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40 sequels that never happened

Oh cruel world...

40 sequels that never happened
11 September 2011

You know what it can be like at Hollywood parties. All that debauchery, all those canapés and all those drunken deals being made that rapidly get forgotten about the morning after.

Okay so we don't really know what those parties are like either but we imagine they go something like that. It's a suitable explanation for all of these sequels which were discussed but never managed to make it to the screen. As you can see, that's a major relief in many cases...

E.T. 2: Nocturnal Fears

After E.T. opened and became a huge hit, Steven Spielberg and screenwriter Melissa Mathison came up with a potential follow-up which would have seen evil aliens come to earth and kidnap the kids from the first film. They would have then been saved by their little friend.

Airplane III

While making Airplane II: The Sequel, the makers were so confident of its success that they even put a quick teaser at the end of the credits for the third instalment. Yet when the film opened to disappointing numbers and box office, it was canned.

The Bodyguard 2

While it's now being prepped for a remake, original bodyguard Kevin Costner claimed that a sequel was in development which would have starred him and Princess Diana. After her death, it became somewhat of a myth as she was unable to confirm or deny it. All that's known for sure is that it would have been a horrible idea.

Twins 2: Triplets

Imagine if Arnie and Danny DeVito had a sister? That's the earth-shattering idea behind this failed sequel which was to team the pair up with Roseanne Barr for more hilarity. Thankfully, the project stalled. Probably when everyone woke up from the drunken binge which led them to the idea in the first place.

Gladiator 2

The Oscar-winning success of the Ridley Scott epic led two screenwriters (Nick Cave was bizarrely one of them) to pen sequels, despite the fact that the main character sort of died at the end of the first. The idea was that Maximums would be fighting Roman gods in the afterlife. Poor guy.

Mrs Doubtfire 2

In 2003, Fox decided that now was the time to develop a sequel to the 1993 cross-dressing comedy so hired Bonnie Hunt (the mom in Beethoven) to work on the script. Three years later, Robin Williams dropped out after her writing wasn't up to scratch. The idea was that Williams would creepily follow his daughter to college and spy on her through some weird disguise. Nasty.

Elf 2

Will Ferrell was offered an obscene $29m (£18.3m) to don the tights for a second time yet ultimately turned it down as he didn't like the idea of a sequel. He didn't want to put up with the criticism if it was done wrong. Oh did anyone see his role in the big screen adaptation of Land of the Lost? Oh yeah, didn't think so...

The Naked Gun 4: Rhythm Of Evil

This direct-to-dvd sequel was set to have Leslie Nielsen train a young rookie. The script was apparently really funny but, due to financial reasons, it was canned back in 2009. Sadly, since Leslie Nielsen passed, it has no chance of being resurrected either.

The Breakfast Club 2

John Hughes was keen to do a sequel which met up with the characters 10 years after the original. He wanted to avoid horrendous make-up so aimed to wait until 1994 to start production. Sadly the idea stalled. One reason was the giant bust-up between Hughes and star Judd Nelson. Well, he was the rebel...

Roger Rabbit II: Toon Platoon

The original was such a surprise success that Disney were obviously keen for lightning to strike twice. In 1992, an attempt was made with a script which would have seen Roger as a soldier in a cartoon war, fighting alongside a squadron of classic animated characters. Robert Zemeckis has since suggested that a motion capture sequel may happen instead. Bob Hoskins has expressed his disapproval.


Despite coining a totally cool title for the sequel, it seems as if being hip wasn't enough of a reason to bring those human-hating aliens back for more. Weirdly, it took 9/11 and the world's reaction to make Roland Emmerich believe that more destruction was necessary. The plan was to film two sequels back-to-back and Will Smith was rumoured to be returning but the idea has since been canned.

Cliffhanger 2: The Dam

After Cliffhanger became Stallone's biggest hit for a good while, a sequel was bandied around that would have seen his character help block a holy dam. Hmmm. When Daylight came out years later, Stallone revealed that any chance of the sequel happening died as it would have been too similar.


Despite offering up an ending that didn't exactly scream for a follow-up, execs were desperate to repeat the success of the grim serial killer flick. Even director David Fincher said "I'd have less interest in that than I would in having cigarettes put out in my eyes." The original idea was to turn a script called Solace into the Seven sequel. It would have given Morgan Freeman's character clairvoyant abilities. That script is now going forward with Anthony Hopkins in the lead, unrelated to Seven.

