For the second week in a row, Taken 2 sits atop of the North American box office. The highly anticipated sequel to the Liam Nesson hit from 2008 has taken in a whopping $87 million at the box office, making yet another return to Bryan Mills and his specialized espionage skill set a movie studio mandate. It’s that rare combination of fan friendly film and commercial success (critics, of course, be damned), the kind of cash cow that no suit can ignore - at least, not without losing their job. Since the dawn of the artform, Hollywood has loved to revisit material. The silents were a study in repeat theatricality, while the Depression saw a glut of musicals and mindless escapism. By the ‘50s, producers found a way to add continuity by building on franchises. Even though Andy Hardy, Charlie Chan, and their lot started the trend decades before, it was the prepost modern movement that argued for the viability of mining an original movie’s mojo for even more money.
Of course, for every unnecessary sequel, there have been many that never made it past the talking stage. A few, like a Hot Fuzz update, seem more like the punchline to a particular interview question than a stone cold career reality. In other cases, time has tripped by without allowing a proposal - like a Steven Spielberg produced spoof of his original blockbuster, penned by the National Lampoon gang, entitled Jaws 3, People 0 -to get beyond the pitch stage. In our humble opinion, there are a lot of great sequel ideas out there, things that rival Aliens and/or The Godfather Part 2 as matching or bypassing their seminal source. On the other hand, there are concepts that clearly weren’t thought out too well. Thus we present the 10 Sequels That Should Have Been/Should Be Made. Each one has plenty of potential. Whether audiences would respond to them now, so far removed from their original inspiration, remains to be seen. As Taken 2 argues, you need to strike while the iron is hot, not hesitant.