Today’s List: Movie Sequels (and One Prequel) I’d Like to See

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MORE IN THE ‘SERIES’? | How does it end for Jim Carrey, orphans? 

Many great movies don’t lend themselves to sequels. But the reality of film-making and audiences is that eight of the top 10 all-time movies (from a box office standpoint) in U. S. history aren’t “stand-alone” films…they either kicked off a series or were part of a series. And check anyone’s list of worst movies ever made, and no doubt you’ll find some sequels there as well (see “Babe: Pig in the City,” for starters; “Babe” is a great piece of movie-making; the sequel was horrid).

Then there sequels you wish would be made. Here are four I’d like to see…plus a prequel…

Sequel: Lemony Snickett’s A Series of Unfortunate Events
This is simply one of my favorite movies of all time. Based on the first three books in the “Series of Unfortunate Events” series, written by Daniel Handler (as “Lemony Snickett”) this Jim Carrey vehicle, directed by Brad Silberling, was just a fantastic trip. Everything about it – script, acting, music, photography, direction – is amazing. There’s been speculation about a follow-up, but now that the final installment of the 12-book series, aimed at children, is long gone from the best-seller lists, it’s difficult to imagine a movie ever happening. It’d be great to see how the Baudelaire orphans handle Count Olaf’s dastardly deeds on the big screen. But I couldn’t imagine it without Emily Browning and Liam Aiken, who – three-plus years after the film’s release – are getting too old to play teenagers.

Sequel: The Incredibles
Great animated film, prime for a sequel. Killed at the box office. A lotta fun. What happens next? There was talk after the success of “The Incredibles” of a follow-up, but it’s not definitively on Pixar’s radar right now. Jack-Jack is growing up, though…maybe we’ll see him at some point down the road, along with a new set of villains.

Sequel: The Princess Bride
The classic fairy tale, complete with the heroes riding off into the sunset. Wouldn’t it be great to see what happens to these incredible characters?

Sequel: American Graffiti
OK, I know it’s been WAY too long – 35 years now – for any kind of realistic follow-up to this story of 1962 high-school angst. Besides, at the end of George Lucas’ 1973 film, we get a glimpse into the future of Ron Howard, Richard Dreyfuss and company. But wouldn’t it be fun to try?

Prequel: The Transporter
“Transporter 3” is scheduled for release in 2009. I didn’t see either “Transporter” or “Transporter 2” in the theater, but rather on DVD. I thought the original in the series, which stars Jason Statham as a driver who will take anything anywhere with no questions asked, was a great, fun-filled movie. I look forward to “3,” but it’d be great to know more about the background of the mysterious Frank Martin.

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4 Responses to Today’s List: Movie Sequels (and One Prequel) I’d Like to See

  1. jonbowens says:

    One movie that I loved and thought immediately after it ended needed a sequel was “Master and Commander: the Far Side of the World.” It just ends with Russell Crow and the armless kid sailing back to Europe, with the bad guys still after them.

    Crow must’ve backed out of part 2 or something, but that movie was great and I want another one.

  2. Zachary says:

    I’d like to see a prequel to Ocean’s Eleven. Find out exactly how George Clooney ended up in jail and how Rusty met Danny.

  3. alroethlisberger says:

    I actually can’t think of too many films for which I’d want a sequel or prequel developed. I’m sure if I sat here and thought about it, I may be able to come up with a few. But in almost all cases when I hear of a good film spawning either, I say… “awww man, here comes the awful sequel that will diminish the original.” Call me a pessimist, but it’s happened all too often.

    The few sequel/prequels that really seem to work reliably are those designed as such from the start to be a series.

    …and don’t get me started on remakes. Ugh, as if there aren’t enough new quality screenplays out there to showcase and introduce to audiences.

    They did make a sequel to “American Graffiti” BTW called “More American Graffiti”. Lucas was on the writing team, but didn’t direct. Unfortunately it wasn’t very good. I think the desire for a sequel to “American Graffiti” says a lot about the quality of the screenplay though in that like other great films/literature, it didn’t tie everything up in a neat bow and left the audience/reader with the opportunity to continue imagining what may have happened before and after. Some of the best films are of this type, and I think also speaks to good character design and/or development such that the little snippet of their lives we experience is believable enough to leave us wondering what else they experienced.

    Many folks get disappointed when films/books open or close this way, but I think that if one thinks about it, the technique can serve as an effective tool to make the story more believable.

    Transporter 2 was pretty lame IMHO, and I don’t expect much from 3. But I’ll probably rent it as I like Jason. Much like Highlander, the first film was fairly low budget and rough around the edges, but that was part of its charm. Subsequent installments traded good story and action for flashy effects even more shallow screenplay. The Transporter was great at the theater BTW, so if you get a chance to see it at a small community theater, take it.

    And if you really like Jason Stratham, go see him in “Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels” or “Snatch” which the latter is so similar to “Lock” to almost be a remake, just changing up a few characters and the core story. But they are good flicks, probably his best.

    Another reason Lemony Snickett probably won’t get a sequel is that it was a flop. I’d like to see it one day with the kiddos though, as it looked interesting.

    So hey, George Romero has a new zombie flick coming out this Friday 🙂

    Al

  4. gordonanderson says:

    I can’t say I ever wanted to see a sequel to Goodfellas, which is my favorite Martin Scorsese movie and probably the best mob movie ever, but there is one. Kind of, anyway.

    When Henry Hill was in witness protection and working with Nicholas Pileggi on the book that would eventually become Goodfellas, Pileggi was married to Nora Ephron.

    Hill became close to both during that time, and many of his talks with Ephron ended up being included in a script she wrote called My Blue Heaven (Steve Martin, Rick Moranis), which as you may know, is a comedy about a mafia guy in witness protection in a very un-New York setting. Hill and Ephron have both said that many of the events in the film are taken straight from Hill’s life in witness protection — which is right where Goodfellas ends.

    I always thought that was interesting.

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