Later this week, when Zoolander 2 finally hits theaters, it will be the culmination of a 15-year journey since the first film, which introduced the world to Blue Steel in 2001. We haven’t seen it yet, but if it lives up to the hopes and expectations of fans of the original, it will join a club of other movies with sequels that took a long time to arrive, but that were worth the delay.

Long-gestating sequels are nothing new—there were a bunch last year—but they don’t always deliver on the love for the earlier films. Godfather 3 arrived more than a decade and a half after Godfather 2, but wasn’t everything fans hoped for. Still, sometimes the time off was well used and served to deliver something special. After all, wouldn’t you rather filmmakers take their time and get it right that just crap out a quick sequel? With that in mind we thought we’d take a look at some of our favorite sequels that took forever getting here, but were well worth every second we waited.

There are, of course, tons more, so you should let us know your favorites in the comments.

JW
Mad Max: Fury Road
Mad Max: Fury Road was hands down my favorite movie of 2015. George Miller’s return to the post-apocalyptic wastes took 30 years to arrive in theaters—during production, it often looked like it was doomed to fall apart—but holy hell, was it ever worth it. A scorching, nearly non-stop chase scene from start to finish, Tom Hardy took over the Max Rockatansky role from Mel Gibson and delivers an almost mute, feral performance. With Charlize Theron playing one of the biggest badasses we’ve seen on screen in some time, Miller turned in a thoughtful, critical look at the modern world filtered through insane action and a ruined world, and showed the world that he still has more than a few tricks up his sleeve.

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