TOP TEN SEQUELS THAT NEVER HAPPENED | STAFF PICKS
by Sarah Duncan
I think the temptation with naming films that should have been graced with sequels is to outline your own ideas for the perfect follow up – 'If I were in charge then this is what I'd do...' However, I'm not a screenwriter and quite frankly I wouldn't even know where to start.
With that in mind, I've made a list of the films whose characters, plot and ideas have made a lasting impact, the films I would gladly fork out my hard earned money for to see a little bit more of the story revealed. When it comes down to it, that's what a sequel is there to do – play on our expectations.
10. A Bug's Life (1998)
Pixar Studios have the uncanny ability to enthuse people of all ages with a lovely cosy feeling that only comes from having watching something, well lovely. I have to say, A Bug's Life was my favourite addition to their portfolio of loveliness, a story about a colony of ants looking to get rid of an oppressive gang of grasshoppers extorting them for protection money, or in this case food.
The vocal talent was bordering on perfection and any sequel would have a hard job finding a more appropriate bad guy than Kevin Spacey. Despite this, I'm not ashamed to say I'd definitely be at the cinema should Pixar decide to go for round two.
So what are you waiting for Pixar? – Get that talented team of yours working on modelling up another hundred thousand pairs of antennae.
9. Roman Holiday (1953)
Audrey Hepburn plays a wayward European princess, Gregory Peck is the hotshot American reporter and the setting is a romantic Rome in summertime complete with gelato and vespas. I bet Paramount, at the time, needed little convincing this one would take off.
I'm a total sucker for an old black and white romance and this one had it all. Hollywood royalty in the two leading roles and a story that would make the most die-hard horror fan swoon.
My only problem with Roman Holiday is the ending – I won't reveal what happens but needless to say it leaves its enthralled viewer a little disappointed. Given Hepburn and Peck aren't around to discuss the potential of a sequel, something tells me this one hasn't a hope in hell of getting off the ground. I'll just have to imagine my own alternative ending – sigh.
8. Flash Gordon (1980)
With some of the dodgiest lines in cinematic history, Flash Gordon is not an obvious choice for a sequel – there is after all no shortage of movies about all-American heroes saving the planet from a moustachioed villain bent on destruction. Mind you, most of these movies don't have Queen providing the soundtrack.
I say make a sequel based on Prince Vultan (Brian Blessed) and his merry band of Hawkmen. Why not? – if Russell Brand can get a spin off sequel in Get Him to the Greek then I see no reason why even louder-mouthed Blessed can't carry off a reasonably short feature length film.
A tiring watch – most likely, but an epic one – definitely!
7. The Goonies (1985)
There has been talk of a Goonies sequel on the horizon for some time now but whether Josh Brolin and Sean Astin are prepared to risk their established thespian street-cred for it is another thing.
A lot of people have fond childhood memories of The Goonies, a film that for some reason feels significantly darker on a second watch. The diversity of characters and wacky plot made for an instant hit while introducing the 'truffle shuffle' into popular culture.
Nobody's saying a sequel needs to make much sense, the first didn't exactly push the boundaries in thought-provoking cinema. It's a safe assumption however, that it would be a lot of fun.
6. The Green Mile – Mr. Jingles Rides Again
Hear me out with this one. If Stephen King can get away with writing Thinner then I think he wouldn't mind too much to have a sequel made out of his novel, The Green Mile. This would be especially so, should the main character be the cutest geriatric mouse to ever walk death row.
A film about Mr. Jingles' escapades and endeavours may seem far-fetched but I'd be lying if I said I wouldn't go and see it should someone be crazy enough to make it. Besides, I'd rather a film about an age-defying mouse than a sexual tension three-way between a vampire, a werewolf and a dumb girl any day.
5. Throw Momma From the Train (1987)
I loved this film when I first had the opportunity to watch it aged ten and I'm happy to say I still loved it when I watched it recently. A film that lives up to our expectations both as an impressionable child and as a slightly more cynical adult is always a winner in my view.
Not only that, but the dynamic duo of Billy Crystal and Danny DeVito is long overdue a reunion. The original was a tongue-in-cheek take on Hitchcock's Strangers on a Train – it was the chemistry between Crystal and DeVito that made an old story sparkle.
This film is ripe for a sequel – all they need do is nab another ready-made Hitchcock plot, add the off-kilter buddy element and voila – both my inner child and my cynical adult self are happy.
4. Happiness (1998)
Not for the fainthearted, Tod Solondz's twisted story of a group of people trying to find happiness by way of giving in to their inner-most carnal desire is both remarkable and brave in its message.
The end of the film reminds us that there will always be consequences for indulging in forbidden fruit – the pursuit of happiness is never straightforward. While Happiness needs no further prodding and pulling I would happily lap up a sequel. I'd like to see how the characters are faring with cost of their actions and more than that, I want to know how little Timmy Maplewood turns out!
3. Arlington Road (1999)
Anybody that has seen this film will surely agree that the ending is clever, unexpected and most of all, incredibly frustrating.
I realise I started this feature with the assurance I wasn't going to suggest plots for sequels but I have to say that a follow-up 'fifteen years later' to Arlington Road would be downright awesome.
I want to see Grant Faraday, now grown-up and disillusioned, find out the truth about his Dad and set out on a mission of retribution to kick Tim Robbins' terrorist backside.
A girl can dream.
2. In the Company of Men (1997)
If ever a movie character deserved a sequel to exact bloody revenge it would be Christine (Stacy Edwards). It wouldn't be in keeping with the philosophical nature of the original but it sure as hell would be satisfying.
This is the story of two business executives (Matt Malloy and Aaron Eckhart) out to get revenge on the female race by singling out one particular woman and attempting to ruin her life. The unlucky lady they choose happens to be the shy and sensitive Christine, a deaf woman they both work with.
I put it to any woman watching this film not to feel a tad inspired by the likes of Lorena Bobbit after it ends, if only for a fleeting couple of minutes.
1. Taken (2008)
This film was always going to be on the list.
Last year when working as a teacher in China, I let my students have some down time from studying and put a film on for them. Only twenty foreign films are allowed to be screened in China each year so my teenage class had never even heard of Taken.
They loved every second of it. They were on the edge of their seats cheering Liam Neeson on as he electrocuted and spine-snapped his way through a torrent of Eastern European bad guys without so much as toilet break for respite. They were very disappointed when after ninety minutes the film ended.
"Why is there no sequel?!" they cried. "I don't know kids, I just don't know," was my answer.
However, as of today, I've become aware of Taken 2 due for release later this year. Luc Besson is again at the director's helm with Liam Neeson in the lead role. Excited much!