Nothing is certain but death, taxes, and Hollywood sequels. This year alone we’ve seen Bridget Jones and Zoolander return from lengthy absences to once again get caught up in love triangles with Colin Firth and ridiculous espionage plots respectively. We’ve seen unlikely new outings for the Blair Witch, Bourne and Bad Santa, and we’ve seen follow-ups that pretty much no-one really asked for (see My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2, London Has Fallen, Now You See Me 2). And that’s without mentioning all the latest additions to the various ever-expanding comic book universes and animated franchises.
Unsurprisingly, the 2017 release schedules are also filled to the brim with familiar faces. But while most of us already know about future blockbusters such as Fast 8, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and Star Wars: Episode VIII, there are several impending sequels that may have so far escaped your attention. Here’s a look at 15 Sequels You Didn’t Know Were Coming In 2017.
15 Amityville: The Awakening (January 6)
It’s fair to say that the 17th installment of the long-running Amityville saga has had something of a tricky gestation period. It was originally conceived as a found-footage film titled The Lost Tapes and scheduled for release way back in 2012. After that idea was scrapped entirely, an entirely different Amityville film starring Jennifer Jason Leigh, Bella Thorne, Thomas Mann and Cameron Monaghan went into production in 2014, with its first trailer arriving just a few months later.
Pushed back to January 2015, then May 2015, and then again to April 2016, the film then had to undergo some reshoots following the disappointing response from test audiences. A full five years after being announced, Franck Khalfoun’s Amityville: The Awakening will finally make its way into cinemas on January 6, 2017. Sadly, judging by the latest rather pedestrian trailer anyway, the haunted house horror seems unlikely to be worth the wait.
14 T2: Trainspotting (March 3)
“Choose Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. And hope that someone somewhere cares.” Featured in the recently-unveiled trailer for long-awaited sequel T2, Rent Boy’s (Ewan McGregor) modern adaptation of his iconic 'Choose Life' speech suggests that the Trainspotting gang are just as likely to become student poster boys in 2017 as they were back in 1996.
Loosely based on Irvine Welsh novel Porno, Danny Boyle’s return to the drug-addled streets of Edinburgh reunites all of the original characters 20 years on (bar Kevin McKidd’s Tommy, of course), including Jonny Lee Miller’s Sick Boy, Ewen Bremner’s Spud, Kelly Macdonald’s Diane and Robert Carlyle’s downright terrifying Begbie. It remains to be seen whether there will be anything as memorable as that toilet scene, or whether the soundtrack will feature anything as anthemic as Underworld’s rave classic "Born Slippy." But from the looks of things, it will still be a whole lot of fun finding out.
13 Goon: Last of the Enforcers (March 17)
Canadian ice hockey comedy Goon took in just seven million dollars at the box-office back in 2011. But thanks to positive word of mouth, Sean William Scott will now make an unexpected return as the nice but dim enforcer, Doug ‘The Thug’ Glatt. Jay Baruchel, who co-starred in and co-wrote the original, will make the step up to the director’s chair for the first time while also reprising his role as Doug’s best friend Pat.
Wyatt Russell, T.J. Miller and Elisha Cuthbert are just a few of the new faces entering the fray for Goon: Last of the Enforcers, with Tyler Seguin, Michael Del Zotto and George Parros just a few of the real-life ice hockey stars rumored to be adding an extra sense of authenticity. Liev Schreiber, Alison Pill, Kim Coates and Eugene Levy will also return to watch a new squad of Halifax Highlanders on their quest for victory.
12 Annabelle 2 (May 19)
We may have to wait a little longer for the next adventures of Ed and Lorraine Warren – The Conjuring 3 is currently pencilled in for 2018. But James Wan and Peter Safran’s spooky supernatural franchise will still get bigger in 2017. Not only is The Nun, a character which we first saw in The Conjuring 2, reportedly receiving her own spin-off, but the creepy doll from the original is also getting a second outing.
It’s little surprise that Annabelle 2 is already done and dusted. Despite pretty dismal reviews – it holds a Rotten Tomatoes rating of 29% – the first grossed an extremely impressive $256.9m on a budget of just $6.5m back in 2014. This time around, the doll from hell is setting her sights on the home of her maker, and the orphaned children who have taken shelter in it. A brand new cast will also be terrorized, including Stephanie Sigman (Spectre), Talitha Bateman (The 5th Wave) and Anthony LaPaglia (Without a Trace).
11 The Nut Job 2 (May 19)
Also opening on the same day is a sequel to one of the least essential children’s animations of recent years. Indeed, 2014 original The Nut Job already stretched a fairly thin premise beyond breaking point, so new director Carl Brunker has one almighty task on his hands if he’s to keep kids wide awake over the course of another 90 minutes.
