Sequels, trilogies and franchises are released with great frequency by Hollywood, as studios try to capitalize on what has been proven to work with audiences in the past. That noted, many planned sequels and threequels (and even spinoffs) get stuck in some stage development hell, a place where projects can languish for years without any forward progress. The website Screen Junkies recently listed a bunch of films that deserve sequels ("Inception 2"?), but ahead are five long-rumored projects that deserve to see the light of day.
1. "Spaceballs 2"
In the classic "Star Wars" parody from director Mel Brooks, Yogurt, the film's Yoda character who's played by Brooks, jokes that the cast will meet again in "Spaceballs 2: The Search for More Money." It's tough to say if money and budget were the biggest obstacles in this sequel's way, but star Rick Moranis did get a call about being in the film in the early '90s:
I wasn’t privy to what the budget was or anything, but the deal he presented me, what he wanted me to do, was not workable. It was two or three years later. He wanted me to ... it’s better if I don’t get into the particulars of it. Because it is so specific, it’s counter-productive to talk about it. But I was unable to make a deal, and it would have been something I would have wanted to do. But that ship has sailed.
For his part, Brooks was talking about "Spaceballs 2" as recently as 10 years ago: "Best case scenario: a week before the new 'Star Wars' opens. Worst Case Scenario: a year after the new 'Star Wars' opens." Brooks was talking about 2005's "Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith," but let's pretend he meant "Episode VII."
2. Kill Bill Vol. 3
After the release of "Kill Bill Vol. 2" in 2004, there was a lot of discussion of a third "Kill Bill" feature, one where killing Bill would likely not be an option, since he died at the end of the second installment. Unfortunately, director Quentin Tarantino has backed away from any of those plans. I don’t think about 'Kill Bill 3' that much," Tarantino told The Independent last year. Tarantino is currently working on "The Hateful 8," a Western project that might star Bruce Dern and Christoph Waltz.
3. More Judd Apatow Movies
Technically, "Get Him to the Greek" was a sort of sequel to "Forgetting Sarah Marshall," much in the same vein that "This Is 40" served as a follow-up to "Knocked Up." Yet why stop there? Wouldn't another round of "Superbad" be fun, with stars Jonah Hill and Michael Cera as adults? What about a proper "Sarah Marshall" continuation, with Kristen Bell, Jason Segel and Mila Kuns all returning? "I like the series Truffaut made where he revisited the same character five different times in five different movies," Apatow said in 2013. "I think it's fun to see people grow up."
4. "The Simpsons Movie 2" and/or "South Park 2"
Animated films based on long-running animated television series, both "The Simpsons" and "South Park" seemed like natural fits for Hollywood's sequel culture: there's an expectation from the audience that these characters would have extra life at the movies -- the shows have run for 42 seasons combined -- and the source material is rich with stories and plots, if needed. Yet neither film has ever received a Part 2. Not that it's out of the question. "We know Fox would love to do one, and we'd love to do one, but there's no plan to do one at the moment," "Simpsons" producer David Silverman told Moviefone. "There just isn't. Literally, it could change tomorrow. But at the moment, I don't know. The short answer is this: as Homer boldly said in 'Blood Feud,' 'I don't know!'"
5. "Ghostbusters 3"
Dan Akyroyd is keen to make "Ghostbusters 3," but not original star Bill Murray. "I can tell you he won't be involved," Aykroyd said to Metro. "It's sad but we're passing it on to a new generation. 'Ghostbusters 3' can be a successful movie without Bill. My preference would be to have him involved but at this point he doesn't seem to be coming and we have to move on. It's time to make the third one." Even without Murray, progress on "Ghostbusters 3" is still moving in some capacity. Just last November, Emma Stone and Jonah Hill were rumored as possible stars.
And Some Sequels That Actually Exist
"Star Wars: Episode VII" is coming out in 2015 (along with "Episodes VIII & IX" and lovable character-centric films in the years to come); "Superman vs. Batman" ("Man of Steel 2"), meanwhile, just saw its release date delayed to May 6, 2016.