Weekend Roundtable: Belated Sequels

Almost lost amidst all the chatter about the Disney/Lucasfilm deal, this week also brought us the unexpected news that Arnold Schwarzenegger has signed on to reprise his role as Conan the Barbarian in a new sequel that will apparently disregard last year’s attempted reboot. With that in mind, we thought that we’d use today’s Roundtable to call out other long-dormant movie characters that deserve to be resurrected in belated sequels.

The idea behind this topic is that the last movie featuring the character in question must be at least 15-years-old. One of our contributors didn’t bother to follow this rule, but that was the intent. Also, the original actor must still be alive to play the part again, so no ‘Casablanca’ sequel suggestions, please.

Shannon Nutt

It will never happen, because Steven Spielberg has said that it will never happen, but who wouldn’t want to see a sequel to 1982’s ‘E.T.‘? Imagine a scenario where E.T. returns to Earth and reconnects with Elliot (Henry Thomas). Elliot, of course, is now a grown man. Maybe he has a couple kids of his own, or maybe, like his mom in the first movie, he’s now a divorced single parent going through a midlife crisis. (The economy’s tough…maybe he’s unemployed too!) The first film was all about Elliot helping to save E.T. A sequel where E.T. returns to save Elliot would make for an interesting story.

Brian Hoss

Short of getting Sean Connery back for a confoundedly imagined ‘Return to Zardoz’, I think the world needs to see Jesus Shuttlesworth from ‘He Got Game‘ back on the silver screen with Ray Allen, Spike Lee, Denzel Washington and a similar level of access for cameos. Something like ‘He Had Game’, set in the modern NBA with Shuttlesworth at the end of his career, looking back at lockouts, Olympic games, championships and whatever long-held or long-gone connections to Coney Island, could actually be really good. Players can’t jump from high school to the NBA now as they could in ’98, and now John Calipari’s one and done Wildcats are NCAA champions. Contrasting a new, young player with Ray Allen’s now old-school Jesus Shuttlesworth could rekindle what makes the first movie a classic.

Mike Attebery

OK, this is a little twist on the belated sequel idea. I really wish Christian Bale wasn’t leaving the Batman universe just yet. I think he and Christopher Nolan were just getting the character going, and I’d love to see him stick with it a little longer. Given how classy he was after the Aurora, CO shootings, perhaps Bale could be lured to the ‘Justice League’ movie with a $30-50 million payday directed toward aiding the families and victims of that tragedy. If that doesn’t happen, I’d love to see Nolan, Bale and any surviving cast members do a full-fledged live-action version of ‘The Dark Knight Returns’ in the next 15-20 years. They seemed to crib some elements from the graphic novel for the last installment of their Batman trilogy, but man oh man, the things they could do with that material. I think it would be absolutely incredible.

Daniel Hirshleifer

James Woods ought to return as Max Renn in a sequel to ‘Videodrome‘. After the disappointing ‘Cosmopolis’, David Cronenberg could really use a creative shot in the arm, and what better way to do it than returning to the world of his most fascinating, surreal and disturbing film? The media’s hold on our lives has only grown since ‘Videodrome’ was released. A sequel now would seem like a timely proposition.

Adam Tyner (DVDTalk)

UHF 2‘. Why not? Weird Al’s unrelenting awesomeness hasn’t dimmed in the nearly 25 years since ‘UHF’ first limped into theaters. Looking at how ridiculous 98% of what’s bobbing around on the airwaves is nowadays, the original ‘UHF’ was kind of prophetic, and the TV landscape is more ripe for parody than ever. There’d almost certainly be a soundtrack tie-in, and I’m onboard for any excuse that’ll get Weird Al to hammer out another CD. I know, I know, we’re talking about a sequel to a flop that’s almost old enough to rent a car, but if Hollywood will let Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer keep churning out single-digit IQ parodies, I’ve gotta think that ‘UHF 2’ has a fair shot.

Tom Landy

I’ve been waiting patiently over 20 years now, and I’m starting to doubt it will ever happen, but I’d really love to see Joe Dante complete his ‘Gremlins‘ trilogy. I know that ‘The New Batch‘ isn’t as appreciated as the first film, but it’s still a fun guilty pleasure. I’m sure that Dante could find some way to create a new story around Billy (Zach Galligan) and his cute little mogwai, Gizmo (Howie Mandel). My only stipulation is that the gremlins have to be old school. No CGI, please.

