Whether they’re shut down due to financial concerns, or maybe a key player in the production has choked to death on a coke-doused golf ball, or perhaps the attached star and writer had creative differences, there’s sequel proposals crushed every day in Hollywood for all sorts of reasons. As we speak, someone is being slapped across the face and spat at by an exec for merely suggesting a “Jingle All the Way” spin-off fixing on James Belushi’s store Santa character, and on the other side of town, someone from the studio’s logged into IMBD where they’re removing Brett Ratner’s name from the listing of the never-gonna-happen “Beverly Hills Cop 4” project. It’s the nature of the game. Here’s 50 ‘More’ sequels, originally in the cards, we will probably never ever see.
Whether they’re shut down due to financial concerns, or maybe a key player in the production has choked to death on a coke-doused golf ball, or perhaps the attached star and writer had creative differences, there’s sequel proposals crushed every day in Hollywood for all sorts of reasons. As we speak, someone is being slapped across the face and spat at by an exec for merely suggesting a “Jingle All the Way” spin-off fixing on James Belushi’s store Santa character, and on the other side of town, someone from the studio’s logged into IMBD where they’re removing Brett Ratner’s name from the listing of the never-gonna-happen “Beverly Hills Cop 4″ project. It’s the nature of the game. Here’s 50 ‘More’ sequels, originally in the cards, we will probably never ever see.
26. Flash Gordon 2
In a recent interview, director Mike Hodges explained that friction between producer Dino De Laurentiis and Jones essentially killed the franchise plans. “..although it was not a big hit in America, it was in Europe. But Sam and Dino fell out”, he said. “I was very fond of Sam but here’s what happened: we did the main shooting up until Christmas and then we stopped for the break. After Christmas I came back and did all of the second unit stuff too. For instance, I had to do the shots with the flying men and that sort of thing – what passed as special effects back then (laughs). So I also had to shoot a whole bunch of other stuff with a stunt double for Sam and I had to re-voice the occasional line of dialogue too. Not much but some – and I got somebody to impersonate Sam’s voice. You would never know it wasn’t him. But Sam found out and I think that was one factor that led to him being upset. And Dino and he just did not see eye to eye for a while. So when you lose your main star there can’t really be a sequel.”
The light at the end of the tunnel? We didn’t have to hear any dodgy Queen covers (Freddie definitely wouldn’t have signed off on a sequel).
27. Big Stan II
At the time of its release, “Big Stan” was intended to be Rob Schneider’s next-big-thing (if even because he’d milked every last drop from the “Deuce Bigalow” series). At the Melbourne junket for the 2008 comedy, Schneider told us he and co-star David Carradine were up for a follow-up. With Carradine’s passing, and the fact the first film tanked, the project seemingly just went away. “I think David (Carradine) would want to do it. I think that one you could have a sequel to it – but let’s see the response around the world first for the first one. It has to be called for. You know, if it’s an interesting idea, we’ll see. We’ll think about it. It’s part of the real world, this movie, as opposed to those man-whores, so that might be deciding factor as to whether or not a sequel will happen.”
28. Spaceballs II
The sequel to Mel Brooks’ popular 1987 “Star Wars” spoof – At one stage rumoured to be titled “Spaceballs III : The Search for Spaceballs II” – did look like it was going to come to fruition at one stage. Actually, I guess you could say it did come to fruition – – only as a TV series, not as a film. The ideas Brooks had stored up for a live-action sequel, one that would’ve reunited the cast of the original film (all but John Candy, who had sadly passed), were later used for an animated “Spaceballs” series that aired on G4 and Canada’s Super Channel in 2008. Whereas the film spoofed largely “Star Wars”, each episode of the cartoon series took the mickey out of a different film franchise – be it “Lord of the Rings”, “Spider-Man” and “The Terminator”.
Despite only having to sit in a recording booth for a few days laying down some audio tracks, Bill Pullman and Rick Moranis chose not to reprise their characters for the ‘toon, but Brooks, Daphne Zuniga (Princess Vespa) and the inimitable Joan Rivers (Dot Matrix) did return.
29. American Ninja 6
The one that’ll likely evoke a few tears and crush a few hearts. The fifth sequel to the Michael Dudikoff-starring biffo classic was canned due to empty wallets.
