Lemony Snickets A Series Of Unfortunate Events (2004)
The Movie: Jim Carrey plays Count Olaf, who takes in three orphaned children – but only because he’s interested in their fortune.
The Sequel: Considering there’s an entire series of books under the Lemony Snicket umbrella, Paramount was clearly looking to set up a franchise.
The film’s failure to hit Harry Potter -style box office success all but doomed it as a franchise, however.
Why It Should Have Happened: Lemony Snicket was a delightfully kooky kids film that – like The Addams Family films – wasn’t afraid to go to pretty dark places.
We want more.
I Am Number Four (2011)
The Movie: Adaptation of writing duo Pittacus Lore’s first Lorien Legacies bestseller, with Brit Alex Pettyfer starring as alien-in-human-flesh Number Four.
The Sequel: A sequel was being prepped – an adaptation of second book The Power Of Six – but poor returns for I Am Number Four meant it was all but forgotten about at Disney.
Why It Should Have Happened: Teresa Palmer’s alien Number Six was one of the best things about I Am Number Four (she even walks away from exploding buildings without looking back).
And with that character pushed to the fore in the sequel, it’s a shame she never got to amp it up with a Six-centric follow-up.
Battlefield Earth (2000)
The Movie: John Travolta heads up this adaptation of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard’s, um, ambitious sci-fi novel. (It’s terrible.)
The Sequel: Travolta had ambitiously planned a sequel to his sci-fi extravaganza, but the caterwhauling reviews the film received (not to mention a pathetic $30m at the box office) soon killed that idea.
Why It Should Have Happened: Alright, Battlefield Earth ’s a campy mess, but the concept itself is alright.
A double bill of Battlefield Earth films plus a six pack of beer sounds about right.
The Spirit (2008)
The Movie: After the success of Sin City , Frank Miller takes on a his first solo directing credit for this adaptation of his own comic.
The Sequel: Lionsgate were keen to sign Miller up for two sequels to The Spirit.
When the film landed and was ravaged by critics, though, they quickly changed their minds…
Why It Should Have Happened: Visually, The Spirit is gorgeous.
Sure, it lacks any human or emotional weight, but that’s something that could’ve been worked on with the sequel.
Lost In Space (1998)
The Movie: An update of the '60s TV serial, with Friends moppet Matt LeBlanc playing the hero who goes up against Gary Oldman’s smarmy villain.
The Sequel: Though the original tipped Titanic off the box office top spot, Lost In Space suffered scathing reviews and a lacklustre BO haul.
Why It Should Have Happened: As an alternative to Star Wars and Star Trek, Lost In Space had definite potential.
If a sequel could have settled on a tone (the original’s an odd camp-serious identity crisis in motion), we could’ve had something special.
Super Mario Bros (1993)
The Movie: Bob Hoskins and John Leguizamo bring plumber brothers Mario and Luigi to the big screen in this rather colourful adaptation of the popular video game.
The Sequel: A sequel was planned for Rocky Morton and Annabel Jankel’s movie, but lack of interest saw it shelved.
Meanwhile, Hoskins called the film “the worst thing I ever did”.
Why It Should Have Happened: The Super Mario Bros movie is insane. That’s why it’ll always have a special place in our hearts.
We’re sure a sequel would hit that same spot.
The Love Guru (2008)
The Movie: Mike Myers plays the titular guru, Maurice Pitka, who’s brought in to help poor old hockey player Darren (Romany Malco) with his stress levels.
The Sequel: Myers was so confident about turning Guru into a franchise that he was talking about a trilogy before production on the first film had even kicked in.
Sadly, the film was a critical and box office flop.
Why It Should Have Happened: Austin Powers got better and better with its sequels.
Could the same have happened with The Love Guru ? We’ll never know…
The Movie: Dwayne Johnson and Karl Urban head up this video game adaptation, which has Marines heading to Mars on a retrieval mission.
