In an age where all popular entertainment properties seem targeted as potential franchises via spinoffs, sequels, prequels, reboots, etc., not all films get a followup, even if they deserve one.
We’ve gathered quite a few examples of films that we at Screen Rant would love to see get another installment, many of them which were profitable and seem designed with sequels in mind. Many of these could one day have a sequel get the studio greenlight.
Keep in mind: This is not a ranking of what deserves a sequel the most since that’s impossible to quantify. We simply want to see them all, but we do also want to hear which you’re most interested in and if there are others not on this list that deserve sequels as well. Without further ado here are 30 movies that deserve a sequel.
30. District 9
Original Release Date: August 14, 2009
Director: Neill Blomkamp
Cast: Sharlto Copley, Jason Cope, David James, Vanessa Haywood, Mandla Gaduka, Kenneth Nkosi, Eugene Khumbanyiwa, Louis Minnaar, William Allen Young
Studios: QED International, WingNut Films, TriStar Pictures
After their Halo film adaptation fell apart, producer Peter Jackson (Lord of the Rings) and up-and-coming director Neill Blomkamp decided to instead adapt on of Blomkamp’s short films into a gritty, unique sci-fi found footage film. It launched Blomkamp’s career (and that of his star actor Sharlto Copley) but the director hasn’t delivered a project that’s lived up to District 9 – a film that ends with an epic cliffhanger.
Original Release Date: September 21, 2012
Director: Pete Travis
Cast: Karl Urban, Olivia Thirlby, Wood Harris, Lena Headey
Studios: DNA Films, IM Global, Reliance Entertainment, Lionsgate
The Screen Rant Staff saw Dredd at a special San Diego Comic-Con premiere screening a few months before it released in theaters, and like the rest of the audience in attendance, were blown away by its ruthless, true-to-the-comic action and visuals. It was so faithful in fact that it was not only rated R but Urban never once took off his helmet as the titular Judge.
Dredd’s use of 3D and slow-motion effects for the story’s MacGuffin (a dangerous drug aptly called Slo-Mo) was spectacular. This movie was perfect in delivering what it was trying to deliver and it’s a crime a followup hasn’t been made. Here’s producer Adi Shankar’s explanation of the business realities behind financing Dredd 2.
28. Eastern Promises
Original Release Date: September 14, 2007
Director: David Cronenberg
Cast: Viggo Mortensen, Naomi Watts, Vincent Cassel, Armin Mueller-Stahl
Studios: Focus Features
In early 2009, David Cronenberg said he was moving forward with Eastern Promises 2 but nothing ever came of it. We saw annual updates from the director and cast up until 2013 when – according to Cronenberg – Focus Features CEO James Schamus canned the project much to the chagrin of everyone working on it.
The original was critically acclaimed and won many awards but didn’t make big bank at the box office. Its cast and gritty exploration of Russian Mafia in London was incredible though and we hope Focus changes their mind. Cronenberg, Cassel, and Mortensen were all set to return and we hope one day they still do.
27. Ender’s Game
Original Release Date: November 1, 2013
Director: Gavin Hood
Cast: Harrison Ford, Asa Butterfield, Hailee Steinfeld, Viola Davis, Abigail Breslin, Ben Kingsley
Studios: Summit Entertainment, Lionsgate Films
Ender’s Game adapted the first of five novels in the Ender Saga but even with the help of an A-list supporting cast, the box office results barely covered its production budget so there was little hope for a fast-tracked followup. It didn’t help that the controversial views of creator and author Orson Scott Card were making headlines, potentially souring interest in the brand.
Still, Asa Butterfield delivered a solid performance and hit the emotional beats when needed, and the story’s ending and twist left us anticipating an exciting followup and the launch of a new, ongoing sci-film series. We hope Summit and Lionsgate see value in more Ender stories in the future now that Twilight and The Hunger Games have completed.
