his tenth film. We are officially at seven films with an eighth one (focusing on Charles Manson) just announced. So there isn’t much time left for a third Kill Bill flick.
Tarantino has stated he would like to see the return of The Bride with the obvious revenge storyline involving Nikki, who was the daughter of Vivica A. Fox’s character, Vernita Green, going after The Bride to avenge her mother’s death.
With the Manson film up next for Q, it will be at least several years before any clashing of Hattori Hanzo swords.
Beetlejuice 2: 19/1
Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice … sequel! Nothing. No showed again. Maybe a follow-up to the 1988 cult classic isn’t in the cards?
Just like the much talked about Goonies 2, a Beetlejuice sequel has been in the Hollywood rumor mills for years. Back in 2011, a writer named Grahame-Smith was attached to pen the script, but nothing moved forward from that point.
Warner Brothers wants it; Beetlejuice star Michael Keaton wants it; and even Tim Burton wants it, so why can’t we turn “want” into reality? Last year, Burton said the time just isn’t right, but Winona Ryder says it’s happening. Whom should we believe?
Step Brothers 2: 50/1
Let’s play a game. On the count of three name your favorite 2008 comedy that you want to see get a sequel, don’t even think about it, just name it. 1-2-3… Step Brothers! Did we just become best friends?
Now before we go and do karate in the garage, what is the likelihood of a sequel to the Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly comedy masterpiece? That exact question was asked to director Adam McKay and Will Ferrell in a recent Rolling Stone article and, although they like the idea and a sequel has been discussed, they seem a tad gun shy. Maybe it had something to do with the reception Anchorman 2 got? While McKay says never say never, I’m not holding my breath.
Who Framed Roger Rabbit 2: 100/1
Ppppllleeeaaase! A sequel to the 1988 Disney classic has box-office smash written all over it. Guess what? Director Robert Zemeckis has a script ready to go. How can they do a film without the star (the late Bob Hoskins)? Supposedly the film would be shot in complete motion capture CGI so they would be able to bring us a fully digital version of private detective Eddie Valiant.
All of this sounds super positive, except the new executives at Disney don’t see much merit in it. According to Zemeckis, the House of Mouse doesn’t have much interest in Roger and they definitely don’t want to touch Jessica Rabbit. Well, maybe some of them do. But the family-safe corporation thinks they would have a tough time including the over-sexualized cartoon character in a film. Lame!
The Goonies 2: 100/1
Goonies has been in the sequel rumor mill since it was released in 1985. Nintendo made a video game sequel, but still we have no movie. Depending on where the wind blows and who is talking, the sequel has been on and off again countless times.
Original director Richard Donner even proclaimed to the world a sequel was going to happen, but that was three years ago. Goonies star turned “singer” Corey Feldman recently poured cold water on the idea and gave a solid reason on why the movie will never happen. It’s largely due to director Richard Donner being 87 years old and the cast not wanting to do it unless Donner is involved.
Jerry Maguire 2: 150/1
Help me help you. A sequel to this classic sports film is highly unlikely, but Tom Cruise is making Top Gun 2, so maybe he’ll get that sequel-loving feeling and want to return to one of his best roles as an aggressive sports agent.
When Cruise was asked about a Maguire 2, he seemed pretty non-committal, saying it was completely up to director Cameron Crowe. I don’t want to burst your bubble, but in the past, Crowe said that the only film in his filmography he would entertain a sequel for would be 1989’s Say Anything.