The Sequel: “Personally I'd like to do another Doom movie - I thought working with it was a blast,” said video game developer Todd Hollenshead in 2008.
It’s still yet to happen – probably because nobody would dare fund it.
Why It Should Have Happened: The game, quite frankly, is awesome. If a sequel played more to that strength, we’d happily sit through it.
Wing Commander (1999)
The Movie: The sizzling on-screen duo that is Freddie Prinze Jr and Matthew Lillard play cocky young pilots in this video game adap.
The Sequel: Yep, Wing Commander was meant to launch an entire franchise of air-swooshing adventures.
Obviously that never happened.
Why It Should Have Happened: Hey, if Scooby-Doo can get a sequel, why not Wing Commander ?
The Golden Compass (2007)
The Movie: Adaptation of the first in Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials book series, in which young Lyra (Dakota Blue Richards) sets off on a quest to find her kidnapped friend.
The Sequel: The Subtle Knife is the second in Pullman’s trilogy.
But lacklustre reviews for Golden Compass – which had much of its more controversial stuff snipped out for the big screen – means we’ll never see it with this cast and crew.
Why It Should Have Happened: Pullman’s trilogy goes from strength to strength, and gets more mature and complicated as it goes along.
Not exactly ideal for the kind of audience New Line were targeting, but great for adults.
Speed Racer (2008)
The Movie: The Wachowskis’ first directorial effort since their Matrix movies, this adap of the ‘60s anime stars Emile Hirsch as the titular speedster.
The Sequel: “We talked about this being 3D,” said producer Joel Silver in 2008.
“We actually discussed this being 3D... Maybe if we make a sequel, I mean, they have a story for a sequel and if they make it…”
It never happened.
Why It Should Have Happened: Speed Racer’ s candy-cane visuals were entertaining to say the least, and would look fantastic in 3D.
With a better script and that same eye for out-of-this-world images, a sequel wouldn’t be totally unwelcome.
The Movie: Clive Cussler’s 11th Dirk Pitt book launches onto the big screen, with Matthew McConaughey playing the rough-and-tumbling adventurer.
The Sequel: Clive Cussler pretty much dumped on any franchise prospects when he filed a lawsuit against the film’s producer, arguing he was never consulted about the film’s script.
We doubt Paramount would touch a sequel with a bargepole after that.
Why It Should Have Happened: In lieu of Indiana Jones , this was the closest thing we had (well, it’s true).
Plus, with McConaughey on a career up-draft, we reckon he’d only get involved again if the script was super-sharp.
Come on, somebody write it.
The Shadow (1994)
The Movie: Comic hero The Shadow (Alec Baldwin) leaps from the comic-book pages onto the big screen as Universal Pictures attempt to cash in on the success of Burton’s Batman .
The Sequel: The Shadow was swallowed up in the rush of small-budget superhero capers released in the early ‘90s, which meant nobody was exactly clamouring for a follow-up.
Why It Should Have Happened: The Shadow is a great comic-book character – come on, who doesn’t love a crime-fighting psychic?
Universal could’ve at least tried the reboot route before burying the fella.
The Avengers (1998)
The Movie: A movie update of the ‘60s series, with Ralph Fiennes and Uma Thurman playing John Steed and Emma Peel.
The Sequel: Considering the film was nominated for a whopping 10 Golden Raspberries (it won one – Worst Remake), you’d have to be mad to take on a sequel.
Why It Should Have Happened: Sure, the film’s a hot mess, but Fiennes and Thurman were decent in their roles, stirring up a fun chemistry.
Give them a sequel where they’re not drowned out by loud, silly CGI, and there could have been something there.
They might have to change the name though.
The Spiderwick Chronicles (2008)
The Movie: Based on Holly Black and Tony DiTerlizzi’s successful book series.
A trio of kids who move into a new house uncover a fantastical new world.
The Sequel: There was plenty of material from the book series that could have been developed in any sequels to Chronicles .
