I think the idea of Hollywood trying to be very original sounds great, but it’s not really going to happen. There are a lot of reasons, but just take a look at what happened when Jupiter Rising was released. Original, and it bombed.
Instead, Hollywood likes the safety of a built-in audience, and as we can see from movies like Blade Runner 2049 and Tron: Legacy, they’re not that picky about how long ago a movie was originally made.
With that in mind, here are some movies that Hollywood should seriously look at making sequels out of.
This was from back when George Lucas could still make decent movies. Willow wasn’t that much of a departure from the Star Wars franchise in the grand scheme of things. People could do things via mystical powers that others couldn’t. Roguish badasses protected naive travelers who hadn’t ventured far from home, and so on.
That said, Willow was still pretty original and it was also a hell of a lot of fun.
While the story was fairly complete, there was still an entire world to explore. We know this because Lucas teamed up with Chris Claremont of X-Men comics fame and put out a couple of books that continued the story with an older Elora Danan.
However, that’s no excuse not to put the story on film or, even better, go original. Now that Disney owns Lucasfilms, perhaps we’ll get that opportunity. After all, the first movie was good family fun. That’s right up Disney’s alley.
4. Close Encounters of the Third Kind
Coming out around the same time as the original Star Wars, it is often forgotten. But Close Encounters was a phenomenal movie in its own right. Based around humans meeting aliens for the first time, the original movie ended with Richard Dreyfus being taken into the alien spaceship and carted off to who knows where.
That opens up a ton of possible stories.
It also wouldn’t be the first Steven Spielberg movie that would have sequels. The film legend’s Back to the Future and Gremlins both spawned franchises that did fairly well.
There’s no reason Close Encounters couldn’t do the same thing. Frankly, I’ve always wondered what happened next. Did the aliens and humans open up a dialog and get to know one another? Was it a prelude to interstellar war? Just what happened?
All of those could be answered in a new film.
3. They Live
When you think of awesome movies, you don’t tend to think of movies starring former WWF stars like “Rowdy” Roddy Piper, but They Live is a cult classic. Ostensibly a criticism of consumerism, conformity, and any number of other topics, the movie takes on a special significance in a world where people are expected to adhere to social justice orthodoxy regardless of how ridiculous it may seem.
However, as the original film ended, it seemed the aliens who had taken over so much of our world were doomed. After all, the whole world could see them for what they were.
But what happened next?
We’d like to think we rebelled and overthrew the new oppressors, but did we? There are a lot of possibilities out there to explore in future movies.
While Piper died in 2015, his character was fatally wounded at the end of the film, so there would be no need to recast the part. In fact, most of the key characters failed to survive the movie, so there’s no reason to try and recast original actors at all. Sounds like a recipe for success to me.
2. Big Trouble in Little China
It’s like old Jack Burton always said: a great movie is timeless, and that’s certainly true of Big Trouble in Little China. While Hollywood has been looking at remaking this one, I think it would be better off making a sequel that could build off the awesomeness of the original.
The ending of the film hinted at much more to come, with a monster stowing away on Burton’s rig and opening with a discussion of some major explosion involving Burton to some degree. That leaves a lot of unanswered questions.
The continuation was apparently explored in comic format, but that’s certainly no reason to not tell the story on the big screen. After all, Kurt Russell’s Jack Burton was perhaps the most competently incompetent protagonist in film history, meaning that he was good enough to plausibly survive. But let’s face it, he wasn’t exactly John Wick.
That was kind of endearing, in the grand scheme of things, and I think a lot of people would love to see it on the big screen again.
1. The Last Starfighter
The Last Starfighter may be one of the most underrated movies of the 1980s. It featured video games, science fiction space battles, and a teenage protagonist doing stuff he had no business doing because he was the only one to do it.
It may be one of the most ’80s movies ever.
It was also a really good movie that actually holds up pretty well all these years later. In fact, if you just updated the CGI — one of the first films to use it extensively — and maybe changed a few vehicles here or there and it wouldn’t look like it was filmed all that long ago. Not many movies can do that.
The film made a profit despite being blasted as not being particularly original, but I think the critics claiming that were incredibly shortsighted. All they saw were space battles and thought, “Ah, Star Wars.” Instead, The Last Starfighter is a pretty original movie in how it sets up the climactic battle and even the resolution.
Meanwhile, there are a ton of stories left to be told. Did Alex rebuild the Starfighter Legion? Did he press for Earth to be included? What happened to Xur?
The possibilities are endless.
While you would have to figure out how to handle the loss of Robert Preston, that would only be difficult in matching the man’s talent. As his character was wearing a mask, the visual aspects aren’t difficult.
So what about you? What movies do you think are all but begging for a sequel?