Honorable mention goes to ‘Thelma & Louise 2’, but only if George Romero directs.

Josh Zyber

How is it that Luc Besson and Bruce Willis never made a sequel to ‘The Fifth Element‘? The first movie was a pretty big hit – perhaps more so internationally than in the U.S., but that’s where all the money is these days anyway. It has also been an extremely popular home video staple since its release in 1997. Just as importantly, the crazy sci-fi universe that Besson created in the film was ripe for expansion and sequelization. Yet that never happened. Besson’s directing career could use a return to past glory about now. Bring back Korben Dallas and bring on ‘The Sixth Element’!

Those are our ideas. Which actors would you like to see return to old roles? Tell us in the Comments.


  1. Alex

    I know there was talk of this a while back, but I’d love to see a sequel to “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” that has him ditching his job as a corporate stiff to accomplish some more hijinks in and around the Windy City. Perhaps even a musical number with Nathan Lane in front of Buckingham Fountain.

    Alas, without the great John Hughes at the helm, I shudder to think what might become of such a sequel.

  2. Speaking of Batman, I’d LOVE Tim Burton, Michael Keaton, and Billy Dee Williams (as Two-Face) complete that trilogy as well. Use a similar story to Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns and I think it would be golden.

    • Chaz

      Zoolander 2 is already in the works, I believe Stiller confirmed it, IMDB says the script is finished and its currently set for a 2014 release, but that info is never for certain, but I remember hearing about Stiller confirming it a while back

    • Shannon Nutt

      Seriously, I always thought they should call the sequel to Independence Day “Memorial Day”.

      The tagline for the first film was “The Day We Fight Back.” The tagline for the second one could be “The Day They Come Back.”

  3. motorheadache

    Whether or not the new Evil Dead remake is any good, I would love to see a sequel to Army of Darkness and find out what Ash has been up to. It could follow the Director’s Cut (loosely, as is tradition) and follow Ash in his later years as he still hasn’t caught a break from the endless demon hordes.

  4. William Henley

    Wizard of Oz. Seriously, there are 14 books by the author alone, plus tons of other books. I don’t consider Return to Oz to be a good sequel – man was that bad!

    The Vampire Chronicles! We need The Vampire Lestat. Then remake Queen of the Damned, and continue the series.

    The Golden Compass. Pitty New Line pretty much collapsed after that movie. By the time they get to a sequel, Lyra will be too old and they will need to recast the movie.

    Ghostbusters 3. Oh yeah! Could you imagine if they went with the original script? Wow!

    Willow 2.

    • EM

      I’d be surprised if it shares any of the same cast, but Oz: The Great and Powerful is a prequel set for release next year.

      • William Henley

        Yeah, I am excited about that. But it really is not cannon. Just like Wicked isn’t cannon. Of course, I am still going to see it!

    • Chaz

      No more of the Golden Compass because it was a huge flop, plus it took out almost everything that made the book different, cant show anything about Atheism in this country now can we? Either way it just wasnt a very good movie either. Same goes for Percy Jackson yet somehow we are getting a sequel when they took out the main plot line for the series of books all together, no idea how they will recover from that.

      Willow 2 I’d be all over, HUGE fan of Warwick Davis and another fantasy movie in that world would be awesome!

      • William Henley

        Golden Compass bombed domestically – it only brought in $70million. This loosk like a total bomb for a movie that had a production of $180 million, however, the movie did really well internationally, making $302 million, for a total of $372 million worldwide. Profit of $190 million.

        I just really wanted to see The Subtle Knife. The Amber Spyglass id pretty preachy, but it was a great read.

        • Hmm, not really a $190 million profit. If the production budget was $180, the movie should make at least $360 million to “break even” (and this does not include marketing costs). So, ‘The Golden Compass’ is not the biggest flop ever, but it’s not a rousing success either.

          • Well, a studio typically receives half of the box office gross (the other half gets divided between theaters etcetera). As such, a movie has to earn twice the budget PLUS at least one dollar cent to be profitable. As stated, marketing costs can also come into play (which means doubling the budget won’t even do it).