Sadly, the film's box office returns, though strong, failed to meet the Harry Potter -levels that Paramount was looking for.
End of franchise.
Why It Should Have Happened: Equipped with a sense of fun and some surprisingly affecting pathos, this was one of the best post- Potter kiddie magic films.
Wild Wild West (1999)
The Movie: Steampunk western based on the ‘60s TV series. Will Smith and Kevin Kline are gun-wielding heroes. In sunglasses.
The Sequel: Any sequel prospects were quickly shot down when the film opened to almost unanimously scathing reviews.
Why It Should Have Happened: Smith and Kline’s rapport was a particular highlight of the film, and while it’s an outlandish mess, it’s still enjoyably silly.
The Seeker (2007)
The Movie: Based on the second book in Susan Cooper’s young adult series, with 14-year-old Will (Alexander Ludwig) discovering he belongs to an age-old group of warriors.
The Sequel: The original film was panned for being too much like Potter , even though the book series was written long before Rowling’s Boy Wizard ever winked into life.
Hence no sequels.
Why It Should Have Happened: Cooper’s series is endlessly inventive and deserved a better shot at the big screen.
The Saint (1997)
The Movie: Loosely based on the character created in the 1920s for a series of books. Val Kilmer plays The Saint, a master of disguise and a robber’s worst enemy.
The Sequel: With its ominous ending, The Saint is obviously pushing for a franchise.
Sadly, nobody cared about The Saint, and his hopes of a franchise were buried.
Why It Should Have Happened: Now a cult hit, we could’ve handled Kilmer trying on more beard-y disguises in the name of fun.
Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins (1985)
The Movie: An action-adventure in the Bond mould, based on the Destroyer paperback series.
The Sequel: That sub-head, The Adventure Begins , clearly hints there was a franchise in the offing here.
Sadly, Remo’s first big screen adventure looked cheap and had little-known Fred Ward in the lead role.
Why It Should Have Happened: Remo Williams is a decent Bond-alike with some cool ideas.
This franchise-in-the-making deserved more than the inglorious end it got.
The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen (2003)
The Movie: Very loosely based on Alan Moore’s comic series, with Victorian superheroes battling supernatural foes.
The Sequel: Everything that could go wrong and prevent a sequel did.
Fox dumped many of the defining comic-book elements for the film.
A writer sued the company for having a similar script to his.
Sean Connery hated his director...
After all that, Moore turned his back on Hollywood.
And who can blame him?
Why It Should Have Happened: There’s loads of great stuff in Moore’s comics that was just begging to hit the big screen.
The Assassin (1993)
The Movie: A remake of Luc Besson’s French film Nikita , with Bridget Fonda drafted in as the ex-druggy assassin.
The Sequel: A potential franchise was canned when The Assassin failed to drub up decent business at the box office.
Why It Should Have Happened: Just look how good the recent Nikita TV series is.
Now imagine that on the big screen.
The Movie: King of cinematic destruction Roland Emmerich leaps from Independence Day to an American version of Godzilla , transporting the giant lizard to New York.
The Sequel: Despite the fact that the original film ends with a sequel-bating moment in which a lone Godzilla egg hatches, dire reviews meant that all plans for a follow-up were abandoned upon the film’s release.
Why It Should Have Happened: It shouldn’t. Why? Now we get Gareth Edwards’ ( Monsters ) reboot, which looks phenomenal. Phew.
Planet Of The Apes (2001)
The Movie: Tim Burton’s franchise-straining reboot of the ‘68 classic, with Mark Wahlberg as an astronaut who lands on a planet populated with talking monkeys.
The Sequel: Fox hedged their bets slightly here – they would only push forward with a greenlight if Burton’s film was financially successful.
Burton’s response to making a sequel? “I'd rather jump out a window.” Right then…
Why It Should Have Happened: Actually, it shouldn’t. If it had, we may never have gotten Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes , which was simply awesome.
