Total Nerd

17 Movies That We Wish Had Gotten Sequels

List Rules
Vote up the movies that totally deserved at least one follow-up.

It's funny to think about the Hollywood sequels that didn't get made. After all, Tinseltown is famous for beating dead horses left and right. How many Transformers sequels and spin-offs do we really need? "As long as they make money, they'll keep getting made." That's the major studios' motto. But what about the killer flicks that didn't get another chance to wow audiences?

We're talking about Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling in The Nice Guys. We're talking about the entire crew from Serenity. We're talking about Tim Allen, Sigourney Weaver, and the rest of the group from Galaxy Quest. So scroll on down and vote up the films that do a great job of reminding you that the pop-culture landscape is a cruel, cruel mistress.

  • To be blunt, we're never going to get a Keanu Reeves-starring Constantine sequel. The 2005 film is a relic of a bygone era where every major Hollywood studio was scrambling to throw comic book adaptations on-screen in the wake of Spider-Man's unbelievable box-office take. Coupled with the solid performance of Blade and X-Men, the superhero gold rush was on and nothing was too outlandish. This is how we got a big-budget, gothic horror loose adaptation of the Hellblazer comic series. Constantine was only Hellblazer in the broadest strokes, but it didn't matter. 

    Fans who were willing to overlook the changes got an interesting, unique thriller that featured serious talent like Reeves, Rachel Weisz, Tilda Swinton, Djimon Hounsou, and Peter Stormare. The adaptation grossed a then-impressive $230 million, but its budget of around $100 million meant it was only a minor hit in the eyes of Warner Bros. Pictures, killing any momentum for a sequel then and there. With a new DCEU-related Constantine show apparently in production for HBO Max set to lead into some kind of Justice League Dark project, it's safe to say we've seen the last of this version of John Constantine. Unless WB surprises everyone and brings Reeves back into the fold!

  • The fact that Serenity even exists at all is a minor miracle in itself. And we're not talking about the truly bonkers Matthew McConaughey/Anne Hathaway film where everyone ends up being in a video game, or whatever. No, this is the Serenity that is the continuation of the cult-classic television series Firefly. You know, the one that was unceremoniously axed by Fox after a mere 11 episodes? Thanks to fan fervor, we ended up getting a feature film based on the show a few years later in 2005.

    Nowadays, someone like Netflix or Hulu would've come along and given the show a second chance. Back then, though, show revivals were much rarer, and we didn't just get a series continuation - we got a big-screen blockbuster! And who wouldn't want to see more of the rag-tag group of space-farers striving to make some "gorram" scratch while jetting around the cosmos in their lovable skiff? The story has continued in comics, but an actual sequel was rumored for a while there and some hubbub started again recently, as there were whispers that a new series could come to Disney+. All things considered, we're probably never going to get to see Nathan Fillion return as Captain Malcolm Reynolds, so we'll just have to learn how to survive. Besides, what would a Firefly/Serenity sequel be without Alan Tudyk's Wash anyway?

  • Galaxy Quest is a moderately successful 1999 sci-fi farce that became a cult hit and continues to be played in theaters on a yearly basis to this day. How did this happen? It turns out that making fun of Star Trek while also being a loving homage to the entertainment titan will get people in your corner pretty easily. Also, the cast is incredible. There isn't a single weak link throughout the entire movie - everywhere you look, there is an incredible performer. Tim Allen. Sigourney Weaver. Alan Rickman. Tony Shalhoub. Sam Rockwell. Enrico Colantoni. Missi Pyle. Galaxy Quest even houses the film debuts of Justin Long and Rainn Wilson!

    The "will-they-or-won't-they" of a possible Galaxy Quest sequel has become the subject of much internet fodder in the past decade. Tim Allen seems to talk about it whenever someone asks about the supposedly completed script. He's not alone, either, as Sigourney Weaver also speaks about the sequel from time to time. For now, fans will have to settle for the apparent television series that has Simon Pegg attached. Pegg's work on Spaced shows the project is in solid, sci-fi-loving hands.

  • Big Trouble in Little China's opening weekend ruined the chances of a sequel ever getting off the ground. The cult favorite certainly has its fans today thanks to home video and the reappraisal of director John Carpenter's other work, but it landed with a thud at the time. Mixed reviews and lackluster box-office receipts doomed the proposition of more Kurt Russell action-comedies. 

