It's funny to think about the Hollywood sequels that didn't get made. After all, Tinseltown is famous for beating dead horses left and right. How many Transformers sequels and spin-offs do we really need? "As long as they make money, they'll keep getting made." That's the major studios' motto. But what about the killer flicks that didn't get another chance to wow audiences?
We're talking about Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling in The Nice Guys. We're talking about the entire crew from Serenity. We're talking about Tim Allen, Sigourney Weaver, and the rest of the group from Galaxy Quest. So scroll on down and vote up the films that do a great job of reminding you that the pop-culture landscape is a cruel, cruel mistress.
- 1142 VOTESPhoto: Warner Bros. Pictures
To be blunt, we're never going to get a Keanu Reeves-starring Constantine sequel. The 2005 film is a relic of a bygone era where every major Hollywood studio was scrambling to throw comic book adaptations on-screen in the wake of Spider-Man's unbelievable box-office take. Coupled with the solid performance of Blade and X-Men, the superhero gold rush was on and nothing was too outlandish. This is how we got a big-budget, gothic horror loose adaptation of the Hellblazer comic series. Constantine was only Hellblazer in the broadest strokes, but it didn't matter.
Fans who were willing to overlook the changes got an interesting, unique thriller that featured serious talent like Reeves, Rachel Weisz, Tilda Swinton, Djimon Hounsou, and Peter Stormare. The adaptation grossed a then-impressive $230 million, but its budget of around $100 million meant it was only a minor hit in the eyes of Warner Bros. Pictures, killing any momentum for a sequel then and there. With a new DCEU-related Constantine show apparently in production for HBO Max set to lead into some kind of Justice League Dark project, it's safe to say we've seen the last of this version of John Constantine. Unless WB surprises everyone and brings Reeves back into the fold!Sequel-worthy?
- 2142 VOTESPhoto: Warner Bros. Pictures
It's clear that writer/director Shane Black has a particular style: Give two witty, charismatic, and mismatched leads situations to bounce off each other while they run into illegal shenanigans. It worked in Lethal Weapon. It worked in Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. Heck, it even snuck its way into Iron Man 3 in the scenes where Tony Stark found himself aided by the smart-mouthed Harley Keener. But we'd argue Black's unique sensibilities were never put to better use than in 2016's The Nice Guys.
The film sees the odd couple of Russell Crowe's Jackson Healy and Ryan Gosling's Holland March investigate the disappearance of a young woman. Alas, that basic plot description does the movie no favors. There are so many fantastically funny scenes in The Nice Guys that it's hard to know where to start. Watching Ryan Gosling comically repeat "NO" over and over as Russell Crowe is about to break his arm is a surefire highlight. Seeing Gosling ham it up later as he stumbles upon a rotting corpse is another one. Oh, and that scene where the then-13-year-old Angourie Rice asks Crowe's enforcer how much money it would cost to "beat up [her] friend Janet" is pure gold. The Nice Guys hits the same beats as Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, but with a better overall cast, a tighter script, and a higher budget.Sequel-worthy?
- 397 VOTESPhoto: 20th Century Fox
Big Trouble in Little China's opening weekend ruined the chances of a sequel ever getting off the ground. The cult favorite certainly has its fans today thanks to home video and the reappraisal of director John Carpenter's other work, but it landed with a thud at the time. Mixed reviews and lackluster box-office receipts doomed the proposition of more Kurt Russell action-comedies.
Carpenter still seems a little salty about it to this day if his reaction to the supposed Dwayne Johnson-starring sequel is to be believed. Johnson won't be playing the same role as Russell (if this project even ends up coming to light), which makes its existence as a true "sequel" somewhat difficult to understand. Regardless, Big Trouble in Little China is the kind of campy fun anyone with the right temperament can get into. In a different world, it could've become a series that defined the late 80s/early '90s. In reality, it's just another in a long line of John Carpenter films that didn't get the response they deserved back in the day.Sequel-worthy?
- 4136 VOTESPhoto: Universal Pictures
The fact that Serenity even exists at all is a minor miracle in itself. And we're not talking about the truly bonkers Matthew McConaughey/Anne Hathaway film where everyone ends up being in a video game, or whatever. No, this is the Serenity that is the continuation of the cult-classic television series Firefly. You know, the one that was unceremoniously axed by Fox after a mere 11 episodes? Thanks to fan fervor, we ended up getting a feature film based on the show a few years later in 2005.
Nowadays, someone like Netflix or Hulu would've come along and given the show a second chance. Back then, though, show revivals were much rarer, and we didn't just get a series continuation - we got a big-screen blockbuster! And who wouldn't want to see more of the rag-tag group of space-farers striving to make some "gorram" scratch while jetting around the cosmos in their lovable skiff? The story has continued in comics, but an actual sequel was rumored for a while there and some hubbub started again recently, as there were whispers that a new series could come to Disney+. All things considered, we're probably never going to get to see Nathan Fillion return as Captain Malcolm Reynolds, so we'll just have to learn how to survive. Besides, what would a Firefly/Serenity sequel be without Alan Tudyk's Wash anyway?Sequel-worthy?