Not long ago we looked at 15 movies that were supposed to have sequels but didn't. For a mixed bag of reasons — financial, technical or talent-related — things just didn't pan out. That some of those sequels never got made was probably a good thing. Others could have done well and there is still speculation that one day, these films may get made, but for now, have been shelved.
There are so many movies like this that it was difficult to fit them all into one list. As such, Part 2 of our series takes a look at 15 more films that could have been huge and should have spawned sequels but the studios bailed for a myriad of reasons. Instead of focusing on films that failed at the box office the first time around, these 15 movies were hits for the studios. Logically, anyone would think to make a sequel knowing the popularity of the first film would bring in a guaranteed audience for the second.
We'll cover everything from action flicks to comedies, oldies and science-fiction, and dramas. Some of the biggest blockbusters and most highly acclaimed movies will be listed here. But, when you see the reason that these movies were canned, you'll understand that someone was thinking straight and knew it was just a really bad idea to press forward.
What do you think? Would you have liked to see some of your favorite movies brought back for a sequel? If you had known then, what we're describing now, would you have gone to see the movie? We think most people wouldn't, but what do we know. We're just here to write about the ideas. We don't actually get paid the big bucks to make them happen.
15 Lethal Weapon 5
There was a time that another Lethal Weapon movie could have been possible. That time is long gone. If Mel Gibson could have kept his act together and been willing to bring the duo of he and Danny Glover (Murtaugh and Riggs) back together, Warner Bros had green-lit the next installment. Instead, Gibson decided not to go there again.
Shane Black (original writer) was slated to return, Glover was on board and Columbus Short was cast to play Murtaugh's grown-up son. The plot was simple. Riggs was going to retire until his partner Murtaugh, talks him into helping him solve one final case.
Now Lethal Weapon has seen a resurgence on television and the fifth film will never happen. Probably for the best. Watching those two actors move around now would be painful.
14 Twins 2
The first movie Twins came out in 1989. After the success of the film, which highlights noticeably physical differences between two "brothers", Danny DeVito and Arnold Schwarzenegger were asked to return and would have been joined by Roseanne Barr, who was about as popular a female actor as there was at the time.
It wasn't confirmed, but it is thought that the reason the movie never happened was due to Schwarzenegger turning down the film to prep for Terminator 2, which was probably a wise choice. The studios probably also dodged a bullet with Roseanne who wound up being one of Hollywood's biggest collapses. Still, it was clear why almost everyone wanted to do another film. The first grossed over $216 million worldwide. Not bad for a comedy that on paper probably shouldn't have worked as well as it did.
13 Back to the Future 4 (and 5)
If you recall at the end of the original Back to the Future films, there was typically a preview for the follow-up. The studios liked making more than one movie at a time and there was a plan to do so again. Talks occurred to make a fourth and fifth part of the franchise.
While Michael J. Fox wasn't scheduled to return, the films would slide over to focusing on Doc Brown (Christopher Lloyd) who accidentally caused a UFO crash in Roswell. He wouldn't be alone. Instead of Marty joining him, Doc would be assisted by a new female scientist character played by Sarah Michelle Gellar. The pair would try to fix the seemingly irreparable damage Doc had done.
Eventually, the movies never happened because the folks behind them couldn't imagine moving forward without Marty McFly. Probably a wise choice as the films got pretty corny by the end.
12 Breakfast Club 2
John Hughes was absolutely famous for 80's comedy and teen drama flicks and The Breakfast Club was one of his all-time greats. It grossed over $50 million back in 1985 but more than that, it developed a cult following that rivals any film ever made. Hughes was interested in a sequel that would come ten years after the first and to keep things real, also wanted to shoot the film 10 years later so his actors looked older.
Unfortunately, time was not on the director's side as actors started to move on in their lives. Molly Ringwald pretty much retired and Hughes and actor Judd Nelson, had a large public feud which ended when Hughes refused to ever work with Nelson again. That was pretty much the end of the sequel.
11 Ghost 2
The original film Ghost, came out in 1990. It was considered one of the most loved dramas and Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore had amazing on-screen chemistry. But, since Swayze's character was dead and gone, there was no real way to duplicate that chemistry again and the film would have instead focused on Whoopi Goldberg's psychic character. Not everyone was sold that was a good idea.
Whoopi got a lot of credit and was highly recognized for her role in the film but as a supporting cast member and not the lead. She would have had to run into a whole new couple who had gone through something similar and the movie was really about the chemistry between Moore, Swayze, and Goldberg. Anything else might not have worked. I'm sure the studio was a bit bummed out since the first film made over $500 million worldwide.
10 Flatliners 2
Screenwriter Eric Red, who wrote the first Flatliners film, was hired to work with Joel Schumacher on the second film. In an interview, he revealed that his story was about a group of young convicts and criminals who had committed heinous acts, and were forced to volunteer for an international space organization experiment instead of going to jail or being sentenced to death. Kiefer Sutherland was set to return and his character had created a hypersleep capsule which would kill and bring back to life these human test subjects.
That plot was a huge jump from the first film and while the horrors that would have come from being killed for longer periods of time would have made the film fun to watch, the sequel never got made, but Flatliners was re-envisioned as a reboot in 2017.
9 Gladiator 2
Gladiator was a huge hit. It made over $457 million worldwide and cemented Russell Crowe as one of the biggest movie stars in the world. It made sense that the people involved would want to make another film and capitalize on the first film's success. There was only one problem.