The plot, in case you’re interested, sees our slightly annoying squirrel hero Surly and his fellow parkland critters try to save their home from a crooked mayor and his plans to turn it into a fearsome amusement park. Brendan Fraser and Liam Neeson have perhaps wisely opted out this time, but Will Arnett, Gabriel Iglesias, Jeff Dunham and Katherine Heigl have all signed up for a second helping, with Jackie Chan and Bobby Cannavale just some of the new additions. Let’s just hope the poor unfortunate parents forced to take their little ones are spared another closing rendition of "Gangnam Style."
10 Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul (May 19)
Hollywood appears to have decided that May 19, 2017 is officially National Sequel Day as alongside Annabelle 2 and The Nut Job 2, the fourth chapter of the popular tween series, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, will also be debuting in cinemas. And there’s a big change afoot in the adaptations of the Jeff Kinney novels – an entire recasting.
Greg Heffley will be played by 11-year-old Jason Drucker, who has previously appeared in Nickelodeon sitcom Every Witch Way and action comedy Barely Lethal; Owen Asztalos and Charlie Wright will play his best friends; while Alicia Silverstone and Tom Everett Scott replace Rachael Harris and Steve Zahn as his parents Susan and Frank. Taking place just one year after the events of 2012’s Dog Days, The Long Haul sees Greg persuade his family to embark on a road trip for his grandmother’s 90th birthday. But of course, the cheeky monkey has an ulterior motive – attending a nearby gamer convention.
9 Cars 3 (June 16)
Despite the seemingly general apathy towards the Cars franchise – well, compared to the rest of their stellar output anyway – Pixar still seem hellbent on prolonging Cars’ shelf life for as long as possible. Joining the 2006 original and 2011 sequel, as well as its pointless Planes spin-offs, Cars 3 will arrive in cinemas on June 16, with Owen Wilson, Larry the Cable Guy, Bonnie Hunt and Cheech Marin all reprising their vehicular alter-egos once more.
This time around Lightning McQueen will race around both Route 66 and Route 99 as he’s joined by a brand new ally, Cruz Ramirez, and a brand new arch rival, Jackson Storm. Brian Fee, who has previously worked as a storyboard artist on Ratatouille, WALL-E and the first two Cars films, will be taking over directing duties from John Lasseter. But even if he does manage to improve on its predecessors, it will still be hard to shake the feeling that Pixar would be better off investing their time and creativity into a new project instead.
8 Kingsman: The Golden Circle (June 16)
Kingsman: The Secret Service certainly divided audiences on its 2014 release. While some saw it as a hugely entertaining throwback to the days when James Bond films had a sense of humor, others saw it as a misogynistic, obnoxious and gratuitously violent mess. Nevertheless, with its Welsh leading man Taron Egerton on the rise and a box-office return of $414m, a sequel was always going to be on the cards.
In Kingsman: The Golden Circle, Eggsy (Egerton), Roxy (Sophie Cookson) and Merlin (Mark Strong) head across the Atlantic to join their US counterparts and thwart an evil mastermind played by none other than Julianne Moore. The flame-haired Oscar winner isn’t the only impressive addition to Matthew Vaughn’s cartoonish world. Channing Tatum and Halle Berry will also appear as Statesman secret agents, Jeff Bridges will star as their boss, while Sir Elton John is reportedly lined up for a cameo, too.
7 Despicable Me 3 (June 30)
It may have spawned those initially appealing but now inherently annoying gibberish-speaking yellow henchmen that appear destined to clog up social media for the rest of eternity. But the Despicable Me franchise remains one of the animated world’s most charming. So a third helping – if it keeps those pesky minions’ antics to a minimum, that is – will certainly be more than welcome to most.
Steve Carell will, of course, be returning as the baddie-turned-goodie Felonious Gru, as will Kristen Wiig as his newlywed Lucy Wilde and Miranda Cosgrove as eldest daughter Margo. But it’s not all business as usual in the Despicable Me world. Regular co-director Chris Renaud has jumped ship and so Minions director Kyle Balda will now work alongside Pierre Coffin instead. South Park’s Trey Parker has also come on board to play Balthazar Bratt, a villainous former child star obsessed with his faded '80s fame.
6 Insidious: Chapter 4 (October 20)
It was a pretty poor showing for Halloween-friendly movies at the cinemas this year, but 2017 looks like making up for it. Alongside a Friday the 13th reboot, and a certain torture porn revival mentioned below, horror fans can also choose to get their scares from the fourth chapter of the supernatural series, Insidious.