Superman Lives

Before Bryan Singer created the instantly forgettable Superman Returns, Tim Burton was set to take on the project with a daring vision of the caped crusader. The script was from Kevin Smith yet Burton had some revisionist ideas, including Superman not flying and using a "Supermobile" instead. Oh and Nic Cage playing him, while wearing this suit.

Forrest Gump 2: Gump & Co

Despite already having done pretty much everything a character can do in the first film, a sequel, based on the follow-up book, was in development back in the 00's. A script was written, which would have seen Gump meddle with iconic events throughout the 80s and 90s. Hanks nixed it by saying it would have just been a repeat. Go Hanks.

Under Siege 3

Oh this one was so close. Seagal was keen for more. Warner Bros were keen for more. Sadly, the two parties hate each other so it was never going to happen. There have been scripts circulating, including one where he takes down some jewel thieves, but unless both sides kiss and make-up, it's just not going to happen.

I Am Legend 2

What to do when your main character dies at the end of the first film? PREQUEL. Yep, after Will Smith's action horror became a big hit, a prequel was given the greenlight. Filling in gaps we didn't need filled in, it would have followed his character as the infected took over New York. Unnecessary and now dead in the water.

Ferris Bueller 2: Another Day Off

In what would have been one of the most depressing films ever, a Ferris sequel was set to star Matthew Broderick in his 40s taking a day off work and hilarity ensuing. Relatively unknown screenwriter Rick Rapier wrote the damn thing and was shopping it around with no-one actually biting.

Battlefield Earth 2

The disturbingly long source novel runs 1,050 pages long and the film only covered around half of it, meaning that a sequel was a sure thing prior to release. Travolta had signed on for more and was confident there would be at least one more outing. Then the film was released and everyone, literally everyone, hated it. The sequel was canned.

Basic Instinct 3

The doomed sequel appealed to pretty much no-one, other than Sharon Stone herself who believed that a third instalment was necessary. A script was written and she claimed she'd direct the film, which would again be set in the UK but not feature her character. Needless to say, the reaction was all negative and the film got canned.

Catwoman : Batman Returns 2

After Michelle Pfeiffer pretty much owned Batman Returns, Tim Burton and screenwriter Daniel Waters delivered a dark script that would have seen Selina Kyle move to a small town where superheroes have turned bad. Sadly, it was handed in around the same time that Batman Forever opened big and execs wanted to keep things light. Years later, Halle Berry entered the scene and the rest is tragic history.

Seriously Dude, Where's My Car?

Despite poor reviews, the first film was a commercial success and with the ingeniously titled follow-up, it seemed like it was a sure thing. It would have been a virtual retread with Ashton Kutcher and Seann William Scott losing their car again. It never even got a script though and now, well, they're a bit too old for this kind of thing...

Showgirls 2

While production was still rolling on the first film, there were rumours that a sequel was to follow the lead character Nomi as she tries to make her mark in Hollywood. The end of the film hinted that this was to happen but after the notoriously bad reception, it got shelved. Since then, another attempt called Showgirls: A Story of Hope (as it focused on a character called Hope) was also mooted and then shot down. Give. It. Up.

Con Airport

The proposed sequel would have seen John Cusack's character overseeing an airport, designed for airplanes that would contain criminals. Unsurprisingly, things would go wrong. It only made it to a 15-page treatment and was thrown in the bin. Since then. director Simon West has expressed a desire to get the original players back together. So far, nothing has been confirmed.

Unbreakable 2

Like all superhero films, even one as unconventional as Unbreakable, there were sequels planned from the outset. But the film failed to repeat the success of The Sixth Sense so was considered a failure. Most recently, M Night Shyamlalan revealed that a second villain was taken out of the first film to be used in the second yet he's now planning on using that character for a separate film he'll write and produce.


Luc Besson had originally planned a sequel that was to follow Natalie Portman's character take revenge on those who wronged her and Leon but due to Portman's ascent to stardom and legal issues, it was doomed. Instead the project transformed into the new Zoe Saldana thriller Colombiana.