30. Cobra 2
Sylvester Stallone’s “Cobra” (which was essentially the film “Beverly Hills Cop” would’ve been had Stallone remained on that project) was intended to be the big guy’s new money-making movie series, following hot on the heels of the “Rocky” and “Rambo” franchises. Unlike those other unremittingly successful films that clog his back catalogue, and despite the fact that the film premiered at the top of the box office on its first weekend of release, Sly’s “Cobra” just didn’t seem to have legs. Funnily enough, Stallone stopped talking sequel after the film scooped many of the Razzie awards that year, including Worst Picture and Worst Actor.
31. Death Wish 6 : The New Vigilante
Who doesn’t love “Death Wish”? (the aforesaid Sylvester Stallone does, he intended to remake the film a couple of years ago). A classic revenge thriller about a common joe architect who goes after the thugs that killed his wife and raped his daughter – and obliterates them, it’s definitely one of the highpoints of action cinema of the ’70s. The first sequel was quite good too, though laughably over-the-top, but the rest of ’em? not so much. Charles Bronson, so good as Paul Kersey in that original film, had become a bit of a cartoon by the time “Death Wish” 3, 4 and 5 rolled around.
A sixth film, “The New Vigilante” was in the cards, but the studio, Cannon, went bankrupt and nobody was offering to pony up any cash to see an ageing Bronson take out more trash.
A few years later a reformed Cannon, operating under the name New Cannon, would relaunch the “Death Wish” franchise – but under a sneaky new name, “Death Game”.
Here’s something funny : The literary sequel to “Death Wish” was called “Death Sentence” and it told of Kersey’s quick turnaround, deciding to ditch life as a vigilante and try and resume somewhat of a normal life. But that’s no fun, right!?
32. Hellraiser Nightshines
A prequel to Clive Barker’s “Hellraiser” (1987), “Nightshines” would’ve been set in the ’40s and had the Mafioso unleashing Pinhead (Doug Bradley) onto the world. The script was written – and what a wacky script it was; it also included werewolves and genies. At one stage it has Pinhead taking control of the werewolves and sicking them onto the local gangsters – but never got close enough to a ‘greenlit’ stamp. Not to worry, about twenty other “Hellraiser” sequels did happen – the latest, “Hellraiser : Revelations” was the first not to feature series star Doug Bradley, which caused quite a bit of controversy – but sadly none of them feature lycanthropes or Elliot Ness.
33. Dune 2 : Dune Messiah
Convinced he had the next “Star Wars” on his hands (funnily enough, Lynch knocked back the chance to direct “Return of the Jedi”), David Lynch was at work on a sequel to his loopy ’84 science-fictioner before the first film had even been test screened. Lynch was half-way through adapting the book “Dune Messiah” as the basis for a sequel when the film was released and that eventual call came in that “Dune” had flopped and as a result, no sequel would be needed. Lynch had originally planned for – again, he saw it as the next “Star Wars” – his “Dune” series to be a trilogy.
“Dune Messiah”, like the book, would’ve taken place twelve years after the events of the 1984 film. In it, Paul Atreides (Kyle MacLachlan) rules as Emperor of the Known Universe, following Muad’Dib’s Jihad which he unleashed by accepting the role of Mahdi to the Fremen. While Paul is the most powerful Emperor ever, he is ironically powerless to stop the lethal religious excesses of the juggernaut he has created. Paul ultimately embarks on a mission to set humanity on a course that will not inevitably lead to stagnation and extinction, while at the same time acting as ruler of the Empire and focal point of the Fremen religion. And I’m sure a dancing midget would’ve played a part in there somewhere, too.
34. Old School Dos
Will Ferrell was receiving offer after offer at the time writer/director Todd Phillips approached him to rejoin Vince Vaughn and Luke Wilson in a sequel to the hit 2003 comedy; as a result of Ferrell’s lukewarm interest in sequels at the time, plus the excitement of being one of the most in-demand movie stars at the time, Phillips buried the idea.
“Oh, I wouldn’t do another Old School,” Ferrell said in 2008. “They put these rumours out there, these studio people, but I would never be behind that one.”
The unproduced script would’ve seen Mitch, Beanie and Frank breaking in another group of young college students. As if their partners would let them off-the-leash a second time! Ha!
