The Godfather Part II, The Winter Soldier, The Two Towers… many times, movies get sequels that somehow turn out to be even better than the original. Other times, we get Speed 2: Cruise Control or Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo.
But there are countless sequels in between that never got made –for better, probably. You might have heard of some, while others have been buried deep enough so that most of us wouldn’t have to find out that someone was even considering doing those dreadful sequels.
One of the most praised films ever, Casablanca proved such a hit that a sequel was immediately set up, called Brazzaville. Since Ingrid Bergman wasn’t available, the producers had the audacity of choosing another actress, Geraldine Fitzgerald, to play Ilsa, but the project soon died. A novel by Michael Walsh, As Time Goes By, eventually saw a sequel happen, even if it was just a literary one.
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
E.T. became such an instant hit that its creator, Steven Spielberg, worked with Melissa Mathison on a new story that they called ‘Nocturnal Fears’, in which Elliott, along with his friends, was kidnapped by aliens, and he would eventually be rescued by E.T. -by the way, E.T.’s name would have turned out to be Zreck.
Kevin Costner, who was one of the film’s producers, planned a sequel in which his character, Frank Farmer, is coming to terms with Rachel’s (Whitney Houston) death, and his new client would have been Diana, Princess of Wales, who even showed interest in the sequel. Sadly, Diana died in 1997 and the sequel died with her.
Let’s be thankful some sequels never got made, because they would have ruined the originals forever. Like the case here with Gladiator. At the end of the Oscar-winning movie, Russell Crowe’s Maximus dies. It happens on screen, everyone sees it.
So with Gladiator, the first choice was to set it 15 years later, making Maximus’s son, Lucius, the main character. But Crowe really wanted to be in it again, so there was a new script made about Maximus in the afterlife. We are not even joking. Thankfully, it was abandoned because the writers felt it wasn’t doing any justice to the original film.
I am Legend
Do you remember the end of this film? Remember when Will Smith’s character, well, dies? No problem with that, let’s make a prequel that we don’t need, as the character’s background was already explained with flashbacks in the original movie. Even the movie’s screenwriter, Akiva Goldsman, was persuaded to start writing it. There was even a plan for a sequel as well, which we are guessing wouldn’t involve Will Smith at all. And if it doesn’t have Will Smith, we probably don’t need it –here’s looking at you, Independence Day: Resurgence.
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
The terrible idea for this sequel was that Ferris, now in his 40s, would take a day off work and his adventures would be just as entertaining as they were when he was a teenager. Luckily, Matthew Broderick felt that this was the worst idea ever and that Ferris’s story didn’t need to be altered at all.
There was the idea of a sequel in which John Cusack’s character would be overseeing an airport where planes carrying criminals landed. Yes. The script got killed after only 15 pages, which is a blessing, because John Cusack actually hates Con Air, so it is unlikely he would have been back for a sequel.
The film has a closed ending, and many characters, including Angelina Jolie’s, die. So what would it be? Either a sequel in which Jolie somehow comes back to life or a prequel that no one would be interested in. James McAvoy has said many times that there was once a script that got nowhere, and we are happy to hear that.
Also dubbed as “never plan a sequel for a movie you still don’t know if people are going to like or not.”