It’s thirty-five years later and we are just now getting a sequel to Blade Runner, arguably one of the most influential science fiction films ever made. Denis Villeneuve’s (Prisoners, Arrival) follow-up to Ridley Scott’s seminal 1982 film, Blade Runner 2049 (aptly titled as it takes place 30 years after the events of the original), lands in theaters on October 6th. To celebrate this next entry in the series, I’ve gathered a list of other films that I believe should have had at least one sequel by now (but don’t):
11.) District 9
District 9 is a fantastic film, sci-fi or otherwise. It’s buzzing with stunning visuals, compelling performances, and meaningful symbolism. And while it (mostly) serves as a rich standalone story, it does leave open some major loose ends that could easily lead into a second chapter. Unfortunately, writer-director Neil Blomkamp’s subsequent films were not been up to par with District 9, which begs the question: “Should he just leave well enough alone?”
10.) Evil Dead (2013)
Evil Dead is a cult classic and the idea of a remake with Sam Raimi only attached to produce seemed like a cheap money grab. Little did we know this would be Director Fede Alvarez’s (Don’t Breathe) coming out party. The fresh-faced filmmaker took the beloved franchise in a more serious direction, choosing to emphasize horror over comedy and cranking the gore factor to ten. The result is a fun splatter fest that left the door open for more crazy-disgusting battles featuring our traumatized, badass heroine.
9.) Big Hero 6
Baymax is cuddly and charming and playfully innocent. Those qualities have made him a cinematic icon, though strong characterization is simply one of many things that Big Hero 6 does right. The film is fun, funny, action-packed and quite often endearing. It’s also beautifully animated with a distinct style all its own. Plus it made quite a bit of money. You’d think Disney would have already green lit a sequel to such a crowd pleasing production.
By the end of its theatrical run, the apocalyptic comedy Zombieland had quadrupled its budget, which is an impressive feat for a film offering one, recycled gag and a cast of mostly nobody’s (at least back then). It’s a fun road trip romp featuring a small band of eccentric weirdo’s that audiences enjoyed spending time with (plus zombie Bill Murray is classic). With such star power as its three leads have built up over the subsequent years, a sequel could do some serious box office damage.
7.) How to Train Your Dragon 2
There were four years between How to Train Your Dragon movies. Surely, DreamWorks couldn’t have known how successful the first film would become and it takes considerable time to animate a feature film, especially one as stunning as ‘HTTYD.’ Still, that’s a long time and by the looks of it, we have to wait at least that long until the third film. I guess if it means getting another entry that’s as beautiful and riveting as the first two, then I guess I’m game.
6.) Wreck-It Ralph
Like Big Hero 6, Wreck-It Ralph is a feel-good Disney adventure. The titular Ralph may not be as squishy-cute as Baymax, but he is a compelling, misunderstood character who’s easy to relate to and root for. Set in a world made up of classic and original video games alike, this franchise has seemingly unlimited lives. It’s true that Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2 is in the works, but it’s been five years since the original. Seeing is how that film made nearly half a billion dollars worldwide, why has it taken this long to even announce a sequel?
Before you get on me about M. Night Shyamalan being in the midst of producing an Unbreakable follow-up, let me remind you that this post is about films that should have had a sequel by now, but don’t. As it stands, we still have yet to know what happened to David Dunn following the events of the 2000 superhero drama or how it ties in with James McAvoy’s Beast. After Split, Blumhouse quickly set their sights on the next entry in the series and with the current comic book craze, now is the perfect time to put it out. 2019 can’t come quick enough.
4.) Man of Steel
A second Man of Steel film was actually in development before DC and WB opted to introduce Henry Cavil’s Big Blue Boy Scout to the Dark Knight and the whole project morphed into Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. Both films were critically divisive and neither met the lofty expectations of Marvel’s big hitters. Still, Superman is one of the most iconic figures in fiction and the powers that be clearly have their hearts set on this interpretation, so why did we get a Suicide Squad movie before a “Man of Tomorrow?”
This is more a selfish pick and less a convincing studio pitch. Dredd lost DNA Films millions of dollars. Still, I love everything about this movie. From Karl Urban’s performance as the Law to the visual production and overkill violence. It even made effective use of the otherwise lame 3D technology. Clearly I wasn’t the only fan either. Dredd did pretty well in home video sales and has since garnered somewhat of a cult following, thus making idea of a sequel more relevant. Other notable franchises have justified sequels through years of DVD sales (Anchorman & Zoolander, anyone?).
2.) The Incredibles
If ever there was a Pixar film that set itself up for a sequel, it’s The Incredibles. I mean the film ends off with the super family getting ready to square off with a potential supervillain. Now I’m aware that the long-awaited next installment is finally in production, but by the time it hits theaters next year, it’ll have been fourteen years since that first film and the generation that grew up with the Incredibles as kids will have their own kids to share them with. It’s a sweet sentiment and Incredibles 2 will make gangbusters money, but that’s nearly a two decade wait. There have been three Cars films in that time!
Avatar is the highest grossing movie of all-time (not adjusted for inflation, of course). Throughout the film, Director James Cameron (Terminator 2: Judgement Day, Aliens) spends a lot of time and effort building the universe of the Na’vi. All things considered, we should have had at least two more follow-ups in the last eight years. Now Cameron is currently working on four more Avatar movies, but we won’t see the first sequel until 2020. That’s eleven years. Will people still care then?
What do you all think about my eleven films that should have had a sequel by now? Do you agree? What other films do you think should have seen another new installment by now? Let me know in the comments below!