By Josh Reilly B. & George Bate
Many movies have attempted to launch a franchise, but failed to do so for one reason or another. And, while it’s probably a good thing many of these attempts did not eventually spawn franchises, there are a number of films that should have had a sequel and never did.
Below are 10 movies that deserved a sequel but did not get one.
Better than both live-action theatrical Suicide Squad movies, The Losers is what the DC ensemble movie about not-so-good people teaming up should have felt like. Based on a comic series, The Losers played like a high octane comic book come to life, with plenty of impressive action set pieces and memorable dialogue. Although the cast didn’t get contain any A-listers at the time, many have since become household names, including Chris Evans, Zoë Saldana, and Idris Elba. Each sequel to The Losers could’ve featured the team going on different missions around the world, keeping each installment fresh and exciting like a James Bond movie. Unfortunately, The Losers underperformed at the box office and received mixed reviews from critics.
Timur Bekmambetov directed this action film based on the comic book series by Mark Millar and J.G. Jones. Wanted revolves around a young man named Wesley Gibson (played by James McAvoy), whose life as a frustrated account manager is disrupted when he discovers he is the son of an expert assassin and is recruited to join a secret society of killers. Wanted is the definition of a crowd-pleaser. The film is as stylized as it is energetic, with an over-the-top plot that never becomes unwieldy. McAvoy is excellent as the down-on-his luck loser who grows into his own, while Angelina Jolie plays a sleek expert assassin. A really entertaining video game sequel to the events of the film titled Wanted: Weapons of Fate was released, but, unfortunately, Wanted never received a theatrical follow-up.
The Nice Guys
Shane Black directed and co-wrote this neo-noir murder mystery meets buddy cop comedy set in 1970s Los Angeles. Rian Gosling’s Holland March and Russell Crowe’s Jackson Healy team up to investigate the disappearance of a teenage girl. Although The Nice Guys is an intricate mystery with plenty of twists and turns to keep track of, it’s the chemistry between Crowe and Gosling’s characters that demands viewing. The two actors trade blows back-and-forth, delivering witty and sharp lines from a tight and rich script.
Based on the iconic Power Rangers series, this 2017 film would have been a great start to a rebooted franchise. Power Rangers throws out the campiness of its TV predecessor in favor of a more grounded approach to a contemporary coming-of-age story. Dacre Montgomery, later known for his role in Stranger Things, excels in the lead role, while the likes of Naomi Scott and RJ Cyler craft unique characters of their own. With the characters only briefly donning their Power Rangers suits in the film, it’s a shame that a sequel was never made, especially considering the inclusion of a post-credits scene teasing the Green Ranger.
Solo: A Star Wars Story
The sole (pun intended) box office failure of the Disney-Lucasfilm era, Solo: A Star Wars Story was an almost impossible film to market. A Han Solo origin movie without Harrison Ford had to be seen in order to be appreciated. Unfortunately, many, even among the Star Wars faithful, doubted how a Han Solo prequel movie would work. Poor box office performance and somewhat unenthusiastic reviews from critics and fans led to Lucasfilm scrapping any plans for future movies in their Han Solo prequel spin-off series. The story of Solo has been continued in other mediums, such as Charles Soule’s War of the Bounty Hunters comic, but it’s a shame Ron Howard and company couldn’t return for another adventure with young Han and Chewy.
The Other Guys
Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg led an ensemble cast including Eva Mendes, Michael Keaton, Steve Coogan, Ray Stevenson, Samuel L. Jackson, and Dwayne Johnson in this buddy cop action comedy from 2010. The Other Guys is one of Ferrell’s most underrated comedies, featuring a wealth of one-liners and witty remarks that you can’t help repeating. The film’s plot touches on some relevant social commentary in its focus on a financial scheme involving the NYPD pension fund. The Other Guys concludes with a tease that Ferrell’s Detective Gamble and Wahlberg’s Detective Hoitz will tackle more cases together, but, unfortunately, a sequel never came to fruition.
Based on the 2000 AD comic strip Judge Dredd, Dredd stars Karl Urban as a law enforcer in the vast, post-apocalyptic metropolis of Mega-City One. Dredd intelligently plays like a contained thriller, set almost exclusively in a 200-storey high rise block of apartments. Although the film performed poorly at the box office, it has since become a cult classic, recognized for its grotesque violence, dark humor, and gritty tone.
Set at a school in the sky where teens learn how to be superheroes, Sky High follows young Will Stronghold (played by Michael Angarano) as he struggles to balance the trials and tribulations of normal teenage life with the difficulties that come along with being a superpowered being. Sky High is an overlooked gem in Disney’s live-action catalog over the last twenty years. The film manages to do something different with the superhero genre, so much so in fact that Sky High feels years and years ahead of its time.
The Adventures of Tintin
Steven Spielberg directed this overlooked adaptation of Hergé’s comic book series of the same name. The Adventures of Tintin follows Tintin (played by Jamie Bell), Snowy, and Captain Haddock (played by Andy Serkis) as they compete for lost treasure with a dangerous enemy (played by Daniel Craig). Spielberg crafted a visually marvelous and faithful adaptation of Tintin, in a movie that beautifully blends motion capture and traditional computer-animation. A sequel to be directed by Peter Jackson was announced, but has lingered in development hell for quite some time.
Hayden Christensen headlined this much overlooked action movie from 2008. Loosely based on a novel by Steven Gould, the film follows a man named David Rice, played by Christensen, who has the ability to instantly transport himself to any place he can imagine. He uses this ability to jump into and steal the contents of bank vaults, but soon comes up against the evil Roland Cox (played by Samuel L. Jackson), who is determined to hunt down and exterminate jumpers. Jumper has a great hook and had plenty of potential for sequels to continue the story.
What else would you add to the list?