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442 voters

Movies Meant To Be Trilogies That We’ll Never Get To See Completed

August 5, 2020 3.6k votes 442 voters 23.5k views16 items

List RulesVote up the trilogies you wish you could see completed.

The cinema landscape is filled with many memorable trilogies like The Godfather, Back to the Future, and The Lord of the Rings. Unfortunately, it is also littered with the wreckage of trilogies that never happened.

Most of the time, these incomplete movie trilogies are never finished because of money. Most trilogies involve superheroes or are competing to be the next big summer blockbuster. Therefore, they need to generate hundreds of millions of dollars just to break even. If the first or second movie in a planned trilogy is not profitable, the studio is usually not going to gamble and risk another major financial mistake.  

Which trilogies that will never be completed bummed you out the most? Which trilogies should be put to rest forever? Vote up the trilogies you wish you could see completed.

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  • Guillermo del Toro certainly anticipated a Hellboy 3. He even left the narrative door open for it when he concluded 2008's Hellboy II: The Golden Army. Fans of the comic book series and the films eagerly awaited the third installment, but after years of internet rumors, the finale never made it into cineplexes. 

    The decision, as is usually the case, was about the bottom line. Hellboy II cost around $85 million to make. It brought in a respectable but not earth-shattering $160 million across the globe. Universal Pictures was clearly not interested in gambling on a third movie that would most likely have an even higher production budget.

    In 2017, del Toro discussed what it would cost just to get the movie in the can. “The hard fact is that the movie’s going to need about $120 million and there’s nobody knocking down our doors to give it to us. It’s a little beyond Kickstarter,” said del Toro. “It would be great to complete the trilogy,” the director added. “But in a way I don’t see the world - the industry - supporting that idea."

    Then, in 2019 a reboot of Hellboy was released. However, director del Toro and star Ron Perlman were replaced by Neil Marshall and Stranger Things star David Harbour, respectively. The reboot was a critical disappointment and a massive box office dud

    Harbour may have been correct in his assessment over why the reboot totally failed:

    I think it failed before we began shooting because I think that people didn’t want us to make the movie. Guillermo del Toro and Ron Perlman created this iconic thing that we thought could be reinvented and then [fans] certainly - the loudness of the internet was like, "We do not want you to touch this." And then we made a movie that I think is fun and I think had its problems but was a fun movie and then people were just very very against it and that’s people’s right but I learned my lesson in a lot of different ways.

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  • John Carter started as a gamble right from the get-go. Disney bet hundreds of millions of dollars on a lead actor who had only found true success as a television star and a first-time live-action director who had only helmed animated movies. Hindsight is 20/20, but perhaps Disney should have known better. Taylor Kitsch may have made Friday Night Lights fans cheer for him as fullback Tim Riggins, and Andrew Stanton may have pleased millions of spectators around the world with Finding Nemo, but that doesn't mean masses of people will pay to see their new work on the big screen. 

    John Carter was not just a box office failure - it was an epic financial disaster. The movie cost around $300 million to make and brought in $284 million worldwide. It's estimated that Disney lost about $300 million on John Carter.

    Was John Carter supposed to be a trilogy? According to Kitsch, he only signed on to play the eponymous hero because that's how the movie was pitched to him. The actor said: 

    When I offered to do this property with Disney, I said I only want to do it if we can get the first three books and develop it as a trilogy. I was introduced to the books as an 11-book series, and I want to kick [the movie] off like a series. I’m very much a realist in the sense that we can’t control whether the first one will be popular enough to do it. But I want to be prepared if we do. When every actor signed on, that was always the pitch. Even with the writers, we’ve always been prepping more like a TV season with a first episode. We’re just trying to be really smart with our preparation. But we also try to make it as self-sufficient of a movie as we can, knowing that if it doesn’t go farther, you’ll still be satisfied.

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  • 3

    Justice League

    Imagine a superhero movie that teams up the best of the DC Universe. A mega all-star blockbuster that features Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, the Flash, Aquaman, and Cyborg would surely be a cinematic box office smash that could even surpass the astronomical success of 2012's The Avengers. How could it go wrong?

    Comic fans and superhero movie fanatics were champing at the bit for the 2017 release of Justice League. However, even prior to its release, the production had its share of problems. One of the most prominent was when Zack Snyder left the production following a family tragedy. Joss Whedon took over re-shoots and re-edits. The uneven result received a poor critical reception, and critics gave Justice League a 40% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

    Despite being criticized for its cheap-looking CGI and flat characters, Justice League grossed $657 million worldwide. And while that may seem like a monster number, the film was one of the most expensive movies ever made, with a $300 million price tag. After marketing costs, Justice League needed to make around $750 million just to break even

    Uber-comic book fan and director Kevin Smith revealed on his podcast, Fatman Beyond, that he learned the original plan for the DC Extended Universe was for a trilogy of Justice League films. In fact, the storyboards were already complete for all three movies. According to Smith's intel, the second Justice League installment would have concluded with an Empire Strikes Back/Infinity War-type ending that made it appear as if the superheroes would certainly be defeated. The sequels would have also included Green Lantern joining the fight. 

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  • Kick-Ass
    Photo: Lionsgate

    The original 2010 Kick-Ass was critically applauded for its cool visual style. The R-rated indie comic book adaptation, with its black comedy ways, served as a clever departure from the traditional superhero movies of the day. The film raked in nearly $100 million at the box office against a production budget of just $30 million. 

    Two sequels were a no-brainer. However, the follow-up did not hit the big screen until three years later, and with a different director. The result was a poor showing with critics that called out the movie for failing to live up to the original's well-placed violence and humor. The film was also a commercial flop.

    In 2013, Chloë Grace Moretz (Mindy Macready/Hit-Girl) revealed that she was disappointed in the way the sequel had turned out:

    I love the franchise, I think the first movie was really, really special. I wish the second one had been handled in a little bit of a different way. Because I think we were all kind of looking forward to something a little different than what happened with it all.

    As much as I love the character of Hit-Girl, I think she lives and survives in Kick-Ass, and I kind of want to keep her there. I kinda wanna keep everyone’s mind in Kick-Ass. So I don’t think there will be a Kick-Ass 3, at least I don’t think with Hit-Girl in it.

    In 2018, the film's original director Matthew Vaughn announced that he was planning a reboot of the Kick-Ass series. 

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