It took Will Smith and Martin Lawrence 17 years before they reunited on the big screen
Whether it’s because of endless delays, fan demands, a director’s passion project or a cash grab reboot that seemingly no one ever actually wanted, Hollywood has produced an enormous amount of sequels to beloved films full decades after they originally hit theaters. Some of them have been wildly successful with critics and audiences, and others we’re just pretending never existed. Here are some of the sequels that took forever to hit the screen.
“Psycho II” (1983)In “Psycho II,” Meg Tilly played a traveler who encounters Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins), 23 years after Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 horror classic. The original film would be remade shot for shot by Gus Van Sant in 1998.
“The Color of Money” (1986)Martin Scorsese’s “The Color of Money” featured Paul Newman reprising his role as “Fast Eddie” Felson alongside Tom Cruise, 25 years after 1961’s “The Hustler.” It was also the movie that finally won Newman his Oscar for Best Actor.
“The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2” (1986)Critics took director Tobe Hooper to task for infusing too much black humor into the cannibal saga “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2,” which came 12 years after the original 1974 slasher film.
“The Two Jakes” (1990)Star Jack Nicholson and writer Robert Towne came back for 1990’s “The Two Jakes,” a 16-year removed follow-up to the 1974 noir classic “Chinatown.” Audiences didn’t however, and it flopped.
“Texasville” (1990)Director Peter Bogdanovich returned to the small town of Anarene, Texas for this sequel to his 1971 classic “The Last Picture Show.” “Texasville” however is actually set 32 years after the first film in the summer of 1984 as Jeff Bridges and Cybill Shepard attempt to recapture their high school glory days. This time however, Bogdanovich decided to shoot in color rather than black and white.
“The Godfather Part III” (1990)Francis Ford Coppola delivered 1990’s “The Godfather Part III” 16 years after the series’ previous installment and closed the book on Michael Corleone. Though many fans say the film hardly captures the perfection of the first two films, Coppola’s sequel still managed an Oscar nomination for Best Picture. In fact, Coppola just recently re-cut “Part III” with a new beginning and end with the title “The Godfather Coda: The Death of Michael Corleone.”
“The Odd Couple II” (1998)30 years after the original comedy classic starring Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon, the two original stars returned for another comedy, this time as they take a road trip for their children’s weddings. Both Matthau and Lemmon were in their 70s at the time of the film, and it would be the last time the Hollywood legends would appear on screen together.
“Blues Brothers 2000” (1998)“Blues Brothers 2000” came 18 years after the 1980 comedy classic, this time with John Goodman stepping in for the late John Belushi. John Candy and Cab Calloway also died before the sequel could be made, and though Dan Aykroyd managed to reprise his role as Elwood Blues, the film bombed.
“Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles” (2001)Fun fact: ESPN Fantasy Football analyst Matthew Berry wrote the screenplay for this revival of Paul Hogan’s Crocodile Dundee character, which came 13 years removed from the second film.
“Clerks 2” (2004)It took 12 years between Kevin Smith’s breakout debut film “Clerks” and a formal sequel, this time in color. But the many characters within what Smith calls his “Askewniverse” popped up in several films both before and after. And Smith now even has plans for a “Clerks 3” that might take even longer to get to the screen.
“Rocky Balboa” (2006)16 years after “Rocky V,” Stallone wrote, directed and starred in 2006 “Rocky Balboa,” the sixth film in the boxing franchise. It came 16 years after “Rocky V,” and featured Rocky as a widower, retired from the ring and running an Italian restaurant called “Adrian’s,” after his late wife. Though it would be “Creed” from 2015 and “Creed 2” in 2018 that would help truly revitalize the franchise.
“Basic Instinct 2” (2006)Sharon Stone reprised her role as Catherine Tramell in 2006’s “Basic Instinct 2,” a sequel to the 1992 erotic thriller with a 14-year gap. Though Paul Verhoeven did not return to direct, and critics saddled the film with an abysmal 26 score on Metacritic.
“Live Free or Die Hard” (2007)“Live Free or Die Hard” might have arrived sooner than 2007, 12 years after “Die Hard with a Vengeance,” but it was delayed after the events of 9/11. In this one, Bruce Willis’ John McClane character battles cyber terrorists. Willis staged a fifth “Die Hard” film in 2013’s “A Good Day to Die Hard.”
“Tron: Legacy” (2010)Just as the original “Tron” was a pioneer in digital technology and special effects, the 2010 “Tron: Legacy,” released 28 years after the original, was an early adopter of 3-D and digital de-aging, specifically to make Jeff Bridges look like he did in the early ’80s. It grossed more than $400 million worldwide in 2010.
“Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps” (2010)Greed was still pretty good in “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps,” which came 23 years after the original and reunited Michael Douglas in his Oscar-winning role as Gordon Gecko with Oliver Stone and co-star Shia LaBeouf.
“The Best Man Holiday” (2013)Writer-director Malcolm D. Lee waited 14 years before turning out “The Best Man Holiday,” a sequel to his 1999 ensemble comedy “The Best Man.” The timing was right: the sequel made $71 million on a $17 million budget.