35. Godzilla 2
A financial and critical disaster, the hugely-expensive U.S language remake – which pitted Ferris Bueller against a giant Barney the Dinosaur in wet Manhattan – had the brass at Sony frowning and sulking for months. Still, Sony were confident enough in the “Godzilla” brand to begin development on a sequel, “G2”, though one that was set at a lower- budget. Dean Devlin and Roland Emmerich, the duo behind Fox’s cash-cow “Independence Day”, likely feeling responsible for the original disaster, opted not to be involved in “G2”. Ultimately, Sony dropped the project anyway.
36. Anchorman 2
Ah yes, the film that saw the gates on Melrose avenue earn a few tomato stains. Despite everyone’s enthusiasm to do it – and by everyone I refer to writer/director Adam McKay and stars Will Ferrell, Paul Rudd, Steve Carell, etc; all of whom, by the way, agreed to take pay cuts in order for the movie to get made for a reasonable price – Paramount just weren’t interested in sequelizing the extremely-popular 2004 newscaster parody.
Ferrell told Entertainment Weekly that he’s as confused beyond heck why the studio doesn’t want him back as Ron Burgundy. “Well, you know, yeah, it’s a little peculiar. On the one hand, [we were] being begged to do a sequel for such a long time, and then we finally came up with a concept that we liked, we talked to all the guys, and everyone was up for it,” he revealed. “And then to get the reaction we got, yeah, it’s slightly puzzling to us. But you know what? It’s also their money. They get to do or not do whatever they want. So we’ll see. We’re still going back and forth. Maybe there is a solution. Or, I know in talking to Adam, if it never happens, then it never happens. And that’s fine, too. So we’ll just see.”
I think everyone’s pretty convinced it ain’t gonna happen now – unless folks suddenly grow tired of “Transformers” and “Paranormal Activity” sequels?
37. Fantastic Four 3
Fox, hoping “Fantastic Four 2 : Rise of the Silver Surfer” would lead to mucho dollars, got a rude surprise when the comic book movie community gave the birdie to the sequel. Soon enough Fox went cold on their plans for a ‘Silver Surfer’ spin-off film, and also a third “Fantastic Four” (though they were contracted to star in a third film, the stars of the “Fantastic” franchise were tipped off to a burning of blue-suits bonfire.) A reboot of the series is now in development.
38. Say Anything 2
A couple of months back the inteweb went into overdrive, running with a rumour that Cameron Crowe had plans to follow-up his 1989 gem. Apparently the writer/director’s words were taken out of context. Crowe simply said Lloyd Dobler is the only character he’d be interested in revisiting – if he was interested in revisiting any of his films, which he isn’t. But man, Loren Dean gotta eat!?
39. The Last Airbender 2
Even after reading BoxOfficeMojo on the morning after the first film hit theatres (with a whimper), M.Night Shyamalan remained confident in his feature film adaptation of the classic manga yarn. In fact, so confident the “Sixth Sense” helmer was that he insisted the sequel was still going to happen. In an interview with MTV, Shyamalan said he had the next two films in the “Airbender” franchise mapped out. “I do [have things mapped out]. The third is more ambiguous, but the second one, I’ve written a draft that I’m really happy with and is darker and richer, and it has a wonderful antagonist in it in Azula, who’s kind of like our only real, pure antagonist in the series, so I’m excited about that.” Paramount, as one could appreciate, didn’t share Shyamalan’s enthusiam for the sequels.
40. The Garbage Pail Kids Movie 2
Intending to follow-up his 1987 epic with a sequel, writer/director Rodd Amateau added a sequel hook to the end of the film (the kids hit the road) to serve as a teaser for the upcoming follow-up. Plans were – excuse the pun – trashed, after the failure of the first.
41. Blade 4
Had “Blade Trinity” turned out better than it did, and had it made money, New Line intended on bringing back Wesley Snipes for a fourth stab. You’ll recall that at the end of the third film, it seemed as if Blade had been killed in the battle with Drake/Dracula (Dominic Purcell), but then, just before the credits roll, we get a glimpse of the vampire slayer riding away on his motorbike – assuring audiences our hero is OK. Knowing they’d want him back for a fourth film, New Line decided they needed a scene that showed Blade alive (well, you know) and well.
