There are some films out there that desperately didn’t need sequels. The Shrek franchise, for example, could have happily stopped after film number two. How many more Fast and Furious films do there need to be before that series finally ends? The worst part of this sequel saturation is that a ton of films that deserve follow-ups get consistently ignored. Why do we keep getting more Toy Story movies, but no sequel to Brave? Where’s the sequel to Love Actually that we all desperately need in our lives?
We’ve put together a definitive list of amazing films that are long overdue for a sequel. Some actually have follow-ups on the horizon (or so they claim); others seem to be doomed to remain in movie history. Only one thing is certain: if they don’t make that third Princess Diaries movie, pretty much every child of the ’90s will revolt.
17. The Princess Diaries
Let’s be real here: the first two Princess Diaries films defined the childhoods of an entire generation. Who didn’t secretly wish that their grandma would turn out to be a European royal? These heartwarming movies were the on-screen equivalent of a cozy Sunday spent wrapped in a blanket sipping a mug of hot cocoa. Who wouldn’t want another one?! We all need to see how Mia’s getting on now that she’s the actual queen of Genovia. Luckily, a third movie does seem to be in the pipeline, although plans have stalled since the sad passing of the series’ original director, Gary Marshall. The author of the Princess Diaries book series, Meg Cabot, has stated that there’s a chance the film might go ahead as a tribute to Marshall. We’ve got our fingers crossed!
Why Brave hasn’t been given a sequel yet is a total mystery to me. The world needs more of Princess Merida being a total badass! She was such an amazing role model for young girls. Merida didn’t conform to her society’s stereotypical gender norms – in fact, she actively shunned them. She was a total whizz with a bow and arrow and managed to save her mom from being permanently transformed into a bear (even if the whole thing was kinda her fault in the first place).
Why not have a sequel that drops in on Merida a few years later? She’d be a grown-up Scottish boss lady by then, and probably even more awesome than her childhood self. Can we all petition Disney and Pixar to make this happen, please?
For those not in the know, Serenity was the film follow-up to Joss Whedon’s tragically short sci-fi series Firefly. This space-western drama centered on the adventures of the crew of a futuristic spacecraft, the Serenity, in the year 2517. Despite having a huge cult following, the original series got canceled after just eleven episodes had aired, and only one movie was made as a follow-up. There’s huge support among Firefly’s fan base for more movies or even another TV series to be made; however, Whedon is far too busy directing every single superhero movie ever to put much thought into his former project. It’s such a shame – the franchise had such potential!
14. Hocus Pocus
While this classic Disney flick currently has a remake on the cards, we’d much prefer it got a straight-up sequel instead. The remake is supposedly going to feature none of the original cast, which is a frankly dreadful idea. Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy totally made that movie. Why not scrap the idea of a recast and just follow up on their characters instead? We’d love to see Winnie, Mary and Sarah somehow magically resurrected once again. Sure, the three witches died at the end of the last film, but bigger plot issues have been overcome in the past. How would they cope with the 21st century? Pretty badly, if their reaction to the 20th is anything to go by: it’d be hilarious to watch.
The ending of Christopher Nolan’s 2010 mind-boggler Inception left us with more questions than it answered. Was Leonardo DiCaprio’s character still dreaming, or had he finally made it back to reality? Did he really get to see his kids again? Are WE even living in the real world, or are we just a part of somebody else’s dream? The film was left so open that many fans questioned whether a sequel was in the works. Nolan has denied this possibility, stating that he always saw Inception as a standalone film. But Chris! Why would you hurt us in this way? WE NEED ANSWERS!
12. The Emperor’s New Groove
The Emperor’s New Groove is one of the most underrated Disney movies out there. Emperor Kuzco’s journey of self-discovery after being accidentally transformed into a llama is a joy to behold, as is the eventual friendship between Kuzco and Pacha. Yzma was an actually quite terrifying villain, and Kronk was an adorkable foil for her evil plans. Question is, why has this wonderful film never been given a proper sequel? Sure, there was the crappy straight-to-video film Kronk’s New Groove, but it’s honestly better to just forget about that. We think Emperor deserves a proper follow-up: how about an insight into Kuzco’s empire when he’s no longer a total douchebag? Come on Disney, make it happen!
While I still haven’t quite recovered from the huge dose of feels the first film gave me, I maintain that Up is a strong contender for the next Disney/Pixar sequel. The story of grumpy widower Carl and hapless boy scout Russell was enough to warm even the most frozen of hearts, and while the film ended pretty happily, we still need reassurance that these guys continued to live their best lives after their balloon-based adventure ended. Plus, who doesn’t need more of Dug the talking dog in their lives? Come on, Pixar. Stop making Cars sequels and focus on what’s really important.
A whole host of ensemble comedies have hit the silver screen in recent years, but Bridesmaids is still one of our favorites. Kristen Wiig’s antics had us all in stitches while Melissa McCarthy’s character still has us mildly traumatized. The film was also pretty ground-breaking when it came to female-led comedy films, and is one of the few films of its type to pass the Bechdel test.
Basically, it had everything going for it — so why not treat us all to a sequel? While rumors of a second Bridesmaids film did spring up back in 2012, Wiig later stated that she was focussing on other projects instead. It’s been suggested that a follow-up film could focus on McCarthy’s character, Megan, which we’d be totally down for! However, it doesn’t seem to be happening in the near future. Shame!