“Dumb and Dumber To” (2014)A full 20 years after “Dumb and Dumber,” Jeff Daniels and Jim Carrey reprised their roles as dim-witted pals in the Farrelly brothers’ “Dumb and Dumber To.”
“Jurassic World” (2015)This dinosaur sized reboot/sequel to the “Jurassic Park” series, which starred Chris Pratt helping to wrangle raptors at a new and improved definitely-going-to-be-safe-this-time theme park, is still in the top 10 highest grossing movies of all time.
“Mad Max: Fury Road” (2015)The 30 years George Miller took between “Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome” and “Fury Road” was worth the wait, as his sequel starring Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron was named by many critics as one of the best movies of the decade.
“Independence Day: Resurgence” (2016)Roland Emmerich’s “Independence Day: Resurgence” invaded theaters fully two decades after his 1996 original, though it did so this time without the original’s star, Will Smith.
“Ghostbusters” (2016)Paul Feig’s female-fronted “Ghostbusters” was more of a reboot than a sequel, one that was met by unfortunate, sexist backlash to the film. So Sony is now releasing another film, “Ghostbusters: Afterlife,” that’s being billed as a proper sequel 31 years after “Ghostbusters 2.”
“My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2” (2016)The original “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” remains one of the biggest indie box office surprises ever. But the sequel, which star Nia Vardalos also wrote, fell flat in comparison 14 years later when it only grossed $88 million, though that’s still impressive for a comedy.
“Zoolander 2” (2016)“Zoolander 2,” with Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson reprising their roles, came out 15 years after the original, and the two even walked a real runway in Paris to support the movie. But the sequel was a bomb and only managed to gross $28 million.
“Bridget Jones’s Baby” (2016)Renée Zellweger’s return to the beloved British character arrived 12 years after the sequel, “The Edge of Reason,” this time with Bridget’s single life being interrupted upon discovering that she’s pregnant.
“Finding Dory” (2016)Pixar could’ve rushed out a “Finding Nemo” sequel as soon as possible, but the studio waited 13 years to tell Dory’s story about finding her family the right way. It was rewarded with over $1 billion worldwide.
“Barbershop: The Next Cut” (2016)12 years removed from the second “Barbershop” film, the threequel paired Ice Cube with a cast of old stars and new, including Cedric the Entertainer returning to the franchise, and newcomers like Nicki Minaj and Anthony Anderson taking a turn in the chair.”Barbershop: The Next Cut,” the 2016 follow-up to 2004’s “Barbershop 2: Back in Business,” was the third movie in the franchise.
“T2 Trainspotting” (2017)Ewan McGregor’s Mark Renton returned for “T2 Trainspotting,” 21 years after Danny Boyle’s trippy, cult classic set in the Edinburgh drug scene.
“Blade Runner 2049” (2017)35 years after the original, Denis Villeneuve took over for Ridley Scott for the “Blade Runner” sequel, which also took place 30 years after the events of the original film that was set in 2019 Los Angeles. Harrison Ford returned to the sequel along with Ryan Gosling as a replicant designed to hunt other rogue replicants.
“xXx: Return of Xander Cage” (2017)“xXx: Return of Xander Cage” came out 15 years after the original and 12 years after its sequel. The second film did not star Vin Diesel as Xander Cage, but he made his return in the third film, which disappointed domestically but ultimately made $346.1 million worldwide.
“Super Troopers 2” (2018)The hapless Vermont state troopers from the Broken Lizard comedy troupe returned to the big screen in 2018’s “Super Troopers 2” – fully 17 years after the 2001 original.
“Incredibles 2” (2018)While Pixar held off from doing too many sequels for some time to get more original stories into its catalog, the 14-year-gap before “Incredibles 2” paid off. The return of the Parr family netted an Oscar nomination and was one of the highest grossing animated films ever, earning $1.2 billion worldwide.
“Glass” (2019)While it’s technically a sequel to “Split” from 2016, M. Night Shyamalan also envisioned “Glass” as a quasi-sequel to his 2000 classic “Unbreakable.” The film brought back James McAvoy, Anya-Taylor Joy, Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson from both films.
“Rambo: Last Blood” (2019)Sylvester Stallone wrote, directed and starred in 2008’s “Rambo,” which came 20 years after “Rambo III.” It was dedicated to the memory of Richard Crenna, who played Col. Sam Trautman in the first three films. Another 11 years after that, Stallone returned as Rambo again for 2019’s “Rambo: Last Blood.”
“Bad Boys For Life” (2020)There had been talk for years about getting the boys back together, and the reunion finally happened this year, with Will Smith and Martin Lawrence teaming up for one last ride. This time however Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah are taking over directing duties from Michael Bay.
“Bill & Ted Face the Music” (2020)It’s fortunate that Keanu Reeves started going down memory lane with a number of nostalgia moves and cameos in recent years, as for years, decades even, it felt like a third “Bill & Ted” movie would never happen, despite how many times Reeves and Alex Winter would be asked about it. The new film follows the time-traveling buddies as older men whose rock and roll destinies have still not been fulfilled. The film opens Aug. 21, 2020, 29 years after “Bogus Journey.”
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