    Carpenter still seems a little salty about it to this day if his reaction to the supposed Dwayne Johnson-starring sequel is to be believed. Johnson won't be playing the same role as Russell (if this project even ends up coming to light), which makes its existence as a true "sequel" somewhat difficult to understand. Regardless, Big Trouble in Little China is the kind of campy fun anyone with the right temperament can get into. In a different world, it could've become a series that defined the late 80s/early '90s. In reality, it's just another in a long line of John Carpenter films that didn't get the response they deserved back in the day.

  • How does one explain The Fifth Element? It's very '90s. It's very manic. It's very... different from the standard Hollywood aesthetic. The Fifth Element is a film you kind of just have to watch for yourself. Will you enjoy it? It's hard to say! Everyone is different, and this 1997 sci-fi epic is the kind of "love-it-or-hate-it" fare that controversial director Luc Besson is known for. Watch whatever is going on here and decide for yourself.

    One thing that can easily be said about The Fifth Element is that the world the production team created is wholly unique and deserved another chance to delight audiences. Realistically, there was no need to even bring any of the primary cast back for another go-around. The world was dense enough - and undeniably weird enough - to simply do a spin-off instead. Not having to pay for Bruce Willis, Milla Jovovich, Ian Holm, or Chris Tucker would've brought costs down, and Gary Oldman's Zorg is already dead, so there's another big-name actor not needed! Alas, as long as Besson has his way, a sequel will never happen.

  • It's clear that writer/director Shane Black has a particular style: Give two witty, charismatic, and mismatched leads situations to bounce off each other while they run into illegal shenanigans. It worked in Lethal Weapon. It worked in Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. Heck, it even snuck its way into Iron Man 3 in the scenes where Tony Stark found himself aided by the smart-mouthed Harley Keener. But we'd argue Black's unique sensibilities were never put to better use than in 2016's The Nice Guys.

    The film sees the odd couple of Russell Crowe's Jackson Healy and Ryan Gosling's Holland March investigate the disappearance of a young woman. Alas, that basic plot description does the movie no favors. There are so many fantastically funny scenes in The Nice Guys that it's hard to know where to start. Watching Ryan Gosling comically repeat "NO" over and over as Russell Crowe is about to break his arm is a surefire highlight. Seeing Gosling ham it up later as he stumbles upon a rotting corpse is another one. Oh, and that scene where the then-13-year-old Angourie Rice asks Crowe's enforcer how much money it would cost to "beat up [her] friend Janet" is pure gold. The Nice Guys hits the same beats as Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, but with a better overall cast, a tighter script, and a higher budget. 

  • Sandwiched between the cultural domination of Terminator 2: Judgment Day in 1991 and the box-office obliteration of Titanic in 1997, legendary director James Cameron teamed with Arnold Schwarzenegger for the third time to bring True Lies to the big screen in 1994. It's wild to think that Cameron released seven films in a 15-year period during the beginning of his Hollywood career considering how long it took him to bring Avatar to theaters, let alone the various sequels. Granted, after all his successes, Cameron can pretty much do whatever he wants.

    It's just sad that he ended up changing his mind about wanting to do more True Lies, because action comedies are hard to come by in today's Tinseltown. If you want thrills mixed with jokes, you're pretty much going to have to settle for the MCU. And True Lies really does have it all. It's got the prerequisite Cameron bombast, a surprisingly funny screenplay, and a stellar supporting cast with the likes of Jamie Lee Curtis, Bill Paxton, and Charlton Heston all putting in good work. We're going to have to settle for a reported reboot instead. The only negative thing we can say about True Lies is that it and Last Action Hero gave Schwarzenegger the comedy bug, which led to audiences having to sit through his comedic stylings in Jingle All the Way and Batman & Robin. So... thanks, True Lies?

  • Yeah, yeah... Edgar Wright doesn't really do sequels (more on that in a minute). And we get it. Why would a writer/director with that much unique talent want to pigeonhole himself into doing a sequel with the same characters doing the same old thing? It doesn't really suit his vibe. That being said, we very much would like a Hot Fuzz sequel. Please and thank you, Mr. Wright. 

    Out of all his movies - except maybe Baby Driver, which apparently might be getting a sequel as Wright has written the screenplay - it is Hot Fuzz that is the most open-ended. Shaun of the DeadScott Pilgrim vs. the WorldLast Night in Soho, and The World's End all have airtight endings. Hot Fuzz has the potential of being spun out into an entire franchise! There could be over-the-top sequels, a ridiculous television serial parody featuring Paddy Considine and Rafe Spall's abrasive detectives, as well as comics, novels, video games, and whatever else you could think of! Yeah, something would have to go extremely wrong again in the little town of Sandford, Gloucestershire, or our heroes would have to relocate to a crime-riddled area - but aren't you game for more Hot Fuzz? The Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy may have wrapped up nearly a decade ago, but we demand more!

