Typically, summer is the season when Hollywood pulls from their inexhaustible well of sequels and franchise continuations, with fall being reserved for awards-worthy fare. While there’s no shortage of Oscar bait this year, films like Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, Little Fockers, as well as new entries in the Harry Potter and Chronicles of Narnia franchises, indicate that the sequel trend may become a year-long phenomenon.
To some, that may be another nail in the coffin of quality cinema, but let’s not forget that another installment to a film series isn’t always a bad thing. Few movie buffs will argue that The Godfather Part II was unnecessary, and with Aliens, James Cameron added depth to the character of Ellen Ripley, making a picture that is as much a classic as its predecessor.
The truth is, some sequels really are worthy companion pieces to the original, and with that in mind, here’s a look at some films that could use a “Part II.”
Say what you will about M. Night Shyamalan, but he made some good films back in the day, and although The Sixth Sense earned a Best Picture nomination, there are some who will say that this is his masterpiece. Originally conceived as the first film in a trilogy, it tells the origin story of a real-life superhero, and if the comic book movies of this past decade have shown us anything, it’s that even the strongest origin stories tend to be slightly inferior to their successors.
Shyamalan seems to have ditched the idea of a sequel, stating that the plot he had in mind will be reworked into a stand-alone picture that will serve as the third film in the Night Chronicles, a series of features he is producing based on his original stories. However, audiences would probably much rather see the original characters return; we have a vested emotional interest in them already, whereas new players may not strike the same chord.
Hey, maybe it could even be a return to form for a director who has become the laughing-stock of the movie-going public.
It may not be a great fantasy film, but Willow still has a special place in the hearts of plenty of movie fans. What some may not know, however, is that George Lucas, who came up with the original story, also commissioned a trilogy of novels featuring many of the same characters from the film, most notably a teenage Elora Danan.
Warwick Davis, who played the title character of the film, has stated on numerous occasions that he would like to return for a second installment, and with the massive success of the Lord of the Rings trilogy proving that there’s always an audience for quality fantasy, maybe now is the time to revisit this gem of 80s nostalgia.
As soon as this one was released, director Matt Reeves began mentioning the possibility of a sequel. He pointed out that the characters in the film would not have been the only people recording video on that night, and it would be interesting to view the same events from the perspective of another group of witnesses.
On the other hand, JJ Abrams has also stated that the minds behind the movie have developed an entire backstory for the film, one that could theoretically be explored if a sequel were to be made. The point is, the possibilities for a second Cloverfield are vast, and if it’s anywhere near as entertaining as the first one was, it will be well worth the price of admission.
2. This is Spinal Tap
Rob Reiner’s classic “rockumentary” about a fictional heavy metal band that is hilariously reminiscent of a number of actual artists is still one of the most quotable movies of all time. All the major actors are still available, and Reiner himself needs a project to revitalize his career, so why not get the gang back together and see how a Spinal Tap reunion tour pans out?
Sure, it might end up just being more of the same, but in this case, that wouldn’t be a bad thing.
Danny Boyle’s brilliant adaptation of Irvine Welsh’s cult novel about a tribe of hopeless heroin addicts made for one of the most energetic and entertaining films of the 90s, and with the director still fresh off the critical and commercial success of Slumdog Millionaire, now might be the right time to revisit the character of Mark Renton and his pathetic friends. Welsh himself has already penned a sequel to the novel, Porno, which takes place a decade after the original events, and Boyle has expressed an interest in turning it into a film.
Sadly, Boyle and Ewan McGregor’s friendship is no longer quite as strong as it once was; a feud between the two former collaborators began when Boyle chose to cast Leonardo Dicaprio instead of McGregor in The Beach, and they’ve never seemed to entirely reconcile. McGregor, who played the drugged out Renton, has stated that he’s not interested in the idea, as he “didn’t hugely love [Porno].
So, it looks like that’s the way it will stay for the time being. However, fans of the original can keep their fingers crossed about this project; who knows if McGregor will change his mind?
What films do you think deserve a sequel?