The writers pegged to create the sequel thought a bit too much outside the box. They brought back Crowe's 'dead' character as a ghost who battled Roman gods and other monsters in the great beyond. Someone saw that idea and said, "um, yeah, no thanks."
It's hard to say if Crowe would have even done the film. He's been known for melting down and being difficult to work with. He might have completely laughed off the idea even if he stood to make major bucks for getting involved.
8 Pulp Fiction 2 (The Vega Brothers)
We're cheating a bit on this entry as Pulp Fiction 2 was never in the works. What was discussed was a spin-off movie involving the Vega Brothers. For fans of Quentin Tarantino movies, they'll recognize the name Vega from both Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction. Vincent Vega was from Pulp Fiction and played by John Travolta, while Vic Vega was from Reservoir Dogs and played by Michael Madsen.
The story would have taken place prior to both of their first respective films and documented their storyline to lead to their ultimate fates. But, it was all for nothing as the two actors got much older by the time Tarantino got around to discussing the movie more as a possibility. It was way too late to make them being younger believable. If the movie ever happens now, it would have to be with two different actors.
7 Usual Suspects 2
In one of the most beloved movies ever made, the story of Keyser Soze outsmarting his unethical crew of criminals and a police department led by Chazz Palminteri, became a cult hit. It didn't make a ton of money at the box office, but over time the film has collected fans and grown in popularity. When it became rumor that a sequel might be in the works, everyone involved (that wasn't killed in the first movie) was chomping at the bit to get involved.
There were so many questions upon conclusion of the first film, it would have been easy to continue with a sequel. It got close to happening as Palminteri actually publicly stated the film was a go. So far, he's proven to have had bad information. It's likely too late to do anything now. But, a movie that doesn't include the original cast and is a creative crime thriller would be well received by fans.
6 Forrest Gump 2
If you're thinking Forrest Gump did everything a person could have possibly done in one film, apparently the creators of the first film disagreed and thought they could have Gump inadvertently face a number of other challenges and come out on top. There was a follow-up book and follow-up script but not a follow-up Forrest Gump, as Tom Hanks refused to get involved.
Hanks was worried the film would just be too repetitive and couldn't live up to the quality of the first film. He would have made a ridiculous amount of money as would the film. The first movie grossed almost $680 million and coined dozens on catchphrases. It had a built-in audience. Hanks just didn't want to compromise his creative integrity. Run Hanks, run.
5 The Bodyguard 2
After the original Bodyguard movie came out and saw huge success, the film's star Kevin Costner, claimed that a sequel was in development. The plot would revolve around his character and him protecting none other than Princess Diana. It was a lofty goal to aim for and unfortunately because Diana passed in a car accident, there was no way to confirm if that information was, in fact, true or not. All that's known for sure is that it would have been a horrible idea.
The Bodyguard grossed over $411 million worldwide and a sequel was certain to draw an audience. It's just that film probably wouldn't have been terribly good. That someone has decided to reboot the film says enough about the original that someone thinks there's more money to be made. It could actually star Kevin Costner too. He's still popular and looks pretty good for his age. Unfortunately, it won't star Whitney Houston who is no longer with us.
4 Mrs. Doubtfire 2
It was ten years after the first film, but in 2003, a plan was in the works for Mrs. Doubtfire to come back to the big screen. Robin Williams would have returned and Fox would have produced the film. Comedian Bonnie Hunt (Robin Williams' co-star in Jumanji) was going to write the script.
Things sat for a while but Williams eventually pulled out of the film because he thought the script was not good. He didn't want to be known as following his grown-up daughter to college. Now, the film is being rebooted and will star Dwayne Johnson, Jack Black and Kevin Hart. It's a re-imaging of the first film and not a sequel. Movies starring the Rock tend to do pretty well so they should be fine without Robin Williams who sadly passed away.
3 Elf 2
Would you star in a movie that was terrible if you were given $29 million? Most people probably would. Would you star in a film for $29 million that was likely to be pretty good but maybe not as good as the first film? Well, that was the case for Will Ferrell who turned down obscene money when he declined to star in Elf 2.
For the huge following Elf had and for how often it shows up on television around the holidays, Ferrell was worried the film couldn't live up to the success of the first film. Instead, Ferrell decided to star in films that were critically slammed. Ferrell has done fine, but it shouldn't surprise anyone if one day he came out and said he wished he'd done another Elf film, maybe a couple of them. Worked pretty well for Tim Allen.
2 Roger Rabbit 2
Disney never gets involved in films that they think will be a failure, but it's not likely many saw Who Framed Roger Rabbit as being the huge success it was. The film grossed almost $330 million worldwide and as such, producers wanted to get to work on a second film right away. Four years later, a script appeared which would have told the story of Roger Rabbit as a cartoon soldier in a cartoon war, fighting with some of Disney's biggest cartoon stars.
The movie never happened, but director Robert Zemeckis teased that he might consider a different kind of sequel for the character down the road. Unfortunately, the character is not one that is well known by the age group that still loves Disney movies today, so there is a pretty good chance it won't see the same kind of success.
In one of the most iconic endings in film history, it might have been difficult to picture how a sequel to the film Seven might have made sense. Still, producers wanted to make another film, this time jumping up one number and calling it Ei8ht.
Unfortunately, most of the people involved in the making of the first film wanted nothing to do with the second. It could be because the script revolved around Morgan Freeman's character having clairvoyant abilities. Original director David Fincher, was absolutely against the idea and wouldn't go near the sequel.
The idea of the sequel was turned into a different film called Solace, which starred Anthony Hopkins and made a disappointing $22 million. Pretty much everyone was right to stay away.