  • 2012's Dredd may lack the satire of the comic books that inspired it, but that doesn't mean it's not a great movie. Because, let's be fair, Dredd really is a great movie. Overly stylish, overly violent action films don't usually garner praise from both critics and audiences, but this adaptation is one of the few that managed the feat. That being said, the box-office draw was lackluster, and that might just be down to one thing: the comically bad Sly Stallone-starring 1995 film, Judge Dredd.

    The majority of moviegoers around the world have no idea who Judge Joseph Dredd is or what the 2000 AD comics are. Comic books are a niche medium, and British sci-fi comics are more niche than most. During the lead-up to Dredd, audiences' entire basis of knowledge came from that mid-'90s dud - and, well, do you blame them for not showing up? Rumors of a Dredd sequel come up every couple of months, but the project's fortunes don't seem too high right now. Just suit Karl Urban and Olivia Thirlby back up and let them show off their action movie talent again, universe!

  • Will the likes of Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World ever be seen again? Yes, there is currently a prequel in development, but any project that comes of that will be vastly different than the 2003 movie that inspired it. Like, they actually shot scenes on the open sea for this period epic. They used a scale replica of a 19th-century ship to bring the story to life. It was the first non-documentary film to ever shoot on the Galapagos Islands! What we're trying to say is that the production team went all-out for Master and Commander, and that really does show up on-screen.

    Nowadays, we'd imagine much of the action would utilize CGI. It's cheaper, it's safer, and it's easier to manage. There's nothing wrong with using the immense power of computer-generated effects on films, but you do tend to lose a bit of tactile magic. Also, Master and Commander had in-their-primes Russell Crowe as Captain Jack Aubrey and Paul Bettany as Dr. Stephen Maturin. Honestly, the only reason we didn't end up getting a sequel was because of the film's eye-popping budget.

  • Dwayne Johnson was nowhere near the box-office draw in 2003 that he is nowadays. An easy way to figure out this obvious fact is to look at the theatrical poster for the film's release. The Rundown wasn't marketed as starring "Dwayne Johnson." Heck, it wasn't even marketed as starring "Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson" as films would be in the following years. No, The Rundown starred "The Rock," AKA the big-name WWE wrestler. Don't get it twisted, though... this movie features Dwayne Johnson showcasing the blockbuster potential that would turn him into one of the world's most famous stars.

    In box-office terms, The Rundown was a disappointment. In entertainment terms, The Rundown is a triumph. If you haven't seen it, you're clearly doing yourself a disservice and need to remedy that situation immediately. Just check this fight scene out and you'll see what's on offer here. Just turn The Rundown into Johnson's version of the John Wick franchise and call it a day already. We're not sure why director Peter Berg is so intent on having Jonah Hill star in the sequel he wants to make, but whatever. We'll take it.

  • Shane Black and the rest of the production team took a huge risk by casting Robert Downey Jr. as the lead in 2005's Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. The RDJ of the mid-2000s was a far cry from the RDJ of today. This was years before Iron Man and the Marvel Cinematic Universe turned him into one of Hollywood's best-ever redemption stories. No, the Downey that shows up in Kiss Kiss Bang Bang was basically a Tinseltown persona non grata after years of drug-fueled antics had upended his career. Sure, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang was a low-budget flick, with a production cost of around $15 million, but this was Black's directorial debut and he pinned everything on Downey working out.

    Thankfully, both Downey and the great Val Kilmer are firing on all cylinders in this black comedy. Their rapport is infectious and undeniable as they stumble and bumble their way through the seedy Los Angeles underground. Throw in Michelle Monaghan, Corbin Bernsen, and Larry Miller all doing their thing, and you've got a well-rounded cast that knows just what to do with Black's rapid-fire script. Sadly, unless Black and Downey decide to return to their roots after moving on to much, much bigger projects, it doesn't seem like we're ever going to get a sequel to this gem of the DVD era.

  • Given Arnold Schwarzenegger's undeniable status as one of the 1980s' biggest Hollywood stars, it seems odd that Commando never got a sequel. It's not like his films didn't get sequels. Conan the Barbarian got a sequel. The Terminator continues to get new, lackluster sequels every few years. Even Predator got a direct sequel without Schwarzenegger's involvement before struggling to find its way throughout the past few decades. So why not the hyper-violent Commando? It defies traditional Hollywood logic.