Original Release Date: December 15, 2006
Director: Stefen Fangmeier
Cast: Edward Speleers, Jeremy Irons, Sienna Guillory, Robert Carlyle, Djimon Hounsou, Garrett Hedlund, Joss Stone, Rachel Weisz, John Malkovich
Studios: Davis Entertainment, 20th Century Fox
Director Stefen Fangmeier was quoted saying Fox was “modestly happy with the worldwide box office” of Eragon which earned $250 million and performed well on home video, but the fantasy franchise focused on dragons wasn’t to be. Eragron was crushed by critics but something about it stuck with us. It sort of worked despite its flaws, perhaps because of its action and special effects, how it handled dragon lore, and its cast.
Like Ender’s Game, it ended on an epic cliffhanger which begged an (improved) followup. With The Hobbit out of the way and Game of Thrones as popular as ever, maybe it’s time Fox looks back towards the age of dragons once again.
25. Galaxy Quest
Original Release Date: Decembe 23, 1999
Director: Dean Parisot
Cast: Tim Allen, Sigourney Weaver, Alan Rickman, Tony Shalhoub, Sam Rockwell, Daryl Mitchell, Enrico Colantoni, Justin Long
Studios: DreamWorks Pictures
Loved by critics and moviegoers, Galaxy Quest was a surprise gem, one that successfully riffed on the Star Trek phenomenon, pop culture, and geek fandom. It delivered perfectly on what it was trying to do, bolstered by a stellar cast. It didn’t see impressive numbers in theaters though, but that hasn’t stopped talk of a sequel over the years.
And now, Paramount is attempting to adapt Galaxy Quest to the small screen but it’s unclear if it’ll see the return of any of the original cast. We hope it does though because Galaxy Quest deserves to continue.
Original Release Date: July 1, 2008
Director: Peter Berg
Cast: Will Smith, Charlize Theron, Jason Bateman, Eddie Marsan
Studios: Relativity Media, Columbia Pictures
Before Will Smith signed on as Deadshot for Suicide Squad, he played another questionable superhero, a vigilante who drank hard and didn’t care much about (expensive) collateral damage. Eventually he discovers his true calling and destiny, and becomes the hero his city needs – long before DC and Marvel covered the same themes in their cinematic universes.
Hancock made a massive $624 million at the box office even as an original IP and it’s a shocker a sequel wasn’t quickly developed. According to Berg, Smith himself had an idea for a followup in 2012 and while the director was confident a sequel was going to happen, it still hasn’t. If Smith’s not too busy playing Deadshot going forward and making a run at more Oscars, we hope he can headline Hancock 2 although it may have a challenge in dealing with an all-powerful, immortal superhero.
23. I Am Legend
Original Release Date: December 14, 2007
Director: Francis Lawrence
Cast: Will Smith, Alice Braga, Dash Mihok, Charlie Tahan, Salli Richardson, Willow Smith
Studios: Village Roadshow Pictures, Warner Bros. Pictures
Another highly profitable Will Smith starrer – and one that earned more positive reviews than Hancock – I Am Legend was the subject of talks for a sequel/prequel that could bring back Smith, but it didn’t happen. Co-writer/producer Akiva Goldsman revealed in 2014 that they had written both a prequel and a sequel but never got the official studio greenlight.
Original Release Date: July 16, 2010
Director: Christopher Nolan
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Ken Watanabe, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Marion Cotillard, Ellen Page, Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy, Tom Berenger, Michael Caine
Studios: Legendary Pictures, Warner Bros. Pictures
Outside of his Batman movies, Christopher Nolan hasn’t worked on any prequels/sequels but Inception is one we hope to see him return to. After all, the visionary director spoke quite a bit about developing an Inception video game, but there’s been no movement on that front.