9. The Golden Compass
The Golden Compass was supposed to be the first in a series of movies based on Phillip Pullman’s bestselling His Dark Materials trilogy of books. The film wasn’t THAT bad: it featured the stellar acting of big stars like Daniel Craig and Nicole Kidman and won awards for its special effects. However, it was a financial flop, and New Line Cinema decided that adapting the sequels wasn’t worth the risk. This was an incredibly unsatisfying move for fans of the books who desperately wanted to see The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass on screen. It looks like they’ll finally get their wish: the BBC is in talks to adapt the whole trilogy for TV.
8. Doctor Strange
Doctor Strange was one of the most intriguing films to come out of the Marvel Cinematic Universe in the past few years. Charting the story of a neurosurgeon who discovers the world of magic following a severe accident, this film bent the rules – literally, they bend reality in this flick – and added a new dimension to the world of superheroes. We’d be really interested to see where Marvel might take Strange’s story next, and it seems like they have another film in the pipeline. No details have been confirmed yet, but thanks to Benedict Cumberbatch’s recent cameo in Thor: Ragnarok, we’re pretty certain that Doctor Strange won’t be fading into the background anytime soon.
Fun fact: the producers of Elf actually planned for this much-loved Christmas film to have a sequel. They offered lead actor Will Ferrell a whopping $29 million to reprise his role as Buddy the Elf… But he declined. WHAT A MASSIVE GRINCH.
Ferrell has joked that he doesn’t think he’d look good enough in Buddy’s tights to do another Elf film, but frankly, that’s not good enough. We need more Christmas cheer in our lives. I guess for now we’ll all have to resort to watching the original over and over again and possibly watch 2014’s Elf Animated Special a couple of times, too. Why would you do this to us, Will? Why?
6. Wonder Woman
This year’s Wonder Woman movie was one of the best superhero films to hit the big screen for a long, long time. It had a strong female lead in the incredibly badass Gal Gadot! The plot was pretty solid and the script that didn’t feel too forced! It had Chris Pine to provide the swoon-worthy element! We knew that this movie needed a sequel pretty much as soon as we stepped out of the cinema. Luckily, there’s already one lined up for 2019. Hopefully, it’ll be far superior to the disaster that was last month’s Justice League. How could they take a plot with so many good characters and make a film that boring? Even Gal couldn’t save it.
5. The Lion King II: Simba’s Pride
Controversial opinion: I actually prefer this film to the original Lion King. THERE. I SAID IT. The story of star-crossed lion lovers Kovu and Kiara still tugs at my heartstrings, and this sequel’s songs are actually pretty damn good. As straight-to-VCR sequels go, Simba’s Pride is a masterpiece. In fact, it’s so good that it definitely deserves a follow-up story. What happened to Kovu and Kiara? Did Simba and Nala become grandparents? Did Kiara go on to be a totally badass queen of the Pride Lands? I NEED ANSWERS. Unfortunately, Disney decided to make the third Lion King movie a kind of terrible reworking of the first film from Timon and Pumba’s perspective. Nobody wanted that, guys. Give us the second sequel we deserve.
4. Wild Child
Wild Child is one of those iconic teen movies that every child of the ’90s watched. Watching Emma Roberts transform from rebel to straight-laced prep school girl gave us a whole lot of entertainment and dozens of quotable lines. Personally, we’d love to drop in on Poppy & co. again to see what they’re up to ten years on. Did Poppy’s relationship with hottie Freddie blossom? What are all of her kooky roommates up to now? Somebody needs to make this sequel happen, please. Mainly because I need a bit more Alex Pettyfer in my life.
3. Love Actually
It’s coming up to Christmas again, which means that everyone and their mother will be cracking out their well-watched copy of Love Actually. Don’t tell me you’ve not wondered what happened after the credits rolled, though. A short charity special earlier this year gave us a bit of an insight into the characters’ lives nearly 15 years on, but it’s only made us want more! We need to see Sam and Joanna’s married life now they’re no longer the adorable kids of the original! Hugh Grant’s Prime Minister needs to grace our screens once more! The only bittersweet part would be the absence of the late Alan Rickman: his on-screen wife Emma Thompson declined to star in the short sequel special due to his passing. We miss you, Alan!
2. The Devil Wears Prada
Can you believe it’s been over ten years since The Devil Wears Prada first hit our screens? This iconic film quickly became a staple chick flick of girls’ nights everywhere. We all love to hate Meryl Streep as scathing magazine boss Miranda Priestly and just plain love Anne Hathaway’s slightly naive Andy. We’d love to check in with a post-Miranda Andy. How did her career go? Is she now a huge media mogul to rival Miranda herself? Did she actually dump that deadweight boyfriend of hers? Thing is, if a sequel IS made, it certainly shouldn’t be based on the book’s follow up. If you haven’t read Revenge Wears Prada, don’t. It’s not worth your time. Wait for a movie sequel with an entirely different plot instead.
Just to be clear, I’m talking about the recent all-female Ghostbusters remake here. Sure, it may have damaged the fragile masculinities of a few fans of the original, but it was otherwise a smashing success. Leslie Jones alone made the film pretty spectacular. We’d love to see what the gang got up to next, but unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like a sequel is going to happen. Executive producer Dan Aykroyd has claimed that the reboot simply cost too much money to make and that Sony wouldn’t be willing to splash any more cash into the franchise. Here’s hoping they change their minds!