Although sequels often seem like a legal form of printing money, they can also prove to be an expensive risk. So when a movie opens big, a speedy announcement is then made that a follow-up is on the way. But quite often, the high dies down, the dust settles and the proposed sequel is nowhere to be seen.
Here are eight sequels that may never actually happen:
The Amazing Spider-Man 3
After the last time the words "Spider-Man" and "3" were used together, it's understandable that Sony would have a certain amount of trepidation before starting work on a third instalment. While the recent reboot of the series has been a financial success for the studio (over $700 million worldwide a piece), neither film has come close to matching Spider-Man 3's $890 million haul. Critical reaction to the most recent offering was tepid and the release date for the third was moved from 2016 to 2018, with a rumour of Gwen Stacy returning as a villain. But four years is a long time in the superhero world...
Evil Dead 2
While everyone got really super angry about the idea of an Evil Dead remake, the resulting film was met with a long sigh of relief when it hit cinemas last year. It was surprisingly rather good, or at least hard to loathe, and made a tidy $97 million from a $17 million budget. Given the genre, a sequel was obviously confirmed to be in the works. At the same time Sam Raimi announced that an Evil Dead 4, or Army Of Darkness 2, would happen and ideally at a later stage, the original series would merge with the remake narrative. But star Jane Levy recently claimed that she thinks the plans have died and a TV series is more likely.
Released around the same time as Anchorman, Dodgeball always lagged unfairly behind its more instantly quotable comedy brother in the memories of most, which is a surprise, given the fact that it made almost twice as much money at the box office. Also, in our humble opinion, it's actually a lot funnier. While Anchorman finally had a sequel last year, things have been less successful for Dodgeball. The last we heard was over a year ago, suggesting that Fox were moving ahead with a script focusing on Ben Stiller and Vince Vaughn teaming up against a new foe but nothing since. With 10 years having already passed since the original, it's looking less and less likely.
The Girl Who Played With Fire
While critics initially felt that another version of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo was a little redundant so soon after the first, they quickly changed their tune after seeing David Fincher's dark and brooding take on the thriller. It also pulled in some decent numbers at the box office with $232 million worldwide, not too shabby for something which was aimed purely at an adult audience. But despite there being two more easily adaptable books in the Millennium trilogy, there's been no official word on a sequel. Fincher himself recently stated that "the script that we now have has huge potential" and revealed that it is "extremely different from the book" which is frustratingly intriguing yet inconclusive news.
While the fan support for the Hellboy franchise has been strong, the numbers have been solid but unspectacular, especially when compared to other, admittedly more mainstream, superhero blockbusters. It's therefore meant that a third chapter hasn't been a priority for Universal. Guillermo Del Toro, always refreshingly honest, has revealed that he would love to make it but that every studio has essentially told him to stick it. He even has a plot, which would involve Hellboy finally realising that he is "the beast of the Apocalypse", but the profit margin isn't impressive enough for anyone to invest.
The original Scream trilogy was a comfortably profitable franchise, with small budgets and strong box office but once the slasher movie trend died down, so did the films. Cut to 11 years later and Scream 4 is released, to a young audience less familiar with Ghostface. The result? The surprisingly entertaining meta-horror underdelivers. Yes, it still made a profit but it's the lowest-performing Scream film by a long way. It put to bed screenwriter Kevin Williamson's idea of a new trilogy, with claims that he'd already mapped out episodes five and six. Since the leads survived, producer Harvey Weinstein wants a fifth film to end it all but with an MTV Scream series on the way, it's looking less and less likely.
Jack Reacher: Never Go Back
While Tom Cruise wasn't quite as awful as many had predicted, the big screen Lee Child adaptation didn't really impress. The worldwide box office was solid for a crime thriller but underwhelming for a Cruise movie and, despite there being around 746,000 other Reacher books to adapt, a confirmed sequel is yet to be announced. The most recent word suggested that director Christopher McQuarrie will be too busy making Mission: Impossible 5 to get involved and if tit does go ahead, it will be Child's 18th Reacher novel Never Go Back that will make its way to the multiplex. But Cruise is yet to make it his next official project and after Edge of Tomorrow underperformed in the US, it's likely that he'll go for something a tad safer.
28 Months Later
Seen as rather a gamble at the time (no stars, pre-zombie comeback, incredibly violent), 28 Days Later emerged as a fresh take on the genre and turned Cillian Murphy into a star. Danny Boyle's daring thriller made back its budget ten times over which led to the intermittently effective but somewhat redundant follow-up 28 Weeks Later. But talk of the inevitable 28 Months Later died down. Boyle originally stated that he was keen to direct a third instalment but has since stated that chances are 40/60 as he worries that zombies have been "overexposed" while screenwriter Alex Garland has stated that there are currently no plans. A World War Z sequel is looking much more likely.
The unlikely pairing of James McAvoy and Angelina Jolie worked rather well at the box office with the deranged logic of Wanted scoring a hefty $341 million worldwide from just a $75 million budget. With more stories to explore in the Wanted comics, sequel talk was rife with producers initially plotting to bring back, SPOILER, Jolie's dead character from the first. That was thankfully canned and while an idea did circulate which would see McAvoy's character recruit a young female assassin, as a sort of gender-swapped take on the first film, nothing came of it. Most recently, McAvoy revealed that while he'd be keen to return for the right script, he things that too much time might have passed for anything to happen.
While Judd Apatow might have gained fame from producing, and directing, films about men struggling to grow up, it was one about women that scored him his biggest box office hit to date. The modestly budgeted Bridesmaids exceeded everyone's expectations and while the predicted female revolution in comedy hasn't happened yet (Bad Teacher, Tammy, The Other Woman and many others have all disappointed, at least critically), it deservedly turned Kristen Wiig and Melissa McCarthy into stars and Oscar nominees. A sequel was therefore suggested from the off. Director Paul Feig and McCarthy expressed interest but it all relied on Wiig who claimed it was a "hard decision" to say no but it wasn't of interest to her.