Instead, we’d love to see another story embracing the ideas and visual concepts of Inception. The film made an incredible $825,532,764 without even tacking on 3D so its super-lucrative property with easy franchise potential, but we want to see it done right, with Nolan in charge. And the cast is already signed for sequels…
21. Inside Man
Original Release Date: March 24, 2006
Director: Spike Lee
Cast: Denzel Washington, Clive Owen, Jodie Foster, Christopher Plummer, Willem Dafoe, Chiwetel Ejiofor
Studios: Imagine Entertainment, Universal Pictures
An all-star, Oscar caliber cast working to craft and deal with a bank heist. Perhaps the time has past to capitalize on a direct followup but there were talks of Spike Lee crafting a sequel for Inside Man for a few years before the director said it was dead in 2010. The R-rated hit marked the fourth time Denzel and Spike worked together and made a respectable $184 million at the box office on a mere $45 million budget.
20. John Carter
Original Release Date: March 9, 2012
Director: Andrew Stanton
Cast: Taylor Kitsch, Lynn Collins, Samantha Morton, Mark Strong, Ciarán Hinds, Dominic West, James Purefoy, Willem Dafoe
Studios: Walt Disney Pictures
The Mars-set, partial period-piece cost an inexplicably large amount of money for Disney – more than any comparable film – to bring to life the other-worldly technologies and characters of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ A Princess of Mars (the first book in the Barsoom series) but it fell flat at the box office.
Unproven stars at the box office, a weird setting, and a set of been-there-done that story and themes (many sci-fi epics draw inspiration from A Princes of Mars but got their films first) prevented John Carter from mainstream approval but it was a solid movie from a great cast and crew who deserved another chance. And Stanton had already planned out sequels, with logos/titles, that he’ll never get to make.
Original Release Date: February 8, 2008
Director: Doug Liman
Cast: Hayden Christensen, Jamie Bell, Rachel Bilson, Michael Rooker, AnnaSophia Robb, Max Thieriot, Diane Lane, Samuel L. Jackson
Studios: New Regency Productions, 20th Century Fox
Jumper delivered a fun and unique action-heavy chase movie and while it made $220 million worldwide at the box office, it didn’t do well among critics. Still, the concepts employed offered interesting lore to explore on future international adventures and Hayden hinted that a sequel could come back in 2010.
It never happened, but if the Star Wars prequels star finds himself popping up as a Force Ghost in Episode 8 or 9, or better yet as Darth Vader in the Anthology films, perhaps that boost to his profile can kickstart interest in a Jumper followup.
18. Kill Bill
Original Release Date: October 10, 2003 (Volume 1), April 16, 2004 (Volume 2)
Directors: Quentin Tarantino, Kazuto Nakazawa
Cast: Uma Thurman David Carradine Lucy Liu Michael Madsen Daryl Hannah Sonny Chiba Vivica A. Fox Gordon Liu Julie Dreyfus Chiaki Kuriyama
Studios: A Band Apart, Miramax Films
Kill Bill’s a bit of an exception for this list since it’s technically two films but really, we’re considering it on large film split into two parts. They were shot together and released only months part.
17. Leon the Professional
Original Release Date: September 14, 1994
Director: Luc Besson
Cast: Jean Reno, Gary Oldman, Natalie Portman, Danny Aiello
Studios: Gaumont, Buena Vista International
Just when you thought Léon made it out alive after saving Mathilda (Portman), evil and crazy Norman Stansfield catches on and shoots him in the back, but it’s Léon who had the last laugh.
A young, trained would-be killer was now free in the world and after two decades, it’s time for Mathilda to return, this time as the veteran assassin, teaching an apprentice of her own. The timing and setup is perfect, and Portman can carry any film she’s in.
16. Master and Commander
Original Release Date: November 14, 2003
Director: Peter Weir
Cast: Russell Crowe, Paul Bettany, Billy Boyd, James D’Arcy, Chris Larkin, Edward Woodall
Studios: 20th Century Fox, Miramax Films, Universal Pictures, Samuel Goldwyn Films
Based on the plot and characters are adapted from three novels in author Patrick O’Brian’s Aubrey–Maturin series, Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World is a sea-based epic historical drama and it’s perfect.
Beautifully shot, with wonderful performances from its stellar cast, we cannot fathom why the studios didn’t push for a followup even if it wasn’t the most lucrative box office release. It was just that good and earned 10 Oscar nominations as a result. It pains us that a sequel is not in development.