Although the storyline has so far been kept under wraps, director James Wan revealed earlier this year that he hoped to further explore the time between the events of the 2015 prequel and the 2010 original. Demonologists Elise Rainier (Lin Shaye), Specs (Leigh Whannell) and Tucker (Angus Sampson) are all confirmed to return, with Josh Stewart, Spencer Locke and Tessa Ferrer just a handful of the new names daring to enter the Insidious universe for the first time. Adam Robitel, who helmed the under-rated possession horror The Taking of Deborah Logan, will take the director’s chair.
5 Saw: Legacy (October 27)
Yes, for better or for worse, the pioneering torture porn franchise is to come back from the dead seven years after appearing to have been killed off for good. Indeed, while a new Saw film seemed to become an annual event back in the '00s, the law of diminishing returns meant that few were too disappointed when Lionsgate pulled the plug after 2010’s typically preposterous 3D effort.
Although Tobin Bell is confirmed to revive his infamous Jigsaw creation, the belated eighth installment has been described as a reinvention, and one which will establish a brand new, and hopefully far more coherent storyline. Best-known for their work with Ethan Hawke (Daybreakers, Predestination), the Spierig brothers have been given the task of injecting the series with a new lease of life, with Canadian Jon Cor (Being Human, Shadowhunters: The Mortal Instruments) the only other actor to have officially signed on the dotted line so far.
4 Paddington 2 (November 10)
Despite concerns that everyone’s favorite marmalade sandwich-eating Peruvian bear would lose his charm on the big screen, 2014’s Paddington proved to be one of the most delightful family films in recent years. And with two BAFTA nominations and a box office return of nearly $300m to its name, a sequel was always going to be too enticing a prospect to resist.
Thankfully, the majority of the cast, including the voice of Paddington, Ben Whishaw, have signed up for a second adventure, as has director Paul King, while Hugh Grant will take over from Nicole Kidman as the film’s main villain, faded actor Phoenix Buchanan. The premise – Paddington and co. must find the thieves of a unique pop-up book intended for Aunt Lucy’s 100th birthday present – might seem a little flimsy. But if it can recapture even just half the magic of its predecessor, few are likely to care.
3 Pitch Perfect 3 (December 22)
The appetite for competitive singing comedies appeared to have subsided once the previously razor-sharp Glee started to descend into sanctimonious after-school special territory. However, with a likable talented cast, an inspired hit-packed soundtrack (who would have thought Ace of Base’s "The Sign" would feature so highly in a 2012 box-office smash?) and a humorous, highly quotable script, Pitch Perfect managed to reel in enough viewers to spawn a sequel.
That sequel then earned more in its first five days than the original did in its entire run. So it’s little surprise that a third helping of the Barden Bellas, is on the way. Trish Sie (Step Up: All In) is taking over from Elizabeth Banks as director, but Rebel Wilson, Anna Kendrick, Brittany Snow and pop star for real Hailee Steinfeld are all confirmed to return. And with Universal proclaiming ‘Get ready to have a merry Pitchmas,’ expect plenty of holiday tunes too.
2 Super Troopers 2 (TBC)
Easily the most unlikely sequel on this list, Super Troopers 2 is scheduled to arrive in cinemas a full 15 years after the original racked up a fairly unremarkable $23m. Written by and starring the Broken Lizard comedy troupe, the farcical crime comedy may not have set the world on fire on its 2002 release. But having become something of a cult classic in the intervening years, the funnymen were able to raise the $2m they needed from fans to fund the film in the space of just 26 hours.
It’s not been revealed exactly when those who pledged their hard-earned cash on Indiegogo will find out whether they got value for money. But we do know that the plot sees the five state troopers enlisted to patrol American territory previously considered Canadian. Lynda Carter, Kevin Heffernan and Brian Cox are also all returning, while Tyler Labine, Will Sasso and Rob Lowe will make their Super Troopers debut.
1 Creed 2 (TBC)
Official details are still up in the air, but according to MGM CEO Gary Barber, Creed 2 is definitely happening, and will likely make it into cinemas sometime next year. With the original giving Sylvester Stallone his first Academy Award nomination since 1977, saving Michael B. Jordan’s career after the disastrous Fantastic Four reboot and grossing over $173m on a budget of $40m, it’s little wonder that the eponymous boxer will get at least one more moment in the ring.
However, Creed 2 might not be a straight-forward sequel. Stallone told Variety earlier this year that the film may go back and forth between the present and the past a la The Godfather 2, with (SPOILER ALERT) Apollo Creed Jr.’s father (previously played by Carl Weathers) tipped for a (sort of) return from the dead. It’s an interesting idea, and one which would also allow Mr. Rocky Balboa to aim for Oscar glory once more.