Movie Sequels

Movie Reprises We Love to See

In following our topic of entertainment reunions, we decided to explore movie series or sequels that have been successful.  The obvious reason filmmakers want to make sequels is to mimic the success of the original.  In helping insure its success, the original actors might be cast in the sequel.  As audiences, we identify the actors with their characters and enjoy seeing the actor age in the roles they reprise.  Here are some profitable movie series we considered for this article.

Rocky (1976 – 2006).  There have been 6 movies in the Rocky Balboa series and number seven may be in the works.  Sylvester Stallone wrote and starred in all 6.  Talia Shire, Burgess Meredith, Burt Young, Carl Weathers all appeared in the original and its sequels.  The films are about a down and out boxer who has his triumphs and falls in the boxing arenas, at one point becoming the Heavy Weight Champion of the World.  In an interview with a German TV station Stallone was quoted saying that, “The next movie would likely be about getting older rather than boxing.”

Indiana Jones (1981 – 2008). Harrison Ford starred as Indiana Jones in 5 movies.  His iconic look, sense of humor, knowledge of many ancient civilizations and languages, all fed into this successful movie series over four decades.  In 2003, the American Film Institute (AFI) ranked Indiana Jones as the second greatest film hero of all time as his fame has spread worldwide and has been also featured in novels, comics, video games and other media.

Sex and the City (2008 – 2010).  The movie was an adaptation of the popular HBO TV series.  There have been 3 movies made with the same TV cast, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kate Cattrall, Kristen Davis, Cynthia Nixon and Chris Noth.  The TV series and the movies chart the lives of four single girls living in New York.  In January 2013, a new TV series premiered on CW cable as a prequel about the same character, Carrie Bradshaw in “The Carrie Diaries” in her high school years.  Let’s see how that turns out.

Oceans 11, 12 and 13 (2001-2011).  This trilogy of comedy capers (Oceans 11 was a remake of the same name in 1960 that starred the original Rat Pack group of actors, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr., Peter Lawford and Joey Bishop.) The original remake had an impressive cast that included George Clooney, Matt Damon, Brad Pitt, Don Cheadle, Julia Roberts and Andy Garcia.  Each “Oceans” group consisted of a heist gang with unlawful elements, twists and turns and comedy.  This combination of well-know stars, interesting characters and clever storylines made for a fun movie series.

Die Hard – (1988 – 2013).  All 5 in the series starred Bruce Willis as a New York City policeman.  Bruce plays John McClane, the wisecracking, sardonic hero who finds adventure and antagonists in each film.  But, how much longer can he be the charming and engaging hero?  Only time will tell.

On a similar note, I hope “The Hangover” trilogy stops while it is ahead.  But, knowing Hollywood, you can bet there will be more as long as there are movie goers willing pay to see them.  Hence, if the next entry is successful, the characters and their foibles will go on, I’m just not sure how the storyline can.

Other Movie Series and Sequels 

Of course, there are many more successful movies series and sequels that have allowed us to follow and even grow up with the characters. Some span decades, while others have ended with the aging of the actors or the storylines.  Here are a few more that have made their mark in our memories and our movie-spending dollars.

The Thin Man — (1934-1947).  A total of 6 movies were made about a married couple Nick and Nora Charles and their dog Asta.  Nick is a retired detective, and along with his wife Nora and even Asta, solve murder mysteries in humorous and clever ways.  The starring roles were portrayed by William Powell and Myrna Loy.

James Bond — (1962-2012).  There are 23 movies that starred several different actors as James Bond as British Secret Agent, 007 who solved international crimes and saved the world.  The handsome, charming and debonair womanizer was based on the Ian Fleming novels. This movie series will very likely continue with more films and different actors as James Bond.
Back to the Future – (1985-1990).  3 films that starred Michael J. Fox as Marty McFly and Christopher Lloyd as Dr. Emmett Brown were comedies about the adventures of a high school student and an eccentric scientist who travel through time to different periods in history. Unfortunately, because of its star, Michael Fox, being physically unable to reprise his role, the director and writer, Robert Zemeckis, has stated there will be no more sequels in this series.

Star Trek – (1966–2013).   What began as a television series in 1966 about the adventures of humans and aliens who serve in Starfleet, a space-borne humanitarian and peacekeeping squadron of the United Federation of Planets continued with 6 movies featuring the same cast.  The Next Generation Star Trek franchise began with a TV series and another 5 movies.  A sixth production of the Next Generation was just released in April 2013.  We think this popular series has an endless life expectancy.

Harry Potter — (2000 – 2011).  A total of 8 hugely successful movies were produced based on seven best selling books about this character.  The fantasy novels were written by British author J. K. Rowling about the adventures of a wizard, Harry Potter, and his friends Ronald Weasley and Hermione Granger, all of whom are students at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.  Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson were cast as the three main characters and appeared and grew up before our eyes in each of these films.

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