While we live in an age where the thought of a sequel is nearly as bad as the thought of a remake, not all are created equal. Sequels are among the beloved films of all time. Sequels have won Academy Awards. Remember, “The Godfather: Part II” is a sequel. So is “The Dark Knight“. Done properly, sequels can take everything you love about a bit of cinema and double down on it.
With “T2: Trainspotting” hitting this week, that long gestating sequel to “Trainspotting” has compelled The Awards Circuit to put forward a list of ten sequels that the world might actually want. A few of these might actually be in the cards, but for the most part, it’s purely speculative on our part. We all ponder whether a sequel to a successful new release will ultimately come down the road, just like we dread the ones that have no creative value. Consider this a rage against that particular dying of the light. Namely, an attempt to look at sequels that would have the spark of creativity or perhaps even originality to them.
Below you will see ten selected for this piece, but just know that some thought did go into this. Overt franchise sequels were disqualified, as were things that nobody actually would want, like a sequel to “Inception” or “Looper“. The originals nailed it, so leave well enough alone. A few honorable mentions though for this article include “Bridesmaids,” “The Cabin in the Woods,” “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy,” “The Simpsons Movie,” and “Spaceballs“. Consider those the 11-15 selections, if you’d like. They’re not here, but read on to see which films were tapped to received the sequel treatment.
As a reminder, “T2: Trainspotting” opens in theaters on March 17th.
Check out the list below and be sure to weigh in with your thoughts in the comments section:
10. Sausage Party
Starting off with a recent one, why not continue the end of the film’s surreal logic? Those who recall the end of “Sausage Party” know that a sequel would be a true horse of a different color. It would even be a satire of a completely different subject. For a raunchy animated comedy that dealt with heady ideas of religion, that wouldn’t be a tough sell. Evan Goldberg, Seth Rogen, and company would likely jump at the chance to break a whole new set of taboos.
Animated sequels are always an easier sell, that goes without saying. This was a hit, both critically and commercially. All the ingredients are there. If Goldberg, Rogen, and their creative partners want to make this happen, odds are it’ll happen. They’re likely more interested in live action outings, but don’t be shocked if this gets announced one day, seemingly out of the blue.
9. District 9
Temper excitement for this one somewhat due to Neill Blomkamp‘s incredibly spotty record of late. That aside, wouldn’t a “District 10” or whatever the sequel would be called fascinate you? The unanswered questions at the end of “District 9” don’t necessarily need to be answered, but the setup is there for something that wouldn’t feel like an overt cash grab. Consider this, especially if the plot wound up at all similar, to be the anti “Independence Day: Resurgence“.
Blomkamp had recently focused on a different sequel in “Alien 5,” so sequels are definitely on his mind. Mostly, he just needs to be inspired and make another good film. Going back to this well might do it for him, as “District 9” is indisputably his best work to date. Sharlto Copley would likely be down to revisit his breakout role, though the nature of what that would look like is a question mark. This was a more likely sequel years ago, but it’s probably still on a table somewhere, waiting patiently.
8. Magic Mike
“Magic Mike” exceeded expectations and so did “Magic Mike XXL“, so why wouldn’t another sequel do the same. Channing Tatum‘s stripper sequels have been absolute blasts so far. Bring back Matthew McConaughey for one last stripping bash. Hell, Tatum could even make his directorial debut, which he’s been hinting at for years. This sort of small scale franchise is quickly becoming the new model, outside of blockbusters. If Blumhouse goes for horror and thriller on this level, let another one of these be the fun girls night out version of that blueprint.
The first one dealt with the economy, while the second one dealt with male bonding. This one could deal with all good things coming to an end. Sequels that overtly function as the end of a franchise or series usually have added poignancy. There would be high concept stripping sequences, sure, but also emotion as well. If this one isn’t be discussed by an executive somewhere, then they’re not doing their job.
There’s actually a sequel to the novel “Drive” called “Driven,” so the germ of it all is there. It wouldn’t need to follow the plot closely, since the first one didn’t follow its own source material that closely either. The concept here just fits for a follow up. The Driver is a superhero of sorts, so another crusade to right a wrong would make all sorts of sense. Rumors of this one being in development were whispered about for a while, but nothing much came of it. Hence, we’re pushing it forward here.
Now, this only should happen if Ryan Gosling and Nicolas Winding Refn actually come back. They gave “Drive” the style that set it apart from the pack. Both books are solid in a pulpy sort of way, but there’s no comparison. They enjoyed each other enough to re-team on “Only God Forgives,” so they’re not opposed to working with each other. We don’t necessarily need this sequel, but it could be a solidly fun one, if done properly.
