Can you imagine a sequel to ET? What about Forrest Gump? With umpteen Mission Impossible movies (and let’s not forget Rush Hour or The Expendables), it’s no surprise that Hollywood takes a cheap shot in agreeing to movie sequels with the hopes of easy money and larger audiences. But, if you’re like the rest of us, sequels, trilogies and even series are often frustrating as they lack the quality of the original in everything from casting to the storyline itself. In fact, sometimes, Hollywood should simply leave well enough alone.
Horrible sequels are a dime a dozen but we can’t deny that there are still a few quality sequels on the silver screen such as Terminator 2: Judgment Day, The Godfather Part II and The Dark Knight that do justice to their originals. Sequels like these are actually well planned and executed unlike the countless others who are scrapped, chopped or trashed (and thankfully so) before they ever get to the casting call!
As you can imagine, the list of scrapped sequels is incredibly long but, we found a few almost-made sequels that will most likely shock you because of their box office hit originals. In fact, these mistakes in the making would have easily ruined the legacy of the originals that the world has grown to love. Which movies had sequels and why were they scrapped? Here’s our top 10 list of movie sequels that we are thrilled to have never seen!
#10 – Forrest Gump 2: Gump & Co.
“Run, Forrest, Run!” was first heard in the 1994 release of Forrest Gump, which quickly became one of the decade’s biggest hits based off of the novel published in 1986. Tom Hanks starred in the story of a simple man from Alabama who was part of some of the biggest historical events of the 20th century. With an iconic star and an incredible storyline, Forrest Gump was considered a big budget film that cost the studio a whopping $55 million. As a money making machine, the film was well worth it and pulled in $677.9 million at the box office (that’s a lot of chocolates)!
By the success of the film, the original novel already had a sequel, Gump and Co., which was published in 1995. In 2001, Eric Roth had high hopes for adapting the script to portray Forrest’s life as a father in the 1990s and 2000s, taking him through more recent historical events. However, after the attacks on September 11th, Tom Hanks and the producers agreed that Forrest and his box of chocolates were no longer relevant, leaving him to forever run away from the bright lights of Hollywood.
#9 – The Breakfast Club 2
Whoever thought detention could be so much fun? The 1980s coming-of-age film, The Breakfast Club, made the teenage years a little more bearable thanks to the direction of John Hughes and the Hollywood “Brat Pack.” Considered one of the most successful films set in a high school, The Breakfast Club’s $1 million budget was mere pennies next to the $51.5 million in ticket sales. So what happened to the idea for a sequel?
Hughes originally intended the film to have a sequel released every decade to feature the gang reuniting and sharing their life experiences. The project was a sure bet until Hughes and star actors, Judd Nelson and Molly Ringwald, clashed opinions, ending their partnerships prematurely. With severed relationships and growing tension, fate sealed the deal as the Brat Pack was forever released from Saturday detention.
#8 – Superman Lives
In a world of superheroes, it’s no surprise that many people waited in overwhelming anticipation for the first major Superman film. In 1978, wishes came true when Christopher Reeve starred as the Kryptonian superhero in a film directed by Richard Donner and starring Margot Kidder as Lois Lane. With four movies with Reeve as Superman, critics and fans offered mixed reviews, causing the franchise to come to a screeching halt after Superman IV: The Quest for Peace. By this point, the creators figured the most peaceful thing Superman could do was stop beating a dead horse.
By the 1990s, memories of the flop had obviously faded as well-known Clerks director, Kevin Smith, wrote the new script with Tim Burton in the director’s chair. After several failed rewrites and arguments over the script, Superman was fated as yet another flop. We can’t decide what part was worse: having Nicholas Cage cast as Superman or hearing that Tim Burton wanted Superman to ride in a car rather than fly. Either way, some super powers were at work as the world dodged another Superman bullet.
#7 – Elf 2
You know Dasher and Dancer, Prancer and Vixen but have you heard of Buddy the Elf? No, we don’t mean the Elf on the Shelf! From the Grinch and Scrooge to Rudolph and Santa, it’s no wonder that holiday movies are a dime a dozen, which is why the success of Elf was truly a remarkable surprise. With Will Ferrell fresh from Saturday Night Live, director Jon Favreau and an epic cast featuring James Caan, Zooey Deschanel and Mary Steenburgen, it’s no wonder that this Hollywood holiday film was a massive hit earning $220.4 million in theaters.
“Bringing Buddy back” was a common theme a decade after the initial success of Elf. Luckily, Will Ferrell thought more of his audiences than his paycheck when he turned down the sequel saying, “I just think it would look slightly pathetic if I tried to squeeze back in the elf tights.” The directors had something else in mind, however, and cast Josh Gad and John Goodman in the sequel scheduled for a 2016 release. Watch out world, the man in green tights will soon be back!
#6 – Mrs. Doubtfire 2
“Hellooooo” was music to our ears when Robin Williams starred as Mrs. Doubtfire in the 1993 comedy adapted from the novel, Alias Madame Doubtfire. Already a household name in the world of comedy, Williams surprised fans around the world by cross-dressing as a nanny in a film that made its way onto several Top 100 lists and earned $441.3 million. Talk about a nanny cleaning house!