Beverly Hills Cop IV

Despite the third film proving to be a failure (Eddie Murphy in a theme park anyone?), Jerry Bruckheimer still insisted there was life in the franchise. The latest update was from Brett Ratner who confirms that it is actually in the works, with Eddie Murphy the one who is stalling it as the character of Axel Foley is “his Clark Kent. His Darth Vader. His albatross”. Right.

The Subtle Knife

Hoping to create the new Harry Potter franchise, New Line were assuming the adaptation of Philip Pullman's acclaimed novel would be the start of something new (and lucrative). The film bombed though and the follow-up, based on the next book, was immediately canned. Star Sam Elliot blamed it on the Catholic church. Nice try.

L.A. Confidential 2

Since writer James Ellroy had already written other novels involving the same characters, numerous sequel options were in development. Joe Carnahan was trying to get White Jazz on the big screen yet was asked by the company behind LA Confidential to not use Guy Pearce's character. Other rumours involved Charlize Theron coming onboard as the lead role. None of it actually materialised though.

Kill Bill 3

Even before the Volume 2 has even been released, Tarantino was teasing about a third instalment. He was planning to follow Sofie Fatale, Lucy Liu's lawyer, who would raise Nikki, Vivica Fox's daughter, to take revenge on The Bride. he even wanted to film scenes with them at the time to make sure they would be a particular age. It never happened though and in 2009, he claimed on an Italian talk show that it would still happen. No word since then.

Twister 3D

Star Bill Paxton has been pitchign a 3D sequel to Twister for anyone that'll hear. He wants to direct a much darker version that has "consequences", unlike the first one, but it's not his property. It's Spielberg's. So far, there's no confirmation that anyone else actually wants to see it. Apart from us. But keep that quiet.

Gremlins 3D

Apparently director Joe Dante originally deemed any sequel to the first film to be unnecessary so approached it with a light hand, not worrying too much about what happened. It's now been 21 years since Gremlins 2: The New Batch and attempts have been made to push a third one into production. Apparently a 3D follow-up (of course) was being developed although Dante claims that it's been dropped.

Wanted 2

Despite her death at the end of the first film, writers were trying to work Angelina Jolie's character back into the sequel which was why she passed on the follow-up as she thought it was dumb. Since then James McAvoy has stated that the script has come and gone and it's probably never going to see the light of day.

Speed 3

For anyone who endured Speed 2: Cruise Control, the thought of a third film is enough to cause at least one sleepless night. Before his death, Dennis Hopper stated that he'd be starring while another rumour had Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock discussing the possibility with Fox. Since then it's thankfully gone quiet...

The Break-Up 2

Weird this one. Despite the film ending with the characters broken up and the real life couple of Vince Vaughn and Jennifer Aniston being well and truly done with, word came a few years back that they would re-team for a sequel. Aniston was apparently being offered $20 million to return; more than Vaughn. The project was binned, much to everyone's relief.

The Matrix 4

After most people had kindly forgotten to continue mentioning how poor the two Matrix sequels actually were, news died down on any further instalments. But then earlier this year, Keanu Reeves revealed that the Wachowkis had started work on two sequels and met with James Cameron to discuss using 3D. Warner Bros since revealed that it was all a hoax. Phew.

Searching For Keyser Soze

There were many questions still left to be answered at the end of The Usual Suspects and apparently, writers have been trying to answer all those questions for us. Star Chazz Palminteri claimed that a sequel was definitely happening while Kevin Spacey was reportedly desperate to star in it. No official news though.

Napoleon Dynamite 2

After the first one made such a huge profit ($46m from $400k), a sequel was bound to be on the cards. Star Jon Heder was keen but director Jared Hess was less sure. Ultimately, the follow-up got canned and instead an animated series happened instead.

Jumper 2

Although the first film was a bit of a non-event, it still made a decent profit worldwide. This is probably the reason why star Hayden Christensen started talking up the possibility of a follow-up. He claims that it's being discussed and it will go much darker than the first, which wouldn't be a big struggle. There's been nothing official though.

Inside Man 2

The original became Spike Lee's most profitable movie so he pushed forward with a sequel which was set to reunite the stars of the first. One script was finished (concerning a diamond heist) and rejected and another was written instead. Ultimately, Lee claimed that it "didn't work out" so it's been killed.