30 Longest Sequel Gaps

American Wedding (2003) / American Reunion (2012)

How Many Years Between Sequels: Nine years.

Do They Acknowledge The Gap? Wisely ignoring the 'non-canon' DTV sequels that only Eugene Levy bothered to turn up for (well, the mortgage isn't going to pay itself), Reunion actually picks up 13 years after the events of Wedding .

Jim (Jason Biggs) is ensconced in sex-free married life when he heads home for his high-school reunion.

Cue the expected sex gags, full-frontal nudity and drunken misadventures. Some things never change.

Men In Black II (2002) / Men In Black 3 (2012)

How Many Years Between Sequels: An even decade.

Do They Acknowledge The Gap? Yep, MIB3 is set exactly 10 years after MIB2 - the rest obviously did the series some good; the threequel went on to become the highest-grossing entry in the entire franchise.

Taking a leaf out of the Back To The Future series' book, MIB3 sees Agent J (Will Smith) travelling back to the '60s to fight evil alien criminal Boris the Animal (Jemaine Clement). Groovy.

The Sting (1973) / The Sting II (1983)

How Many Years Between Sequels : 10 years.

Do They Acknowledge The Gap? Sort of but not really. This sequel changes all of the first names of the lead characters (and recasts them, obviously) while also retroactively amending some of the events of the first film.

Weirdly, nobody seemed to mind - the film received positive reviews and even earned an Oscar nomination for its musical score.

" The Sting II is inspired by and is an expansion of the first Sting , rather than a continuation," explained director Jeremy Kagan.

The X-Files: Fight The Future (1998) / The X-Files: I Want To Believe (2008)

How Many Years Between Sequels: An 'Even Steven' 10 years.

Do They Acknowledge The Gap? Time has definitely passed when we catch up with Agents Mulder (David Duchovny) and Scully (Gillain Anderson).

It's been six years since the TV series ended and a decade since they were last on the big screen together, which means we get a standalone supernatural thriller co-starring (perhaps most bizarrely) Billy Connolly.

Toy Story 2 (1999) / Toy Story 3 (2010)

How Many Years Between Sequels: A toy-troubling 11 years.

Do They Acknowledge The Gap? Unlike most animated sequels, Pixar actually acknowledge the passing of time with their third toy story.

Now, Andy has grown up, and in the process he's outgrown the likes of Woody (Tom Hanks) and Buzz (Tim Allen). As he prepares for college, he also prepares to dump his one-time best buds.

The sequel gap didn't stop audiences welcoming the toys back with open arms - Toy Story 3 was the highest-grossing film of 2010 and the first animated movie to cross the $1bn threshold.

Scream 3 (2000) / Scream 4 (2011)

How Many Years Between Sequels: 11 stab-free years.

Do They Acknowledge The Gap?
Well, the fourquel's tagline read 'New decade, new rules', so it at least acknowledges that 10 years have passed, if not the full 11.

Not that things have exactly changed much for the residents of Woodsboro, especially when perennial survivor Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) returns on the last leg of her book tour.

Cue a return, also, for the murderous Ghostface, who this time seems to be following the rules of movie remakes.

Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) / Terminator 3: Rise Of The Machines (2003)

How Many Years Between Sequels: A time-warping 12 years.

Do They Acknowledge The Gap? Of course - the entire franchise is predicated on the carefully-adhered-to timeline that James Cameron kicked off with 1984's The Terminator.

T3 is just the next stop in the life of John Connor, who was a 10-year-old in T2 and is now a twenty-something living off the grid (played by Nick Stahl).

Even the T-800 has somehow aged, an issue Schwarzenegger addressed recently when he argued that "the Terminator's flesh ages, just like any other human being's flesh". Alright, Arnie, if you say so.

Clerks (1994) / Clerks II (2006)

How Many Years Between Sequels: A slovenly, meandering 12 years.

Do They Acknowledge The Gap? Pretty much, though it rounds that 12 years down to an even 10, mostly so that the characters can complain that an entire decade's gone by with nothing changing.

Until, that is, the Quick Stop convenience store burns down and Dante (Brian O'Halloran) and Randal (Jeff Anderson) are forced to get new jobs. Oh life…

Muppets From Space (1999) / The Muppets (2011)

How Many Years Between Sequels: A fuzz-free 12 years.

Do They Acknowledge The Gap? Not only do star/writer Jason Segel and director James Bobin acknowledge that gap, they also acknowledge the fact that the Muppets are no longer the kings and queens of fuzzy comedy that they used to be.

It's a brave move that instils The Muppets with pathos to spare for a nostalgic ride in which Kermit attempts to reunite the separated Muppet Show players in order to save the Muppet Studios.

The next sequel, Muppets Most Wanted , only took three years to get made…

Exorcist II: The Heretic (1977) / The Exorcist III (1990)

How Many Years Between Sequels: A spooky 13 years. (Really, what are the chances?)

Do They Acknowledge The Gap? The Exorcist III is actually set 15 years after the first film (though 17 years have passed in real-time), completely ignoring the much-maligned Exorcist II: The Heretic.

Written by William Peter Blatty, E3 returns the series to its sinister roots, picking up with copper William F. Kinderman (George C. Scott) as he investigates the murder of a 12-year-old boy.

Bizarrely, the film had to be reshot to include an actual exorcism at the climax…

Josh Winning has worn a lot of hats over the years. Contributing Editor at Total Film, writer for SFX, and senior film writer at the Radio Times. Josh has also penned a novel about mysteries and monsters, is the co-host of a movie podcast, and has a library of pretty phenomenal stories from visiting some of the biggest TV and film sets in the world. He would also like you to know that he "lives for cat videos..." Don't we all, Josh. Don't we all.