Franchises are a major part of Hollywood’s DNA, with a plethora of sequels to established properties being released every year. Some viewers may yearn for the studios to produce more original programming, but everyone has at least one favorite series they can’t wait to visit again. For example, just this year, new installments in the world of Star Wars, James Bond, and The Avengers (among others) are generating lots of excitement.
Then there are those instances where a film shows tremendous potential to support a full series with impressive world building and memorable characters, but those follow-ups many hope for never come into fruition. It’s a frustrating trend in the industry and happens more often than one might think. Sometimes, our wishes get fulfilled and a long-awaited sequel arrives in theaters (Incredibles 2), but what about those we’re still looking for? Here are Screen Rant’s 10 Most Wanted Movie Sequels.
Mel Brooks will always be the master of movie spoofs and Spaceballs will always be his greatest accomplishment. Unlike modern “spoofers” Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer – who’ve given the world poorly-received titles such as Epic Movie, Vampires Suck and Meet the Spartans – Brooks knew what it took to make a proper spoof movie – jokes… lots of funny jokes.
Spaceballs introduced us to timeless, quotable characters like Dark Helmet (“I can’t breathe in this thing!”), Lone Starr (“Helmet! So, at last we meet for the first time for the last time.“), his trusty sidekick Barf (“I’m a mog: I’m half man, half dog. I’m my own best friend.”), and of course, the wise Yogurt (“May the Schwartz be with you.”).
With Star Wars set to be a major player in the cinematic landscape once more with a new sequel trilogy and standalone anthology movies, fans of spoof films needs Brooks, or someone like him, to step up to the plate and give the world at least two more Spaceballs films.
Looking to capitalize on the blossoming popularity of superhero films, Fox released a film interpretation of The Man Without Fear in 2003, starring new Batman Ben Affleck in the title role. Though the director’s cut of the movie has its fair share of supporters, that was not the version shown nationwide in theaters. That variation of the film received a poor critical and audience response, which was a major roadblock in getting any sequels made. A franchise spinoff centering on Elektra fared even worse, and Fox-funded reboots failed to get off the ground.
With Matt Murdock rejoining the ranks of the comic book A-list thanks to the successful Daredevil Netflix series (which has already been renewed for season 2), perhaps now is the time to give the character another chance to shine on the big screen. The format of a Netflix show (multiple episodes instead of a single 2 hour film) has been conducive for character and world development, but the publication history is so rich and full of fascinating material, that it would be nice to see a fresh movie version of Daredevil. Maybe he can even team up with some Avengers to take down crime.
Christopher Nolan’s dream-based heist thriller was conceived as a standalone film, but it certainly set the stage for some sequels. The established mythology alone would be enough to carry follow-ups, as the nature of an extractor’s job seems ripe for fresh installments. In each movie, the team could infiltrate a new target’s mind. Yes, Inception was Cobb’s “last job,” but that has never stopped executives before. And besides, maybe we could finally learn what happened to that spinning top.
Even if the filmmakers did want to honor Cobb’s wishes to just stay with his family, we’re willing to be movie fans would be down for a prequel set in the years before Inception. The film only hints at the relationship between Dom and his wife Mal, so it would be interesting to see what the two were like when they were together – prior to the projection of Mal haunting Cobb’s every thought. Including Mal in a team of criminals would also be a way to switch up the group dynamics and keep things fresh.
As WB/DC looks to build their shared cinematic universe, one project that is actively being discussed is Justice League Dark, of which Constantine is a member. Director Guillermo del Toro has been developing the film for years, and while it’s not set in stone just yet, if it does get made, it will be a part of the new Justice League world – giving the studio a chance to spinoff various characters in their own films.
Though both the 2005 film starring Keanu Reeves and NBC’s television series never took off, Constantine is still a fan-favorite character with more than enough material to warrant a few movies. His comic, the DC/Vertigo comic series Hellblazer – has been in circulation since 1988. With over 300 comic books in publication, there are plenty of stories and supernatural villains for Constantine to do battle with and vanquish back to Hell. This deserves to have its expansive world explored in greater detail.
Thanks to his Oscar-nominated turn in the dark comedy Birdman, Michael Keaton has enjoyed a career resurgence and is looking to make a splash in big films like Kong: Skull Island. With the former Batman revitalized, and director Tim Burton continuing to talk about the possible stories for a Beetlejuice 2, now seems like a better time than ever to get things moving on this delayed sequel to the popular horror/comedy classic.