          • William Henley

            Ah, I didn’t figure in cutting profits with the theaters. I always assumed the box office gross was what was left after theaters took their chunk, hence why theaters charge different amounts for movies. But that does make sense.

        • Barsoom Bob

          Golden Compass, and the possibilities of sequels, is the most outrageous example of studio meddling and was totally ruined by it. It fell victem to what we can call premature sequelitis. There is a very dramatic ending, emotionally and action wise, that was filmed. It is the proper ending from the book, you can see screen shots of it in the Scholastic picture book of the movie and in the xbox 360 game, if you can get to the endgame, there are clips from it embedded in the game at the conclusion.

          The studio was so busy thinking about the next movie, that at the last minute they cut the original ending out and said, “We will save this very dramatic developement and use it as the opening of the second movie.” They then rejiggered a couple of things and hobbled the movie with a completely lame, generic, Narnia type ending that just totally blew chunks.

          It killed the movie and any chance for a sequel. This movie should be restored to it’s original form and then there is a good chance people would be interested in seing a sequel.

          • Josh Zyber

            I don’t disagree that the movie was ruined by studio meddling, but there’s a lot more wrong with The Golden Compass than just its ending. Tacking a different ending on there wouldn’t have made much of a difference. The movie still would have flopped.

          • Barsoom Bob

            Have you ever read the book? And by the way your *declarative* statement that it “would have flopped anyway” is just your opinion, just as my “good chance” is my *speculative* opinion. You seem to jump down my throat every time I write something, what’s up with that ?

          • Josh Zyber

            Wasn’t intending to argue with you. Just discussing the movie.

            My problem with the Golden Compass movie is that it rushes from plot-point to plot-point with no breathing room in between. Seemingly important characters rush into a scene, blurt out exposition, and then disappear in a blink. Daniel Craig’s in the thing for all of five minutes. The whole movie is, “Run run run! Go go go!” It’s bombastic and wearying to watch. My eyes glazed over long before the ending.

            Again, I agree with you that a lot of this (if not all) was the fault of studio interference. I have no idea how much footage was actually shot, but if a director’s cut could be assembled that adds some character moments back into the film, it might be more watchable. However, just changing the ending wouldn’t be enough to “fix” everything that’s wrong with the movie.

          • William Henley

            I must agree, I would love to see some extended scenes here. The editing of the movie was also strange – events in the book played out of order in the movie. I still like the movie, but it would have been MUCH better if 1)the movie was not so rush rush rush 2)the movie played in order that the book was written 3) they didn’t cut the ending. It was very obvious from the ending that it was done that way with the expectation of a sequel following.

  5. The Goonies II. Make it happen. Donner is still alive. He has tried. Warner refuses, but did allow to taint The Lost Boys legacy. Why?

  6. Ryan M.

    In other news not related to the magnificent suckfest that was The Golden Compass…

    After Peter Jackson is finished with The Hobbit trilogy, he should take a crack at The History of Middle Earth as a seven-film franchise. If James Cameron can spend the rest of his career working on worthless Avatar sequels, Jackson should continue crafting tales of elves, hobbits, dwarfs, and men.

  7. Darkchilde

    To the Gremlins guy, two things.
    1)The first sequel sucked.
    2)Like it or not, the puppet days are gone. Forever. Get used to it. CGI has too many advantages and the art of puppets is gonna be lost. This is just a fact. If you hate 3d though, that is not yet a done deal.

  8. Darkchilde

    Golden Compass sucked. Whatever the book was, the movie was terribly written.
    Goonies was much worse. Absolute garbage and the worst thing Spielberg has ever done.

  9. flskydiver

    For a bit of a change, I can’t agree with Josh more on a sequel to “The Fifth Element”. I absolutely love this movie and rate it as one of my very top movies ever. The script and editing in this film is fantasic (I just adore the way cutting between different scenes was done so awesomely and at times hilariously). The visual design and effects top notch. Like “Fight Club” and “The Matrix”, the film is frame for frame damn near perfect.

    Outside this, I can’t understand how “True Lies” never became a franchise. Why, oh why, did Arnold have to move on to politics??