Careful What You Wish For…
Nowadays, sequels have almost become an inevitability, to the point where fans can’t help but look upon future instalments with some amount of trepidation. Out of the mountains of new flicks on the horizon, it’s these five successors that have us the most concerned.
#5: The “Avatar” sequels (2020-25)
When James Cameron unleashed “Avatar” upon the world, it was unlike anything cinemagoers had ever seen. Audiences didn’t know how to describe or classify what they’d just watched. People were clamoring for a sequel, but this is James Cameron we’re talking about and so he’s been taking his sweet time delivering. Even by his slow-moving standards however, the “Avatar” sequels have felt really long in the making, and the multiple release date delays haven’t helped things. Some are worried that the Avatar franchise has turned into James Cameron’s “Chinese Democracy”, intended as a masterpiece but doomed to become an overwrought, bloated mess that was left too long in the creative oven. Here’s hoping they’re wrong.
#4: “Now You See Me 3” (TBA)
The first “Now You See Me” was a convoluted but fun caper/thriller with a magic twist. While there was something novel about seeing one-time boy wizard Daniel Radcliffe play a role in the sequel, the movie wasn’t nearly as well received as its predecessor. Sure, it packed in even more twists and turns, but the big reveals lacked the wow factor of the first film. It still did well at the box office, but number 2 felt like the logical place to end the franchise. Apparently not! A third film is confirmed, but many worry that it will only double down on the mistakes of the second.
#3: “Top Gun: Maverick” (2020)
“Top Gun” is a unique film. It’s both beloved and frequently parodied in ways that only an 80s flick about fighter pilots can be. A perfectly over-the-top and unselfconscious “cool guy” movie, it became emblematic of the decade. But what place is there for “Top Gun” in the modern age? Nowadays, that sort of overblown competitive machismo feels out of place in any film outside of the “Expendables” franchise. In this sequel, Tom Cruise returns as Maverick and Miles Teller joins him as the son of Goose. Nostalgia can only carry the film so far though, and we worry about how Maverick fits into the modern world.
#2: “Suicide Squad 2” (TBA)
Despite critics tearing it apart, “Suicide Squad” did very well at the box office. Warner Bros. was anxious to get a sequel out, but that’s proven easier said than done. The film has gone through numerous directors, and the projected 2017 shooting date quickly came and went. Most recently, Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn has been tapped to write the sequel, and is rumored to be doing it with an eye to direct. Considering the film’s troubled development history thus far, we take this with a grain of salt. Also, while Gunn’s MCU work was excellent, not everything he’s written has been of comparable quality.
#1: “Indiana Jones 5” (2021)
Can a franchise return to form after “nuking the fridge”? We have our doubts. In 2016 it was announced that all parties, including star Harrison Ford, were game to make a fifth Indiana Jones film. Though first scheduled for a 2019 release, it’s since been pushed back to 2021. We’d love to believe that this fifth instalment can redeem the franchise by polishing off the tarnish left behind by the fourth. But…considering Spielberg was reportedly happy with the “Kingdom of the Crystal Skull,” we have no reason to believe that this sequel will be course correction, and we’d rather get nothing than more of what the fourth film had to offer.
Be sure to check out the video below to see our picks for the Top 10 Movies That Didn’t Live Up to the Hype.