6. Bull Durham
Another sequel that was bandied about a few years ago, seeing Crash Davis and Nuke back at it again in the minor leagues. Filmmaker Ron Shelton really wanted to get the trio of Kevin Costner, Tim Robbins, and Susan Sarandon back for the sequel and kind of championed it for a time, though it’s been all quiet on the western front. The emergence of knuckleball phenom R.A. Dickey probably contributed, as that would have been what Crash (now a manager) would teach Nuke to keep him from being out of baseball entirely.
Sports sequels have to make sure they avoid devolving into something too rote, but this has potential. Nostalgia helps not just sequels, but sports films as well (plus sports in general). Costner in a role like this would be a big deal too. Elder statesmen in a baseball movie? Get the awards campaign going now! If Shelton hasn’t given up on this one yet, he should give it one more shot.
5. Kill Bill
As much as a hybrid prequel/sequel to “Pulp Fiction” and “Reservoir Dogs” in “The Vega Brothers” was once the ideal Quentin Tarantino sequel, “Kill Bill Volume 3” now seems like the one to wait for. After all, the plot is right there for us. Vernita Green’s daughter was all but blessed by The Bride to come after her once she’s grown up. The next volume would have them on a collision course with each other.
While it seems sacrilegious to ask such an original filmmaker to do a sequel, he’s often spoken about his desire to make this one. Plus, it would hopefully stretch out his career, as Tarantino has teased an early retirement. We’ll see if this ends up being just talk on his part, but there’s a decent chance this sequel actually happens one of these days.
4. The Girl Next Door
A personal favorite, this one could actually be one of the rare sequels that improves upon the original. A guilty pleasure that’s an on the down low remake of “Risky Business,” a sequel could bring politics into the fold. An elected official with a girlfriend/fiancee/wife (depending on when it’s set) who used to be in porn? We could see Emile Hirsch‘s character running for office or re-election to office and a scandal brewing when his opponent uncovers the past. There’s real potential here. If “American Pie” could become a long running franchise, why not this one?
There’s an added bonus in doing this, as if you bring back the cast you wind up with Paul Dano suddenly being the biggest draw. The odds of this having ever even been considered as a project are slim, but while brainstorming, this kept popping up. So, here it is. If nothing else, it’s a great excuse to go revisit “The Girl Next Door”. It’s criminally underrated.
3. Clerks / Mallrats
Cheating a bit here, but go with it. With both “Clerks III” and “Mallrats 2” seemingly canceled, these Kevin Smith sequels are huge “what ifs” for fans. “Clerks III” was ready to go, but one of the actors pulled out, essentially killing it. As for “Mallrats 2,” it ran into issues with Universal owning it, leading to a TV series version that no channel ultimately picked up. As such, “Clerks II” likely closed the book on the “Clerks” franchise, while “Mallrats” will be one and done. We can dream though, right?
Yes, Smith is doing something similar with “Jay and Silent Bob Reboot” in the next year or so. These are also the least likely of the sequels to come about, as Smith has literally announced them as no longer happening. Consider this just fan fiction or pouting, but spending more time with Dante and Randell would have been a real pleasure. Smith always has the most to say when speaking through them.
2. Real Genius
The best sequels just let you spend more time with characters you love. Val Kilmer‘s Chris Knight was an instantly iconic character in the cult classic about a college for teenage geniuses. Letting Kilmer once again run wild, this time as perhaps a teacher, would be comedic gold. 80’s comedies have been remade plenty, so why not a sequel?
Given how overly medicated and helicopter parented kids today are, there’s potential for some biting comedy here. “Real Genius” is one of the least appreciate laugh riots of its time. A sequel would allow to to have another moment in the sun. Again, it’s not likely, but it would just be good sense.
1. High Fidelity
This one really should happen, above all others. John Cusack‘s Rob Gordon dealing with his pop culture obsession in a world where the internet exists? Yes please. Sure, we left Rob in a good place, but even if he’s in a happy relationship, music, movies, and list making would still give him plenty to complain about. He’s both timeless and completely of his time. Following him further would be perhaps even on the profound side.
This example just sums up the crux of the piece. Instead of simply focusing on popular IP’s, focus on popular characters. “High Fidelity” fits that bill. If the decision makers in Hollywood thought this way, we’d see less sequels sporting the word “Transformers” in the title and more just checking back in on our cinematic friends.