Howard The Duck (1986)
The Movie: Based on the Marvel comic, this big screen adaptation follows Howard, the alien who arrives on Earth in duck-form.
The Sequel: Brought to the big screen by a franchise-obsessed George Lucas, Howard The Duck was just the latest series that Lucas wanted to turn into a profitable franchise.
Sadly, he dumped the comic’s satire for a effects-heavy, massively sanitised take on the original material.
Nobody wanted a sequel.
Why It Should Have Happened: If a sequel had stuck more closely to the original comics, we’d have been right at the front of the queue…
The Movie: Adaptation of Todd McFarlane’s awesome comic-book series about a soldier who’s killed and resurrected as Spawn, the leader of Hell’s army.
The Sequel: Plans for a sequel have been in development hell ever since Spawn was released.
Because of the original film’s poor box office receipts, though, Spawn 2 is still yet to happen.
Why It Should Have Happened: It may still happen, mind, according to McFarlane, who apparently started writing the script in 2009.
“The movie idea is neither a recap or continuation,” he says.
“It is a standalone story that will be R-rated. Creepy and scary … The tone of this Spawn movie will be for more older audience. Like the film The Departed .”
Please make this happen.
The Punisher (1989)
The Movie: Based on the Marvel Comics character. Dolph Lundgren dons black as Frank Castle, better known as vigilante The Punisher.
The Sequel: Distributor New World’s financial difficulties meant that The Punisher lost out on a theatrical release.
Paired with the lack of identifiable skull t-shirt, our hero failed to find his comic-book audience and a sequel was lost to time.
Why It Should Have Happened: Any film that has Dolph looking mean and firing a gun gets our vote.
And as The Punisher comics' greatest creative period came in the '90s, it's shame we didn't get an accompanying film franchise.
Rumour has hit Frank's next incarnation will be a TV series. Let's hope it's good.
Van Helsing (2004)
The Movie: Monster hunter Van Helsing (Hugh Jackman) fights classic movie monsters with a little help from Kate Beckinsale.
The Sequel: Universal president Ron Meyer personally asked director Stephen Sommers if he’d sign up for a sequel.
That idea was abandoned when the film opened to a dismal $51m.
Why It Should Have Happened: Jackman’s good in just about everything (yeah, even Paperback Hero ). Even this.
So to see him carry on slaying things as Helsing would’ve been a perfectly acceptable way to spend a Sunday afternoon at the pictures.
The Movie: Ben Affleck broods in Fox’s adaptation of the comic book series. He's Daredevil, the world’s first blind superhero.
The Sequel: “There are many more stories to be told with old Hornhead and we'd love to tell them someday,” said producer Kevin Feige in 2004.
Meanwhile, Affleck stated he’d only return if the series went darker.
By 2006, he’d bid the potential franchise farewell for good.
Why It Should Have Happened: Daredevil isn’t quite as bad as many people claim, and with Affleck keen to take the series in a darker direction, it's a shame we'll never see it happen.
We've got a feeling what Affleck would say if they approached him now.
And it sounds a lot like Argo 's main catchphrase.
The Movie: Angelina Jolie kicks bottoms as the titular agent, who may or may not be a Russian spy working in America.
The Sequel: “If there ever is a sequel,” mused director Phillip Noyce, “better it's directed by someone with a completely fresh take on what I believe could be a totally entertaining and complex series of stories.”
A script is being written, but who’s to say if this will ever happen?
Why It Should Have Happened: Salt wanted to be a female version of Bourne , which is an admirable ambition.
Fingers crossed a sequel could develop that idea beyond the block-busting meathead mentality of the original.
Tango & Cash (1989)
The Movie: Sylvester Stallone and Kurt Russell star as LAPD narcotics detectives who are lumped together in order to bring down on a criminal genius.
The Sequel: Rumours of a sequel started doing the rounds in 2010 when a source revealed:
“Sly thinks there is still a story to be told with Tango and Cash and the chemistry between the two characters would be even more interesting now they are older.”
