Usually when movie sites start tossing around the word “sequel” you find one of two things… either a rant about how sequels are unnecessary and unwanted, or a list of the best sequels ever made. But what about the best sequels never made? We agree not all sequels are bad, so it stands to reason there may be some sequels that need to be made. Right?
With that half-baked theory in mind, we present ten movies that demand a sequel. We’re intentionally leaving out films that are already part of a series or franchise, as well as movies that already have sequels in active development or production. In chronological order, here are ten great movies just waiting for a chance at a comeback… not in remake form, but with proper sequels.
Time Bandits (1981)
Easily Terry Gilliam’s most accessible movie, and one of his best (behind The Fisher King and 12 Monkeys), Time Bandits is ripe for a follow-up. Little people traveling through time causing havoc and stealing shit… unavoidably awesome. I know many of the original bandits have died, and I know Gilliam has toyed with the idea of a follow-up in the past (including a pair of TV sequels in 2002), but this could still work as a feature! Maybe the midgets can be chased through time by a vengeful and adult Kevin still furious over the demise (via microwave) of his parents at the end of the original?
Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins (1985)
Seems to me, if you’re going to title your film with the clear indication that more story will follow… then more story should follow. The name alone shouldn’t warrant a sequel, but damnit this is a fun movie! Fred Ward as action hero? Very cool. The next film could have Ward as the master teaching some new upstart how to run on water, and of course, Ward would need to be prosthetic-ally transformed into an Asian like his predecessor Joel Grey.
Big Trouble In Little China (1986)
This is a no-brainer. I’d be hesitant only because the last time John Carpenter and Kurt Russell reunited for a sequel it resulted in the abysmally fetid Escape From L.A. Jack Burton is one of Russell’s best characters with a perfect combination of swaggering bravura, charm, and incompetence, and there has to be more adventures waiting for him. After all, it’s a pretty amazing planet we live on here, and a man would have to be some kind of fool to think we’re alone in this universe. (Kim Cattrall need not apply this time.)
No, I’m not breaking my rule on existing franchises or movies that already have sequels. Ok, technically I am… but I’m not interested in Hannibal Lector or Clarice Starling. I want more of retired FBI profiler Will Graham as played by William Peterson. He was always the most fascinating character in Thomas Harris’ canon, and I’d love to see what that scarred, haunted, and bowlegged agent is doing now. And I’m pretty sure Peterson is free now too.
I freely admit to enjoying this movie more than most people seem to… yes it was slow, but the scarecrows are insanely terrifying and awesome-looking. I think a bigger budget could open a sequel up to bigger and better scares. The real reason I want a sequel though has to do with director William Wesley’s proposed title for a follow-up… Scarecrows II: The Last Straw. Puns like that deserve to be on the big screen.
Tango & Cash (1989)
Okay, right up front, this is not what would traditionally be called a good movie. Terrible script, gaping plot holes, incredible acts of stupidity… but goddamn it’s a lot of fun. The banter between Sly Stallone and Kurt Russell is pitch-perfect and funny as hell. FUBAR? Don’t drop the soap? Bring them back with better writing and directing and this is a winner. Hell, Stallone could write and direct it himself!
Léon aka The Professional (1994)
Luc Besson reached his pinnacle as a director with this hitman thriller starring Jean Reno as Léon and a young Natalie Portman as his unintended protege Mathilda. A sequel would give a now legally sexy Portman the chance to kick some ass, which is something we all want to see. Sure it’d be lacking her fantastic chemistry with Reno and it would need a villain to rival crazy-ass Gary Oldman but… screw it… make Mathilda slightly unhinged and she can have imaginary conversations with Reno and Oldman acting as opposing ends of her moral compass.
My Best Friend’s Wedding (1997)
Go ahead and laugh at me if you want, but this movie is awesome. Hilarious, one of Julia Roberts’ two best films (the other is Notting Hill), and a fantastic and unconventional ending for a romantic comedy. There was talk of a spin-off strictly about Rupert Everett’s character but that’s lame… the two were sweet and funny together and a sequel could find them both in love simultaneously. Imagine the hijinks! (And no, it would be nothing like Bride Wars.)
Zero Effect (1998)
You may have never heard of this one. All the more reason to make a sequel and force the audience to go back and check out the original. Jake Kasdan wrote and directed this hilarious and not- so hardboiled detective romp about private dick Daryl (Bill Pullman) and his sidekick Arlo (Ben Stiller). Both actors give very precise and funny performances, the twists are entertaining, and they need another shot at success.
Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005)
Everything I said about Zero Effect is even more relevant to this film. But the names change of course… Shane Black wrote and directed this masterpiece (yeah I said it) of perfect performances, sharp dialogue, and playful spirit. This is Robert Downey Jr.’s true comeback film (if there has to be one) and Val Kilmer shows off comedic chops unseen since Real Genius. A perfect film. A perfect pairing. And a sequel is the only thing I want for Christmas.
Honorable Mentions: History of the World Part 1 (1981), The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension (1984), True Lies (1994), Trainspotting (1996)
What movies do you think really deserve a sequel?