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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.