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Why We Didn't See More Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants Movies

Amber Tamblyn, Blake Lively, America Ferrera and Alexis Bledel in Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants
(Image credit: Warner Bros)

One of the most lasting pastimes to enjoy with a group of friends is going shopping together. And in 2005’s Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, four best friends found a unique pair of jeans that could fit all of them, despite their variety of body types and heights. The young women played by Alexis Bledel, America Ferrera, Blake Lively and Amber Tamblyn then decided to trade the pants throughout their first summer apart and write to each other about their adventures. Over fifteen years since the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants movies debuted, they remain to be favorites among those who grew up with them. But, why didn’t we see more? 

There’s a troubling trend in Hollywood when YA books become movies. In the past we’ve broken down what happened to the cancelled Percy Jackson franchise, the axed Divergent films, broken down the journey of the Maze Runner trilogy and Narnia’s unfortunate goodbye. Now let’s look at the history of the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants movies and why the story has yet to continue. 

America Ferrera and Amber Tamblyn in Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants

(Image credit: Warner Bros)

How Many Sisterhood Of The Traveling Pants Movies Have We Seen?

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants movies began in 2005 as the YA titles written by Ann Brashares were popular on bookshelves and continued to unfold between the pages of the series. Ken Kwapis helmed the dramedy from Warner Bros following his success with 2003’s About A Boy. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants assembled a talented cast that included Amber Tamblyn as the blue-haired outcast Tibby, Alexis Bledel as shy artist Lena, America Ferrera as hot-headed Carmen and Blake Lively as soccer player Bridget. 

The first movie was succeeded by a 2008 sequel called The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2, which was helmed by music video director Sanaa Hamri. Both films were written by Elizabeth Chandler. Whereas the first movie was based on Brashares’ first book, the second film jumped to storylines from the fourth Sisterhood novel Forever In Blue along with incorporating elements of the first sequel The Second Summer of the Sisterhood and the third book Girls in Pants. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 could have acted as an ending to the series, but the characters’ storylines could have continued. But following the 2008 movie, there have been no other Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants movies to further the YA franchise. 

Amber Tamblyn, Alexis Bledel, America ferrera and Blake Lively in Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2

(Image credit: Warner Bros)

Were There Plans For More Sisterhood Of The Traveling Pants Movies? 

When the actresses at the center of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants movies , Alexis Bledel was 22, Amber Tamblyn was 20, America Ferrera was 19 and Blake Lively was 16 playing high school students. Following the release of the sequel, they were each five years older, which would turn their YA characters into adults. It’s understandable that not all four books could be adapted into movies in this case, and screenwriter Elizabeth Chandler seemed to compensate for this by drawing heavily from the last book of the first four Sisterhood books, Forever In Blue for The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2

In the case of these movies then, the movie franchise skipped past the novels and chose to tell the story in two movies rather than adapting all four books separately. That being said, three years after The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 was released, Sisterhood author Ann Brashares published a fifth book called Sisterhood Everlasting. This installment of the series sees Tibby, Lena, Carmen and Bridget as grownups with careers and romances, and longing to reunite their sisterhood, despite the jeans being long gone. The existence of Sisterhood Everlasting has brought about the desire for another movie past its YA roots. 

Blake Lively in Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants

(Image credit: Warner Bros)

Why We Haven’t Seen More Sisterhood Of The Traveling Pants Movies

Both Sisterhood films made about the same amount of money at the box office, making around $43 million each at an average of a $26 million budget. Both of them were met with overall positive reviews from critics and audiences alike. The main corner the franchise seems to have been backed into is the issue of time and the decision to fuse multiple books into the 2008 sequel. Following The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2, Alexis Bledel had just wrapped seven seasons her successful show Gilmore Girls, Blake Lively had just begun her six year journey on Gossip Girl, America Ferrera was in the midst of starring in Ugly Betty and Amber Tamblyn was on the brink of a regular role on House

Unlike some other YA book to movie stories, the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants movies don’t necessarily have a sad ending, just a short and sweet one. These movies remain beloved to its audiences and the actresses’ roles in the movies made these young women stars in their own right even today. And yet, Sisterhood Everlasting remains on the shelf yet to be adapted. 

Alexis Bledel in the sisterhood of the traveling pants 2, in greece

(Image credit: Warner Bros)

Will There Be Future Sisterhood Of The Traveling Pants Movies?

While there has yet to be any more Sisterhood movies, throughout the past few years there have been hints that Hollywood is attempting to revitalize these movies. Back in 2014, The Hollywood Reporter shared that there were plans to adapt Sisterhood Everlasting into a movie directed by Ken Kwapis once again from a screenplay by Liz Garcia. Like the book, the movie would pick up with the four friends a decade after the events of the fourth summer with the traveling pants as adults with a girls trip reunion. 

Since then, the movie has yet to be made, but Bledel, Ferrera, Lively and Tamblyn remain close friends, sharing pictures of their reunions every so often. In 2016, Ferrera shared this photo of the Sisterhood women back together: 

In 2016, Blake Lively spoke to the potential of a third Sisterhood movie, telling SiriusXM there was a “strong” chance it could happen, also saying this: 

The four of us are such strong friends and to be able to create something together again is always something that’s been a dream of ours, but it would have to be something that really made sense. If you wait this long to do a third movie, it needs to honor the story and legacy. What’s neat about it is I was 16 when I did the first film and I was playing a sixteen year old and now I’m 28 and I’d be playing a 28 year old, or whatever movie we’d make the age if we end up making it… We wouldn’t be making a movie for sixteen year olds again, we’d be making a movie, trusting our audience grew up with us and I think that’d be a really interesting thing to explore.

And in 2018, Alexis Bledel shared on The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon that she had “just pitched a third movie” and was hoping it would come together. Blake Lively continued to echo those sentiments the same year, sharing they were “trying to get it made” on Live with Kelly and Ryan. Earlier that year, Deadline reported that a stage musical based on the story was being developed as well. In 2021, Blake Lively and Amber Tamblyn spent July 4 together, posting this:

The most recent update comes from America Ferrera in November 2021, who got cryptic on Sirius XM, sharing that a third Sisterhood movie is “unofficially, officially, unofficial that it is officially unofficially in development.” Given the four women at the center of the franchise are truly good friends and they’re interested in returning to their roles, we have hope Sisterhood Everlasting will happen someday, but for the moment, those jeans are still lost and waiting to be found once more. 

Sarah El-Mahmoud

YA genre tribute. Horror May Queen. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.