15. Mr. and Mrs. Smith
Original Release Date: June 10, 2005
Director: Doug Liman
Cast: Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Vince Vaughn, Kerry Washington, Adam Brody
Studios: New Regency, 20th Century Fox, Summit Entertainment
The movie that led to the creation of Brangelina “supercouple” wasn’t an easy project to develop. Many different pairings of high profile actors were considered and Pitt even dropped out before returning when Jolie signed on. The problem there was that Jolie and the director didn’t always see eye to eye on set.
Development even came to a near fullstop when Pitt took off for a few months during production to shoot Ocean’s Twelve, and writer Simon Kinberg reportedly wrote many different endings before it was decided the original conclusion would be used. Still, this project came together to be a fun action film and one that earned nearly half a billion dollars.
With Brangelina still together today and Jolie proving herself a talented director, Pitt a big time producer, we’d love to see them bring these characters back into a new story. Smells like franchise potential.
14. Mystery Men
Original Release Date: August 6, 1999
Director: Kinka Usher
Cast: Hank Azaria, Claire Forlani, Janeane Garofalo, Eddie Izzard, Greg Kinnear, William H. Macy, Kel Mitchell, Lena Olin, Paul Reubens, Geoffrey Rush, Ben Stiller, Wes Studi, Tom Waits
Studios: Dark Horse Entertainment, Universal Pictures
Mystery Men was a before-its-time cult film, a comedy about superheroes with the worst powers imaginable, and it failed big time at the box office. But had it come out a decade or so later, and this would be a different tale.
Its cast is huge, and its genre, bigger than ever today. If Zoolander can make a comeback and succeed, perhaps these crazy characters and return to riff on the modern superhero epics dominating theaters.
13. Pacific Rim
Original Release Date: July 12, 2013
Director: Guillermo del Toro
Cast: Charlie Hunnam, Idris Elba, Rinko Kikuchi, Charlie Day, Ron Perlman
Studios: Legendary Pictures, Warner Bros. Pictures
It seemed guaranteed that Guillermo del Toro’s monsters vs. robots epic would get a followup, but the latest news that Pacific Rim: Maelstrom is “off the table indefinitely” while Legendary proceeds with setting up a Godzilla-King Kong shared universe, certainly wasn’t good news.
Del Toro however, promises Pacific Rim 2 isn’t canceled though, and Legendary was just acquired for $3.5 billion by a Chinese firm, which just so happens to be where Pacific Rim earned the most money at the box office. Pacific Rim deserves a sequel and we think it’ll get one.
12. Real Steel
Original Release Date: October 7, 2011
Director: Shawn Levy
Cast: Hugh Jackman, Dakota Goyo, Evangeline Lilly, Anthony Mackie, Kevin Durand
Studios: Touchstone Pictures, DreamWorks Pictures, Reliance Entertainment, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
On paper, Real Steel sounded questionable, but the near future boxing drama – involving giant robots – turned out to be a charming hit that we fell in love with.
The film, starring Jackman as a veteran boxer now coaching a kid and his underdog robot, earned over $300 million at the box office worldwide and seemed poised to launch a franchise. With Jackman soon ending his career as X-Men’s Wolverine, perhaps this is property he can return to.
11. Robin Hood
Original Release Date: May 14, 2010
Director: Ridley Scott
Cast: Russell Crowe, Cate Blanchett, Mark Strong, Oscar Isaac, William Hurt, Max von Sydow
Studios: Imagine Entertainment, Relativity Media, Scott Free Productions, Universal Pictures
But the one we want to see more of is the Ridley Scott and Russell Crowe epic that used massive, practical sets, and featured an armored Robin Hood fighting with and against armies. This is one epic we want to see continued, especially with its stellar cast.
