The 11 Worst Sequel Ideas to Come out of Hollywood

A follow-up to ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ is in the works? What else would they think of next, a sequel to ‘Gladiator’ where Maximus kills Jesus and fights in the Vietnam War? Yup.

It’s a Wonderful Life: The Rest of the Story

Apparently, nothing is sacred. Not even great holiday classics like It’s a Wonderful Life. Variety reported this week that a sequel to the Christmas classic was in the works. In the proposed movie, Karolyn Grimes, who played Zuzu in the original film, returns as an angel to teach George Bailey’s insufferable grandson a lesson, showing what the world would be like had he not been born. Hmmm, sounds very familiar. The producers hope to release the film during the 2015 holiday season.

Beetlejuice 2

Beetlejuice was produced on a budget of $15 million and grossed $73.7 million upon its release. With numbers like that, how could the studio not have asked Tim Burton to make a sequel? Burton was initially not keen on the idea, but has since entered talks to direct. Winona Ryder told The Daily Beast this week that she may be on board and that, although she’s “kind of sworn to secrecy,” the sequel “might be happening.” Michael Keaton has also said that the sequel is a go.

Se7en 2: Ei8ht

David Fincher’s Se7en starred Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman as two detectives investigating a series of murders that were related to the seven deadly sins. The film’s ending was clear cut and did not necessitate any follow-up. However, New Line Cinema’s vision was clouded by the dollar signs, and the company decided to develop a sequel called Ei8ght. Rather than order an original script, New Line chose to take a spec script written by Ted Griffin and Sean Bailey, in which Morgan Freeman’s character now has psychic powers. When Fincher was asked about the sequel he said, “I have less interest in that than having cigarettes put out in my eyes.”

E.T. 2: Nocturnal Fears

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial is considered to be one of the best science fiction films ever made and is loved by families everywhere. After it opened to critical and box office success, Spielberg went to work on E.T.2: Nocturnal Fears, which would have taken the cute and touching feel of the first film and ruined it. In the sequel, another ship lands on Earth, except this time it contains evil aliens, and includes a scene where the kids from the original film are tortured. Thankfully, Spielberg did not pursue it any further because he felt it “would do nothing but rob the original of its virginity.”

Forrest Gump 2: Gump and Co.

This Academy Award-winning film ended with Forrest Gump (Tom Hanks) sitting on a bench with his son Forrest, Jr., waiting for the bus to pick him up. The planned sequel entitled Gump and Co. was supposed to end with Gump sitting on the same bench, waiting for his son to come back home from school. Gump and Co. would have again found Forrest popping up in various world events and meeting many historical figures: one of whom was supposed to be O.J. Simpson (!). Director Robert Zemekis and Tom Hanks decided not to pursue the sequel any further after the Sept. 11 attacks because they felt that Forrest’s story was no longer relevant.

Casablanca 2: Brazzaville

Casablanca is constantly referred to as one of the best films of all time. At the end, Rick helps the love of his life Ilsa flee the Nazi-held Casablanca with another man, and it is implied that he and his newfound friend Louis Renault plan on joining the Free French movement in Brazzaville. In Brazzaville, it was going to be revealed that Rick was not just an American club-owner out for his own, but was in reality a U.S. spy working against the Nazis. In the end, the film was not made because Ingrid Bergman, who played Ilsa, did not agree to participate.

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Gladiator 2: Christ Killer

At the end of Gladiator, Maximus Decimus Meridius, played by Russell Crowe, dies. Despite that inconvenient bummer, Crowe still called Nick Cave—yes, that Nick Cave, the Australian rocker and screenwriter of The Proposition and Lawless—to pen the potential sequel. The result was something called Christ Killer, where Maximus becomes immortal, and “goes down to purgatory and is sent down by the gods, who are dying in heaven because there's this one god, there's this Christ character, down on Earth who is gaining popularity,” Cave said in a podcast. “And so the many gods are dying so they send Gladiator back to kill Christ and his followers.” Maximus then jumps around time, helping people: for example, he appears in World War II, in the Vietnam War, and ends the film as a general at the Pentagon. Cave said that Crowe’s reaction was, “Don’t like it, mate.” It should have been made just for the lolz.

The Breakfast Club 2

It is not surprising that there was some interest in producing a sequel to one of the best high school films ever. Director John Hughes was interested in setting it 10 years after the original film. The plan was to wait until 1994 to start working on the sequel. Unfortunately, it never happened, because Hughes eventually lost interest. “There’s no excuse that could ever put them in the same room ever again,” he said. “There isn’t anything in their lives after high school relevant to that day.”

Batman Triumphant

Batman and Robin was universally panned upon its release, and was nominated for 17 awards at the Razzies. Before Batman and Robin was released, however, Warner Bros had already started developing a Joel Schumacher-directed sequel called Batman Triumphant. Building on top of the two villains in Batman and Robin, the sequel was to include at least four: Scarecrow, the Joker (in the form of a hallucination), Harley Quinn, and an appearance by Man-Bat. It was rumored that Howard Stern would play Scarecrow and Madonna would play Harley Quinn. Jack Nicholson was also approached to reprise his role as the Joker.

Ferris Bueller 2: Another Day Off

In 2007, Rick Rapier penned a script entitled Ferris Bueller 2: Another Day Off, which found Ferris, now in his 40s, working as a motivational speaker. The script attempted to recreate the hilarity from the original as Ferris decides that he needs to take another breather. Rapier shopped the script around, but thankfully no one wanted to pick it up. Odds they realized that this movie could easily become very depressing.

Mrs. Doubtfire 2

When you think about it, the original Mrs. Doubtfire is kind of creepy. A dad dressing up as a nanny to hang around his kids is rather odd. The proposed sequel would have multiplied this creep factor by 100. In Mrs. Doubtfire 2, Robin Williams’s character follows his daughter to college in order to keep an eye on her. Williams was initially attached to the project, but dropped out later. “The script they had just didn’t work,” he said.