42. xXx 3
There have been a couple of different incarnations of this project. The first, set to be a sequel to the Ice Cube starring “xXx : State of the Union”, was to introduce a new female super-agent (Michelle Yeoh was tipped to play the part) to the franchise fold. Simon Kinberg’s chick-xXx script was later abandoned when Vin Diesel announced he’d be keen to reprise the role of Xander Cage (the character he played in the original) – and rightly so, Sony atleast had a shot at making some money with Diesel back playing the role. Alas, that film never get off the ground either.
43. Child’s Play 6
Chucky the demonic ‘good guy’ doll is going to make his comeback in (well, of course) a reboot, but originally “Seed of Chucky” creator Don Mancini had hoped to continue with the story of Chucky, Tiffany and their ‘Seed’. At the end of “Seed”, Jennifer Tilly – playing herself; she also voices Tiffany – was artificially inseminated by the Chucky doll, setting up a sixth film that would’ve completed Tilly’s (she’d been in the previous two films) ‘Child’s Play’ trilogy.
44. Mac & Me 2
Vision International and Newstar International, convinced they had the next “E.T” on their hands (they didn’t), were forced to shelve their plans for a “Max & Me” -film told of a boy and his friendship with an extra terrestrial – sequel when the original snagged only $6,424,112 in the United States. Reboot, maybe?
45. Casablanca 2
Sounds like a pitch straight out of Altman’s “The Player”, right? It ain’t. Brazzaville (in the final scene, Renault recommends fleeing to that Free French-held city) was planned, but never came to fruition. Since then, no studio has seriously considered filming a sequel or outright remake (though there exists a book in literary form, “As Time Goes By”, published in 1998; the book didn’t do well, so Warner never bothered adapting it for the screen). In addition, there’s no remake because François Truffaut refused an invitation to do over the film in 1974, citing its cult status among American students as his reason. Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn.
46. A Nightmare Before Christmas II
If only because he can’t find a role for Johnny Depp in it, Tim Burton never acted on his original plans to sequelize one of the most beloved holiday hits of all time (the sequel would’ve been in CGI). Burton went cold on the idea, feeling he’d merely be cashing in on the success of the original movie, and at the time didn’t feel if he had a good enough idea to warrant a sequel. And again, where’s Johnny gonna go!?
47. The Rescuers III
A third film in the “Rescuers” series – the second, “Rescuers Down Under”, took the mice to the ass end of the world – was commissioned by Disney, but after the death of famed voice actor Eva Gabor, who played Miss Bianca, the studio decided not to push forward with the movie. Nowadays, of course, they’d simply just bring in a replacement, someone to imitate the late actor.
48. Chicken Little – The Ugly Ducking Story
Like so many of their properties, Disney had planned to do a series of direct-to-video sequels to their noughties effort, “Chicken Little” (did anyone else see that thing!? What a load of rubbish it was!) but the goose never laid a golden egg, so plans for “Chicken Little : The Ugly Duckling Story”, stayed put on someone’s copy of finaldraft. Other abandoned direct-to-video disney sequels dropped for various reasons include “The Aristocrats II”, “Meet the Robinsons : First Date” and “Fantasia III”.
49. Kermit, Prince of Denmark
“Muppets” fans Jeff Marx and Bobby Lopez, of “Avenue Q” fame, wrote a spec script for a new Muppet movie that although never produced, became a calling card for the writing team. The film was a loose reinterpretation of Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” with Kermit, accidentally ending up in Denmark, being mistaken for Prince Hamlet. Gonzo and Fozzie were Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, while Miss Piggy would play both Ophelia and Gertrude. “Seinfeld” fave Jason Alexander was the duo’s top choice to play the evil King Claudius.
Jim Henson Productions turned down “Kermit, Prince of Denmark” because it was essentially a musical (much Jason Segel & Nick Stoller’s new “Muppets”) and at that time, which was just before the release of the Oscar winning “Chicago”, the musical was a dead genre.
50. Baby’s Trip to China
Yeah, I’m with you crèche kids, I’m a little crushed Fox didn’t get to do another “Baby’s Day Out”, too. John Hughes’ tragic death unconsciously saw the sequel get the axe. No dumplings for the animatronic kid.