    Commando is classic '80s excess with more violence than it knows what to do with. Astonishingly, it was also made on a budget of around $8 million. With inflation, that comes out to around $20 million today. Let's compare that kind of budget with another hard-R action film from the recent past: John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum. The third John Wick movie cost $75 million to make. So, what we're saying is, get Arnold Schwarzenegger back together with director Mark L. Lester and screenwriter Steven E. de Souza for the ridiculous, low-budget sequel we've been waiting on for more than 30 years for! It certainly wouldn't be a complete trainwreck or anything like that.

  • It isn't too surprising that there wasn't a sequel to 2007's Shoot 'Em Up. It's an uber-violent, highly tongue-in-cheek action film where a random man and a prostitute save a baby from an assassin. Safe to say your average moviegoer isn't signing up for that premise. Shoot 'Em Up has a unique aesthetic that exists outside of the mainstream, and it didn't clean up at the box office. Of course, that doesn't mean we don't want a sequel to this madcap flick. For a movie that felt somewhat like Clive Owen's reaction to people wanting him to play James Bond, it's a shame we didn't get more of his Mr. Smith. 

    Where else do you get a farcical scene of Clive Owen and Monica Bellucci going at it in the sack while Owen's Mr. Smith lays waste to a bunch of masked men? Where else does an adult think it's a good idea to take a newborn baby to a metal club to calm him down? Where else does Paul Giamatti absolutely chew on all of the scenery with his loud, abrasive acting? Okay, that last one has happened more than a few times. At the end of the day, Shoot 'Em Up deserved better, and we deserved more.

  • Technically, 2012's surprise box-office smash Chronicle is set up for a sequel. It obviously couldn't be a found-footage film like the first one if it wanted to continue the narrative, as that would be pretty ludicrous. But, Alex Russell's Matt Garetty survives the film and literally flies off into the sunset before the credits roll. With the superhero boom of the 2000s continuing at a never-ending pace, Chronicle 2 seemed like a no-brainer even if Dane DeHaan and Michael B. Jordan were killed off.

    Instead, the project ended up in production hell, and an entirely different sequel project is now in the works with a different production team. It's rumored to be "female-centric," and seeing as actress-led superhero films are somehow still in short supply, this could be a great way to bring the series to a new audience more than 10 years after the original. Will Alex Russell return for the project? Who's to say?

  • Just how Denzel Washington has been able to carve out an iconic Hollywood career and somehow only star in one sequel in 40 years is pretty staggering. We're talking about an industry that's given us so many sequels, remakes, and reboots that it's nearly impossible to keep count. And while The Equalizer ended up being the lone film that was able to bring Denzel back for another go, it shouldn't have been, because 1995's Devil in a Blue Dress is a stone-cold bop of a movie. Of all Washington's many characters, it is Ezekiel "Easy" Rawlins who screams out for more screen time.

    Based on the book of the same name, Devil in a Blue Dress was pretty obviously intended to give Washington his own character to keep coming back to time and again, a la Hercule Poirot or Jacques Clouseau. After all, Easy Rawlins has appeared in 14 novels by Walter Mosley. This neo-noir hit theaters after being produced on a modest budget and ended up failing to gross it back. However, it's not like TriStar Pictures took a major bath on Devil in a Blue Dress. This movie deserved a sequel, and we always deserve more Denzel in our lives.

  • You should watch 2010's Black Dynamite if you haven't. And, judging by the film's extremely lackluster box-office receipts, you probably didn't check it out in theaters. Black Dynamite is a modern action-comedy made in the mold of 1970s blaxploitation cinema. Part-homage, part-parody, all-hilarious, Black Dynamite features Michael Jai White as the titular hero who vows to clean up his community after the demise of his brother. Black Dynamite isn't just a Vietnam War veteran; he's a former CIA agent, as well. As Mario and Melvin Van Peebles would say, that makes him pretty "baadasssss."

    As the incredible trailer states, Black Dynamite also "drives a $5,000 car and a $100 suit," so you know he's someone you don't wanna mess with. Part of the fun is seeing who showed up to appear in the micro-budget spoof. You've got beloved character actors like Mike Starr, Nicole Sullivan, and Mykelti Williamson. You've got famous voice actors like Phil Morris and Baron Vaughn. Arsenio Hall is there. Former Detroit Piston Mike Salley is there. R&B megastar Brian McKnight is there. Characters have great names like "Tasty Freeze" and "Chicago Wind." So far, we've only gotten a cartoon and an animated webseries, but a sequel is supposedly in production, which has our fingers tightly crossed.