Original Release Date: September 30, 2005
Director: Joss Whedon
Cast: Nathan Fillion, Gina Torres, Alan Tudyk, Adam Baldwin, Summer Glau, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Sean Maher, Jewel Staite, Ron Glass
Studios: Universal Pictures
This one speaks to itself. Firefly was a wonderful, ahead-of-its-time space western TV series featuring an all-star geek-friendly cast, written and crafted by Joss Whedon before he made Hollywood’s A-list with The Avengers. And the reason he got that gig? Serenity.
His comic book runs aside, Serenity proved Whedon could handle spectacle and ensembles on the big screen, and while the story of the crew of the Firefly-class ship continued in comic book form, we’d love to see the surviving members of Captain Mal’s team return one day to further explore The Verse.
Original Release Date: October 28, 1994
Director: Roland Emmerich
Cast: Kurt Russell, James Spader, Jaye Davidson, Viveca Lindfors
Roland Emmerich and Dean Devlin’s original sci-fi creation Stargate didn’t get a film sequel but it did spawn as super-successful TV series, that lead into multiple TV films and a pair of spinoff shows.
For nearly five years ago, Stargate has been off the air, and while Emmerich and a pair of writers are working away on rebooting the film franchise – as of 2015 – we’re unsure if the return of Independence Day as a potential ongoing film series will put a hault to that.
8. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
Original Release Date: April 29, 2005
Director: Garth Jennings
Cast: Martin Freeman, Sam Rockwell, Mos Def, Zooey Deschanel, Alan Rickman, Bill Nighy, Anna Chancellor, John Malkovich, Stephen Fry
Studios: Walt Disney Pictures, Spyglass Entertainment, Buena Vista Pictures
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is the charming and lovable adaptation of Douglas Adams works of the same name. Adams actually helped co-write the flick before passing away before production began, but the film did right by him.
It wasn’t a box office smash, but it lived on through word-of-mouth and home video, and its unique charming world-building and comedy is something we’d like to see more of, even if it’s over a decade later.
7. The Incredible Hulk
Original Release Date: June 13, 2008
Director: Louis Leterrier
Cast: Edward Norton, Liv Tyler, Tim Roth, Tim Blake Nelson, Ty Burrell, William Hurt
Studios: Marvel Studios, Valhalla Motion Pictures, Universal Studios
Before The Avengers, and even before Captain America and Thor, ther was Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk – the two films that launched the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Its star Edward Norton may have been recast with Mark Ruffalo, and there are rights issues between Universal and Disney-Marvel which may hold up another solo Hulk movie, but we still think there’s room for Bruce Banner and his big green alter ego for another story. The latest on the subject is that The Incredible Hulk 2 will sort of be told through Hulk’s role in Thor: Ragnarok and the two-part Avengers: Infinity War.
6. The Simpsons Movie
Original Release Date: July 27, 2007
Director: David Silverman
Cast: Dan Castellaneta, Julie Kavner, Nancy Cartwright, Yeardley Smith, Hank Azaria, Harry Shearer, Pamela Hayden, Tress MacNeille, A. Brooks, Russi Taylor
Studios: 20th Century Fox
One of the longest-running and popular TV series of all-time, and host to some of the most iconic animated characters ever, The Simpsons is still on the air. And while it took nearly two decades after the show’s premiere for a film to be made based on the residents of Springfield, it’s an entertainment crime that a followup wasn’t greenlit as well.
The Simpsons Movie made well over half a billion dollars in theaters on a budget of only $75 million – and won over fans and critics while doing it – so it’s no wonder Fox is asking executive producer James L. Brooks and the creative team for another movie, but they don’t seem too interested at the moment.
5. TRON: Legacy
Original Release Date: December 17, 2010
Director: Joseph Kosinski
Cast: Jeff Bridges, Garrett Hedlund, Olivia Wilde, Bruce Boxleitner, Michael Sheen, Beau Garrett, James Frain
Studios: Walt Disney Studios
Like the two-part Kill Bill entry on this list, TRON: Legacy is an exception to the rule since it is a sequel, albeit one that debuted 28 years after its predecessor.