The hip-hop and be-bopping nanny was such a hit that plans for the sequel began in 2001 with the script finally finished in 2006. At the time, Williams deemed the script “useless”, placing it on hold until further rewrites. In spring 2014, the script was once again finished but, Williams tragically passed away four months into production, leaving Mrs. Doubtfire and Williams forever in our hearts as iconic memories from the silver screen.
#5 – Ferris Bueller 2: Another Day Off
From the Brat Pack of The Breakfast Club to Matthew Broderick in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, director John Hughes knew how to transform the silver screen in the 1980s with yet another coming of age film featuring new comedy and talent. Depicting every student’s dream of skipping school, the film follows Ferris, his best friend Cameron and his girlfriend Sloane as the three amigos skip school and romp around Chicago enjoying everything the city offers, even a Cubs game and a parade! With the charmingly funny Broderick leading the pack, it’s no surprise that the film made $70.1 million off a measly $5.8 million budget, leaving Broderick and crew to skip more than a few days of work after the film’s release!
With the film’s growing success, Hughes and Broderick knew they were onto something big and began discussing the possibility of a sequel. As plot ideas exchanged over the years, the two couldn’t decide on the future of Ferris – did he skip school in college or call in sick to work? There may still be hope for a Ferris sequel, however! Skipping both college and work, fast forward a few decades and you could find Ferris and Cameron breaking out of their retirement home. That’ll show them to try and feed ME apricots!
#4 – Twins 2: Triplets
Who ever thought a pint-sized Danny DeVito and the hulk-like Arnold Schwarzenegger would make a good pair? Ivan Reitman, that’s who! The director of Ghostbusters and Meatballs obviously knew what he was doing in Twins as he paired DeVito and Arnold as twins separated at birth in the 1988 film. Raking in $216.6 million, DeVito and Arnold were happy to call one another “brother” as they each netted over $40 million!
Revisiting the film’s success almost 27 years ago, there have been recent plans for a sequel with a script written by Josh Gad. Unfortunately, no one has committed to the second round due to scheduling conflicts but the film hasn’t been completely thrown out just yet. Gad believes that the crew is still trying to figure out if and how to move forward. Of course, with the humor from the first film and Gad’s creative mind, there’s no doubt that Samuel L. Jackson will be cast as the third brother in the proposed sequel! Don’t you agree?
#3 – The Bodyguard 2
Rewind back to the 1990s. What was the song of the decade? Did “I Will Always Love You” come to mind? Known as the theme song for The Bodyguard, the film’s remarkable soundtrack and killer combo of sex appeal and drama starring one of Hollywood’s sexiest men, Kevin Costner, and the stunning Whitney Houston, was a box office hit! Originally scheduled for release in the 1970s starring Ryan O’Neal, The Bodyguard was scrapped until its 1992 release when it earned an astronomical $411 million!
With fans around the world, a sequel seemed inevitable as rumors circulated. Princess Diana expressed an interest in starring in a sequel with Kevin Costner returning as her watchful protector but her tragic death ended any potential plans. Hollywood has recently focused on a modern remake of the film, originally announced by Warner Bros. in 2011, who offered Rihanna the role of Whitney’s character. After Rihanna declined the offer, plans stopped as a heartbroken Hollywood felt she was the “Only Girl” fit for the job.
#2 – Seriously Dude, Where’s My Car?
“I refuse to play your Chinese food mind games!” As Ashton Kutcher and Seann William Scott paired up in the stoner comedy Dude, Where’s My Car? they made history as two of the biggest slackers of all time trying to remember the night before when they lost their car. Typically considered a niche market, this stoner comedy became an audience favorite and earned an astonishing $73.2 million at the box office, a real surprise compared to its $13.2 million budget!
Nearly three years after the film’s success, a sequel titled Seriously Dude, Where’s My Car? was written to reunite the original cast. Despite Scott being onboard for the film, Kutcher declined as his career had launched to new heights in his famous role as “Kelso” in That 70’s Show. Since the storyline was never leaked for the sequel, we can’t help but ask, “Dude, where’s my sequel?”
#1 – E.T. II: Nocturnal Fears
“E.T. phone home” became the mantra of the early 1980s as a troubled child and a quirky alien shared an unlikely friendship in Steven Spielberg’s E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. Long considered one of Hollywood’s most famed names, Spielberg was inspired by the imaginary friend he created as a child during his parents’ divorce. In bringing his imaginary friend to life, he released one of the most successful movies of his career and launched Drew Barrymore into Hollywood stardom with a smash hit that earned nearly $800 million! Who wants to phone home now?
A month into E.T.’s release and massive success, Spielberg and Melissa Mathison began working on a sequel titled E.T. II: Nocturnal Fears. The story saw Elliott and his pals abducted and tortured by vile aliens as the children attempted to phone E.T. for help. As Spielberg realized that nothing could compare to the original, he scrapped any idea for a sequel out of fear it would never do justice to the innocence of the first. It’s true! Not even E.T.’s healing touch would’ve been enough to cure the pain of sitting through a second-rate alien flop!