The original enjoyed much success thanks to its bizarre sense of humor and startling creativity that helped it stand out from the crowd, both of which are traits that fans would love to see carried over in a new installment. And after he had a limited amount of screen time in the first film (despite being the top-billed actor), it would be a blast to see Keaton return to one of his breakthrough roles, chewing scenery in a meatier part than last time out. Where the narrative might go is anyone’s guess, but Beetlejuice is probably staying away from Hawaii…
Now that Ghostbusters is finally coming back, The Goonies has arguably assumed the mantle of most popular film with a sequel long-lost in development hell. It’s a shame really, because the story of a group of friends from the Goon Docks in Astoria, OR searching for lost pirate treasure and outrunning dangerous criminals, all in an attempt to help their families, is a tale worth telling more than once.
The Goonies introduced the world to several memorable scenes and characters – Data’s “Slick Shoes,” Chunk with his Truffle Shuffle, Mikey’s first kiss with Stef, Mouth shoving an entire strand of pearls in his, well, mouth, and of course, the friendly, misunderstood Sloth with his favorite candy bar, Baby Ruth.
Rumors of a sequel have been circulating for more than two decades, and while member of the creative team claim that it is happening, there has been very little progress on its development over the years. The intention seems to be there, but with no script written yet, it may be a while before we see Mikey and his intrepid friends go on another adventure. Hopefully this one can be made, as even a story about adult versions of the characters would be a fun watch.
Gremlins is another classic film from the 80s that deserves to have its cinematic universe explored multiple times. Instead of a trilogy though, all fans of the mischievous little green monsters received was a sequel six years later and a video game based on that sequel – pretty unfulfilling. We would love to see Gizmo battle Stripes on the big screen again, as long as it isn’t ruined with bad CGI. A continuation of the Gremlins story would need to stick with mostly practical special effects – an art form that is slowly fading away in modern Hollywood.
Fortunately (?) for fans, Gremlins could be getting a full-fledged franchise thanks to the reboot that is currently in development at Warner Bros. The film has acquired a screenwriter in the form of Goosebumps scribe Carl Ellsworth, so the hope is there that this can be the latest in long-running horror franchises. After all, its iconic Christmas setting makes it easy to re-visit the Mogwai over and over again and the anarchy of the little creatures always makes for wild on-screen antics.
Zombies are currently all the rage in Hollywood. Successful shows like The Walking Dead and blockbuster films like World War Z are doing very well on both the big and small screens. Not all zombie-themed films work though, (take a look at the last couple films in the Night of the Living Dead series) and Zombieland could have been a disaster – but it wasn’t.
The Twinkie loving Tallahassee, rule following Columbus, and sisters Wichita and Little Rock were equal parts funny and badass – forming one of the best ensembles ever to be chased by flesh-craving zombies.
These characters have so much more story to tell as they try to do more than just survive in a zombie-filled world. It’s slightly insulting that instead of a sequel, fans of the film and genre were only given a failed TV show on Amazon, which was mercifully canceled after the pilot aired. Perhaps someone can come in and give this movie a proper follow-up.
Author Chris Van Allsburg has written many books, three of which have been adapted for the big screen – Jumanji, Polar Express and Zathura. Polar Express and Zathura were both enjoyable films but neither could match the magic or excitement of the Joe Johnston-directed adventure film Jumanji.
The story revolves around an enchanted board game that quite literally puts its players into the middle of the action. They have to dodge enormous bees, evade carnivorous plants, avoid packs of wild monkeys and keep from being shot by a hunter on safari.
The first film ends with two young French girls on the verge of discovering the board game and all its surprises while on the beach, leaving it open for at least one more film. Even with the tragic passing of star Robin Williams in 2014, there’s enough there to make a sequel worthwhile as the filmmakers look to recapture that sense of fun and adventure the first one gave us 20 years ago.
Based on how David Fincher’s cult classic ends – with the Narrator and Marla staring at the destruction Tyler Durden had wrought as they ready themselves for the next stage in life – one would be justified in wondering how exactly the story could go on. However, Fight Club is continuing in comic book form, with the story revolving around the Narrator and Marla as they cope with their boring, middle-class suburbia lives as a married couple. It’s not the most original premise, but these characters would surely make it interesting.
The big sell here is that Fight Club 2 would be told from the perspective of everyone’s favorite imaginary friend Tyler, who is longing to be unleashed as he watches the Narrator sink lower and lower into a mid-life crisis. With the extremely talented cast returning to roles that still define their careers after all these years and a new take on the brand, a sequel would hopefully be as stylish and tension-filled as what came before.
For as long as they make movies, they’ll be making sequels. As the world braces for a Transformers shared cinematic universe, more Pirates of the Caribbean films, and other follow-ups to less beloved products, there are plenty of films with passionate fan bases desperate for more stories set in those worlds. Whether any of these ever sees the light of day remains to be seen, but there would definitely be an enthusiastic response if any of the proposed sequels listed above got the green light.
As always, this list is not meant to be all-inclusive, so be sure to list some of your most wanted sequels in the comments below. And subscribe to our Screenrant YouTube Page for more great video lists.