Nothing’s been said about it since.
Why It Should Have Happened: Stallone and Russell still have star power, and their chemistry in Tango & Cash is undeniably bright. Why not, eh?
Mrs Doubtfire (1993)
The Movie: Robin Williams dresses up as a Scottish maid/nanny in order to get close to his kids after separating from his wife (Sally Field).
The Sequel: A decade after Mrs Doubtfire became a runaway family hit, Fox decided they fancied a sequel.
Bonnie Hunt was hired to write a script. Robin Williams signed on.
Then he opted out, arguing the script was too weak.
Why It Should Have Happened: The sequel’s plot had Mrs Doubtfire returning after Williams’ daughter goes off to college.
Sounds fun – but did Williams do us a favour by saying no?
The Long Kiss Goodnight (1996)
The Movie: Action thriller in which Samantha Caine (Geena Davis) discovers she’s actually Charly Baltimore, a CIA assassin.
The Sequel: Though a sequel has been talked about since 2007, nothing’s happened yet…
Why It Should Have Happened: Geena Davis turned out to be a surprisingly kick-ass heroine.
Get her back and you’re golden.
The Caine Identity, anyone?
Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me (1992)
The Movie: David Lynch steers his cancelled TV series onto the cinema canvas.
The Sequel: Fire Walk With Me was part of a deal Lynch cut to create a trilogy of Twin Peaks films.
Sadly, most of the show’s cast refused to sign on (that old type-casting chestnut) and so the film alienated both fans and non-fans with a confusing redo of the Laura Palmer mystery.
Why It Should Have Happened: There’s nothing out there quite like Twin Peaks . Sure, some argue Lynch over-played his hand, but we’d still kill for more Peaks action.
Prince Of Persia: The Sands Of Time (2010)
The Movie: Video game adaptation starring Jake Gyllenhaal as the sword-wielding Dastan, an orphan born of royal blood.
The Sequel: A sequel would have continued Dastan’s sandy quests, armed with the Dagger of Time.
Sadly, bleak box office returns on the original all-but doomed the prospects of a follow-up.
Why It Should Have Happened: Sure, the first one was a bit dull, but Gyllenhaal made for a surprisingly efficient action hero, so it’s a shame we won’t get to see him growing out the hair again.
Dick Tracy (1990)
The Movie: Bubblegum colourful comic strip adap following the titular detective (played by Warren Beatty) as he takes on Big Boy, Mumbles and Flattop.
The Sequel: Beatty was keen to do a sequel, but soon after the first film’s release he found himself fighting a legal dispute with Dick Tracy publisher Tribune Media Services.
Why It Should Have Happened: It could still happen.
Warren Beatty revealed just last year he’s attempting to push a belated sequel into pre-production.
Watch this space.
The Phantom (1996)
The Movie: Adapted from Lee Falk’s comic book. Billy Zane dons the skull ring and tight pink catsuit as the Phantom.
The Sequel: Zane was all signed up and good to go on a number of sequels.
Sadly, low ticket sales for the first Phantom meant he never got the call to come back.
A reboot, The Phantom Legacy , is currently being planned.
Why It Should Have Happened: The Phantom remains a sunny, positive-thinking superhero movie with some fun stylistic choices.
We would've liked to see that developed across sequels.
Mystery Men (1999)
The Movie: Ben Stiller, Janeane Garofalo, Eddie Izzard and Greg Kinnear unite for a cinematic adaptation of Bob Burden’s Flaming Carrots Comics spin-off.
The Sequel : Despite the big names involved, Mystery Men was all but ignored by mass audiences upon release, meaning nobody would fund a follow-up.
Why It Should Have Happened: The comic series had tons of potential with stacks of superhero satire going for it. Back in the ‘90s, that wasn’t particularly appealing.
Now, when superheroes are everywhere, it would work great. Belated sequel, anyone?