Weird sequels that were never made

The success of ‘The Hangover Part II’, which became the top grossing film of 2011 this week despite (mostly) terrible reviews, is just the latest demonstration of why sequels are so important in Hollywood.

With such big money on offer, film studios always look into following up a successful movie, even if they don’t really have a decent idea for a story. Here are some of the madcap sequels that were genuinely considered by greedy movie producers, but thankfully never got the green light. At least not yet, anyway…

Roger Rabbit II: Toon Platoon

The idea:
A direct-to-video prequel that saw a young Roger searching for his mother in, er, Nazi-occupied Europe. Along the way he meets a Hollywood actress called Jessica, who he must rescue when she’s captured by the Third Reich. Apparently the film ended with a huge military parade that saw Rog reunited with his real dad, who was revealed to be Bugs Bunny. Hmm.

Why it never happened: Co-producer Steven Spielberg reportedly hated the script - perhaps because he had just made ‘Schindler’s List’ and wasn’t in the mood for jaunty cartoon Nazis. A Hitler-free re-write set on Broadway was commissioned but the project never saw the light of day.

The Vegas Brothers

The idea: A prequel showing the adventures of Vic Vega/Mr. Pink from ‘Reservoir Dogs’ (Michael Madsen) and Vincent Vega from ‘Pulp Fiction’ (John Travolta) - who were apparently brothers. Tarantino said the project “would have taken place during the time Vincent was in Amsterdam, when he was running one of Marcellus’ clubs in Amsterdam. And Vic goes to visit him.”

Why it never happened: Quite simply, Tarantino had other projects he wanted to make more, and the actors got too old to play younger versions of their characters. Probably a good thing.

Forest Gump 2: Gump and Co

The idea:
Based on Winston Groom’s sequel, Gump would have once again accidently stumbled through historical events - this time in the 1980s and 90s. Shenanigans included helping develop ‘New Coke’, destroying the Berlin Wall, capturing Saddam Hussein during operation Desert Storm and meeting Tom Hanks at the Oscars.

Why it never happened: A script based on the frankly-rubbish sounding book was written by Gump scribe Tim Roth, but according to Hanks a sequel was never seriously considered. “We would have just been repeating ourselves,” he told Radio 1 back in 2008. If life is like a box of chocolates, Gump 2 would be a coffee-flavoured one.

Gadiator 2

The idea: Written by Nick Cave (yes, the musician), this barmy-sounding sequel had Russell Crowe’s Maximus (killed at the end of the first film, remember) resurrected by Roman Gods and becoming some kind of immortal warrior, ultimately fighting in the Second World War and working at the Pentagon.

Why it never happened: Apparently Crowe was extremely keen on Cave’s script, as was director Ridley Scott, who said it “worked brilliantly”. Sadly, however, it was just a bit too barmy for the studio and they passed.

E.T. 2: Nocturnal Fears

The idea: This nine page story treatment dreamt up by writer Melissa Mathison and director Steven Spielberg saw Elliot (the boy from the first movie) captured by an evil ‘mutant albino’ offshoot of E.T.’s race, who had been at war with the peaceful alien’s people for years. Eventually E.T. returns to save the day once more. At one point the diminutive alien leaves a message on his old radio saying ‘ET help Elliott soon’.

Why it never happened: Spielberg quickly decided a sequel to the most beloved sci-fi film of all time might be a bad move, famously saying (somewhat creepily): “It would do nothing but rob the original of its virginity’.

The Bodyguard 2 (Princess Diana)

The idea: Having protected Whitney Huston in the first movie, Kevin Costner’s bodyguard Frank Farmer would now look after Princess Diana - who would play herself.

Why it never happened:
Obviously because of her tragic death in 1997. According to Costner, however, the princess was “genuinely interested” in the project. “I had talked with Princess Di a couple of times," Costner told the BBC back in 2001. “She was genuinely excited to see [the script].”

Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash

The idea: A sequel to ‘Freddy vs. Jason’ that pits horror icons Freddy Krueger and Jason Voorhees (the villains of ‘Nightmare on Elm Street’ and ‘Friday 13th’) against manic ‘Evil Dead’ hero Ash Williams.

Why it never happened: The trio had already battled in a comic series, so it seemed only a matter of time before the project reached our screens. However, ‘Evil Dead’ director Sam Raimi, who still owns the rights to the Ash character, reportedly wasn’t keen on the idea, so it’s still stuck in development hell.

Superman Lives

The idea: Written by Kevin Smith (who directed ‘Clerks’ and is one half of ‘Jay and Silent Bob’), this is the granddaddy of silly sequels. Madcap producer Jon Peters gave Smith all kinds of bizarre elements he had to incorporate into the script, including (at various points) Superman battling a giant spider in the finale, Lex Luthor getting a space dog sidekick (because Peters liked Chewbacca ) and Brainiac fighting polar bears at the Fortress of Solitude. Peters also objected to the Man of Steel’s costume… and the fact he could fly.

Why it never happened: Amazingly, Warner Bros. loved the finished script (by that point the space dog was gone) but when Tim Burton was brought onboard to direct he had the screenplay totally re-written and eventually the project collapsed.