Waiting for you at the theater this weekend is Zoolander 2, which finally hits screens after a 15-year layoff. While early reviews of this latest adventure of really, really, ridiculously good-looking people haven’t been particularly kind, but it’s not the only long-gestating sequel that is coming down the pipeline, not by a long shot.
Long delays between sequels are nothing new, and while sometimes they don’t work out, other times they do. There were quite a few last year that lived up to their predecessors, especially the likes of Mad Max: Fury Road and Creed, and we’d much rather filmmakers take the time to get things right rather than simply serve us a half-baked follow up. Considering that, here are some upcoming sequels that have been on the way for years and years that we have high hopes for.
There are, of course, tons more of these on the way, so you should let us know what long-in-the-works sequels you’re looking forward to.
Independence Day: ResurgenceIt’s been 20 years since Roland Emmerich’s Independence Day helped make star Will Smith one of the biggest stars in the world. Even though the former Fresh Prince won’t be back for Independence Day: Resurgence later this year, the aliens will be, and that may be the most important part. In the aftermath of the first movie, the human race has used the recovered alien technology to beef up our defenses, and when the angry visitors from space return, we will need every last tool we can get our hands on. Some key players are back, including Jeff Goldblum, Vivica A. Fox, and Bill Pullman, and there will also be some new blood trying to save the day, with the likes of Liam Hemsworth, Maika Monroe, and Jessie Usher joining the party.
Blade Runner 2All the way back in 1982, Ridley Scott dropped one of the most influential science fiction movies of all time, Blade Runner, even if people didn’t quite realize it when it was released. It’s fingerprint are still readily apparent across the genre, and though it’s been talked about for years, Blade Runner 2 is finally happening. There aren’t many details to be had, but what they’ve put together is a promising start. Though he’ll produce, Ridley Scott handed the directorial reins over to Denis Villenueve (Prisoners, Sicario), Harrison Ford will reprise his role as Deckard (we’ll finally learn the answer to the question of is he or isn’t he a replicant), Ryan Gosling will reportedly play the lead, and it will all be filmed by legendary cinematographer Roger Deakins. With these pieces in place I’d watch whatever movie this is, but the fact that it’s Blade Runner 2 makes it even more intriguing.
Bad Boys 3Will Smith and Martin Lawrence haven’t teamed up as fast-talking Miami detectives Mike Lowrey and Marcus Bennett since Michael Bay’s 2003 Bad Boys 2, the most bonkers, over-the-top actioner maybe ever. Seriously they drive a Hummer down a mountain through a Cuban shantytown, and I mean through the actual structures and homes. When Bad Boys 3 hits it will have some serious crazy to live up to. As usual, we don’t know much about it, except Smith recently confirmed they're making another one. The Grey director Joe Carnahan was rumored to be in talks to take over the director’s chair from Bay (he’s also working on the script), which, while it will be a less frenetic, chaos-based movie, might just be a damn fine fit for the tale of two renegade cops taking down villains and cracking wise. And Carnahan is the guy who dropped a tank out of an airplane in The A-Team, so he’s certainly not afraid to go big.
Toy Story 4It’s rare that the third film in a franchise is the best, but that may very well be the case with Toy Story 3. It’s especially impressive when you consider how great the first two movies are. Moving, powerful, and fun as hell—not to mention it made more money than the previous films combined—it will be eight years between chapters by the time Toy Story 4 drops in 2018. The story will reportedly focus on the romance of Woody and Bo Peep and, as she was absent in Toy Story 3, it will involve Woody and Buzz attempting to track her down—one rumor even indicates they could go to Japan. John Lasseter is back to direct, along with an all-star voice cast featuring your favorite characters, and as Pixar isn’t known for just crapping out sequels, not to mention their overall track record for quality, we have high hopes for Toy Story 4.
Trainspotting 2Making the rounds to pump up his recent biopic, Steve Jobs, director Danny Boyle made it abundantly clear that he plans to make Trainspotting 2, something he has said numerous times since the first film introduced us to a crew of ne’er-do-well junkies in 1996. All of the major stars, including Ewan McGregor, Robert Carlisle, Johnny Lee Miller, and Ewen Bremner are back in their respective roles, and filming is expected to begin this year with an eye on a 2017 release. The action will reportedly pick up 20 years after Trainspotting and find Mark Renton, Sick Boy, Begbie, and Spud somehow becoming involved in the production of porn films. That sounds like an appropriate place for everyone to end up, and a perfect milieu for these lovable, yet shady rogues to operate.
Top Gun 2Whether or not Top Gun 2 is actually ever going to happen is as up in the air as the fighter planes Tom Cruise pilots through the sky as he flips off Russians. There’s been talk of it for years, even as recently as a few weeks ago when a picture of Cruise and producer Jerry Bruckheimer showed up online with a message that they met to discuss the project. Screenwriter Justin Marks was reportedly working on a script back in 2014, and Val Kilmer has said that he’ll be back as Iceman, so things are moving, but how quickly or seriously is a bit of a mystery. The plot is said to revolve around drone technology and how the dogfighting skills and prowess of the earlier generation of fighter pilots is largely something of the past and how that role has evolved, so it could be an interesting passing-of-the-torch story.
Avatar 2 (And 3 And 4)When you make the biggest movie in history, a few things are certain: there will be sequels, and those sequels will be rather highly anticipated. James Cameron isn’t following up his 2009 sci-fi blockbuster, Avatar, with just one film, either—does James Cameron ever do anything small?—no, he’s got three on the way, and they’re filming back-to-back-to-back for release in three successive years. This is one hell of an undertaking, and though the returning cast is largely in place, there have been delays in a number of arenas, including getting three scripts into shooting shape—Cameron collaborated with three groups of writers on each one. Despite postponements in production and its release being shifted back multiple times, shooting is currently scheduled to begin on Avatar 2 (and 3 and 4) later this year in New Zealand.
Finding DoryAgain, Pixar isn’t studio known for pumping out an endless chain of sequels just to cash in. They want to do things the right way and tell a compelling, moving story, not just make a quick buck. Thus, it can often take sequels years to materialize (coupled with the fact that this is a rather time-consuming process), and more than a decade will have passed when the Finding Nemo spinoff Finding Dory hits theaters later this year. Revolving around the friendly but forgetful Blue Tang fish from the first film, voiced by Ellen DeGeneres, it takes place six months after Finding Nemo, when Dory suddenly remembers all of her childhood memories. With Nemo and his father Marlin in tow, she sets out to reunite with her family and meets all kinds of new sea creatures along the way.