Adopting a gorgeous, innovative, and unique style, Joseph Kosinski’s take on the grid convinced Disney to greenlight a big budget reinvention of TRON. And we loved it (and its soundtrack).
Its story wasn’t perfect, but its design elements, music, and cool tech aesthetic was, and its cliffhanger ending demands a followup. TRON 3 was planned to shoot last year but Disney pulled the plug at the last minute, disappointing fans everywhere. We hope they return to it, or let some other more willing studio produce another.
4. True Lies
Original Release Date: July 15, 1994
Director: James Cameron
Cast: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jamie Lee Curtis, Tom Arnold, Bill Paxton, Art Malik, Tia Carrere, Eliza Dushku, Grant Heslov, Charlton Heston
Studios: Lightstorm Entertainment, 20th Century Fox, Universal Pictures
True Lies seemed like the perfect start to another action movie franchise for Schwarzenegger, but after it earned positive reviews and nearly $400 million, Cameron spent years developing Titanic, and many more years working on Avatar.
The terrible happenings of 9/11 deterred Cameron from returning to the IP but years later he said it’s possible, but not while Schwarzenegger was in office as the Governor of California. Now that Arnold is back acting, and seeing as Terminator doesn’t seem to be going anywhere, we’d love to see a modern spin on this spy agency, perhaps with Arnold serving as its leader this time.
Original Release Date: November 22, 2000
Director: M. Night Shyamalan
Cast: Bruce Willis, Samuel L. Jackson, Robin Wright, Spencer Treat Clark
Studios: Touchstone Pictures, Buena Vista Pictures
Unbreakable delivered a very unique take on comic book movies and the idea of superheroes vs. villains, and one that was far ahead of its time. The beloved story by M. Night Shyamalan has been the subject of sequel talk for years.
It made decent money, earned relatively favorable reviews, and seemed perfect as a potential franchise. Shyamalan wants to make Unbreakable 2 based on an idea that’s very different, “a whole new movie” as he describes, one that “doesn’t feel at all like a sequel.”
Original Release Date: June 27, 2008
Director: Timur Bekmambetov
Cast: James McAvoy, Angelina Jolie, Morgan Freeman, Terence Stamp, Thomas Kretschmann, Common
Studios: Spyglass Entertainment, Relativity Media, Universal Pictures
Wanted 2 was going to happen after the financial success of the first – an adaptation of Mark Millar and J. G. Jones’ comic series of the same name – and as of 2011, McAvoy was set to return and would co-star alongside a new “cool” character (since Jolie opted not to return) but nothing came of this.
The unique assassin-focused action film is still ripe for another installment, especially if it embraces a whole new story centered around McAvoy who’s gained much more attention for his role as Professor Charles Xavier in the X-Men franchise.
Original Release Date: October 2, 2009
Director: Ruben Fleischer
Cast: Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone, Abigail Breslin
Studios: Relativity Media, Columbia Pictures
Amazon attempted – and failed hard – at continuing Zombieland as a TV series, but they were missing the most crucial element: its cast. Harrelson, Eisenberg, Stone, and Breslin formed the perfect dysfunctional big screen family and the rated-R humor set against post-apocalyptic undead America was perfect and struck at the perfect time.
Zombies are still huge in pop culture, and these actors equally as “hot” in the business, so a sequel seems like a no-brainer since it doesn’t cost much to make. We heard in 2014 that a sequel was in active-development but nothing since.
Be sure to check out our old list of desired sequels from a few years back for additional fitting ideas. Some reappear in this list and some have since continued with sequels, reboots, or television adaptations.
Back then we wanted to see another Daredevil for instance, but that lives on at the time of this writing within the Marvel Cinematic Universe as a hit Netflix series with a second season about to air. Constantine also became a short-lived television series on NBC but that new version of the character may become a regular in the DC TV universe as future member of Legends of Tomorrow.
Even Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events is coming back but as a rebooted TV series for Netflix. We also wanted to see Goonies 2 but that’s actually in development now alongside a reboot of Jumanji.
What movies on this list did you cherish the most or believe has real sequel potential?
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