You're going to think I always say this, but this is a list that is different than most. Why? Because some of the films mentioned here actually have sequels. However, for one reason or another the sequel was so poorly done, or the film in question just needs a third film to make it a complete trilogy. So lets just say that you're going to have to forgive a few of the entry's on this list, but they were too juicy not to include here.
Some people might also be scandalized with some of the films listed. After-all, how in the world do you pull off a sequel to Inception or Elf? The reality is that making a good movie is very hard. Making a good sequel is darn near impossible. However, with such good source material it seems like a waste not to even have tried, right?
And what is a sequel really? A continuation of a story or ideas from a previous work. In movies they seem to become more than that. They are bridges, if you will, to shared experiences that we can hopefully relate to. Even if the shared experience is just the movie (or movies) in question. The point is that they all exist to entertain us in some way. To evoke emotions and feelings and perhaps touch on a universal truth.
We've gone over 80s movies that need a sequel and we screamed for 90s movies that need a sequel. So prepare to either be entertained or really angry because here's a list of films from the 2000s (2000-2010) that deserve to have a sequel. Notice I used the word deserve. Nothing is guaranteed. In the movie business this is doubly true. So why not just enjoy what we have and potentially make more of it if possible?
Christopher Nolan's Inception probably wouldn't be described as the perfect film or even a film to garner a sequel. That said, when you have an idea that is beyond original, why not go to that well again and make a film that expands on the original concept? Leonardo DiCaprio plays a thief whose game is corporate espionage. Assembling a rag-tag team, he uses "dream-sharing" to achieve his ends but is given the tough task of actually putting a thought into the head of a high powered CEO. Inception is a film that has many twists, turns, leaps and logic gaps... yet, it all works. Amazingly. Why not have DiCaprio (or perhaps Ellen Page's character, Ariadne) re-engage the old gang in another score? Maybe we spend the movie in the dream world and never even enter reality? There are many ways this could go. Perhaps, if Nolan were on board, he could somehow create a shared universe with Interstellar? Alright, I know that this sequel isn't even a long shot. It's never happening. Nolan is too iconoclastic to repeat himself. That said, stranger things have happened so maybe Inception 2 has a shot even if it came from a different director?
Step Brothers is considered by many to the perfect comedy. This tale of two men (Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly) in their 40s who still live at home and are thrown together through marriage is pretty darn good. It has laughs, site gags, and asides that still play well to this day. It also features some pretty great performances by the likes of Mary Steenburgen, Richard Jenkins, Adam Scott and Rob Riggle. So one might be wondering why make a sequel if this film is 10 years old and still slaying? Well, don't you want to know where these characters have gone? Don't you want to know if Ferrell's Brennan Huff or Reilly's Dale Doback ever made good? Or, did they remain lovable losers who never really did much of anything? Something tells me that the answer lies somewhere in the middle. Honestly, it took a few screenings of Step Brothers for me to get it. And while I don't think the world is gonna come unhinged if a sequel doesn't happen, I can think of fewer properties that would be more viable.
Given what has happened to Lindsay Lohan's career and the fact that our country has become a living, breathing reality TV show, a Mean Girls sequel might be just what the doctor ordered. And darn it, I say we reactivate the old cast (Lohan, Rachel McAdams, Lacey Chabert, and Amanda Seyfried at least) and see what's happening in the world of The Plastics now. One thing we all know is that just because you get older, that doesn't mean that you grow up, right? What better film to show that than a new spin on this film from 2004. When Mean Girls came out it was hip, hot, fresh and ahead of the curve. Again, we all know that nobody stays that way. If done right, and surely Tina Fey could make this happen, a sequel to Mean Girls might just show how life really doesn't change, in an interpersonal sense, just because we add some numbers to our age. And what a triumph for Lindsay Lohan this would be! A Mean Girls sequel doesn't just make sense cinematically, it doesn't just make sense from a business standpoint, it's a film that is downright necessary NOW.
Given how often successful sci-fi films get the sequel treatment, doesn't it seem kinda odd that District 9 doesn't have a successor? Made for $30 million and grossing $210 million worldwide is pretty darn respectable. Especially when you factor in that there really weren't any big stars for the studio to pitch. District 9 had to stand on its own and it sure did. So why not make a sequel to this film about an extraterrestrial race that is ghettoized? Given the advent of how much more technologically advanced we have become in the 9 years since this movie was released, it seems like Neill Blomkamp certainly has more stories to tell with these characters. Factor in that none of the actors in the film would be too pricey (or, even need to return), and a sequel almost seems like a slam-dunk. You could even go the Cloverfield route where films are made around this District 9, but maybe are not 100% sequels in the sense that we consider films to have that moniker. Whatever is done it seems pretty darn apparent that a District 9 sequel isn't going to bother anybody.
What is it about Elf that makes it such a beloved film? And why have we not seen a bunch of Elf movies every Christmas season like we used to see during Halloween with the Saw films? I am sure that money probably plays a big a part in this. Will Ferrell made this movie in 2003. At that time he was popular but he certainly wasn't the Will Ferrell that we know today. You know, the actor that can be in any movie he wants. The actor who, by simply attaching himself to a project, can actually get it made. This tale of an elf named Buddy (Ferrell) who tries to find out who he is by coming to America, has become a beloved Christmas tale. It's as time worn as A Christmas Story. They could set up a sequel around Christmas and probably make a grip of cash. Heck, they could do it around any holiday and as long as they had Will Ferrell starring as this character the balance sheets would probably be soiled with black.
How do you make sequel to one of the most original films ever made? And how many times can a director, in this case Christopher Nolan, appear on a list of films that need sequels? This backwardly chopped tale called Memento is truly one of those films that gets better each and every time you watch it. Telling the story of Leonard (Guy Pierce), a man with short term memory loss so severe he has to cover his body with tattoos to remember anything, we truly are brought into his world. There are a host of characters who neither Leonard (nor viewers) think we can trust, and all of this works together to make a film that was (and still is) truly unique. So how can we add another chapter to this? What if there was an inciting event and suddenly Leonard got his ability to remember back? How would he cope with life having been without it for so long? How would he cope with things he did in the first film? What if Christopher Nolan did it like M. Night Shyamalan did his Unbreakable franchise? A sequel to Memento wouldn't have to be a direct sequel. Rather it could be tangentially related. Maybe it would follow a different character entirely? The point is that a film of this nature has a lot of wiggle room. Given the amount of shared universes that we have in cinema, why not create a whole world in which Memento can grow and grow?
"I just can't quit you." That was the familiar refrain that captured the hearts of many and made Brokeback Mountain nearly a $200 million hit in 2005. This rustic tale of two manly men finding love with one another in a very manly part of the world is a masterpiece. Brokeback Mountain was a cultural touchstone. It felt gritty, real, and undeniable. So why have we not seen a sequel to this film? Before you hit me with the fact that Heath Ledger (the other half of the love tryst with Jake Gyllenhaal) died, and Gyllenhaal's character died in the actual film, let me suggest that we barely even follow the two main characters in this potential sequel. Rather, we could go with Michelle Williams or Anne Hathaway's characters and see where they ended up? How did she carry on after the events of the first film? Again, I admit that this film is a long-shots from being made. Despite bringing in loads of loot, it was an art-film, and those just don't seem to demand a continuation of their stories. Also, the movie business has changed since the first film graced theaters. We didn't have so many superhero movies and genre films. However, Brokeback Mountain wasn't necessarily a film that had hit written on it back in 2005 and look at what it went on to do?