Sure, Titanic was a box office colossus that reaped tons of Oscars. However if you ask anybody what the most memorable Oscar moments were from 1998, it was Matt Damon and Ben Affleck’s speech for a Best Screenwriting award, James Cameron’s bragging, but not really anything that happened with the film Titanic. Which could explain why that box office behemoth is one of the films on this list that needs to be to be continued.
Sequels can be risky business. If they come out too quickly audiences seem to smell a rat. They can be loathe to throw their support behind something they perceive as a cash grab. By the same token, if you wait too long to make a sequel, which happened with a lot of 80s movies that never got sequels, you risk losing the audience that might care about the film. Then, as in the case of Office Space, you have a film that died at the box office, but has been resurrected on home video. How would a film like this do if a sequel were to hit theaters?
All of these questions are what make lists like this so much fun. We just don’t know what’s going to happen next in this story we’ve been living with forever, yet, we’d all like to see where the films on this list might go. Most of these movies came out 20 years ago. The world has changed a lot since then. It seems the biggest question is can these films that existed so long ago exist today? Check out this “90s Movies That Need a Sequel” list to find out…
Alright, Mike Judge’s much ignored cinematic treasure has become a true triumph of home video. So the thought of continuing something so sacrosanct after all these years might appear to be blasphemous. Office Space, that tale of lowly workers hating their jobs and the awful, middle management people who oversee them, is a true cultural touchstone. That said with all the streaming platforms (Netflix, Hulu, et al), why not make a a sequel to this comedy that keeps on giving? It could have the same cast because none of them got so big they would be too expensive to do it. And, Mike Judge could turn his lens on the myriad of ways that the workplace has changed over the years.
The Big Lebowski
The Big Lebowski is another one of those films that really came alive when viewers could find it on their own. Making less than $20 million in the US it did about $47 million worldwide. Not terrible numbers. Most likely had this tale of a stoner named The Dude (Jeff Bridges) trying to get satisfaction over his ruined rug, just done that and nothing else people wouldn’t have complained. However, The Big Lebowski couldn’t do that. Not when it had characters like Walter (John Goodman), Donny (Steve Buscemi), and Jesus (John Turturro) just to name a few. This film is STILL huge on home video. People dress as the characters for Halloween. They have parties around it. Now, getting Joel and Ethan Coen to do a sequel would be hard. They seem to just follow their bliss but that doesn’t mean that a sequel, maybe set around an international bowling tournament of some sort, couldn’t be just what is needed to score a cinematic strike.
The Dark Half
Timothy Hutton gives a career best performance in The Dark Half and it barely seems to register with people today. Directed by the late, great George A. Romero, this film (based on a book by Stephen King) features Hutton as writer in a Jekyll and Hyde situation. Making less than $11 million this film really didn’t burn up the box office when it came out in 1993. That doesn’t mean that a sequel with say Ryan Gosling or Chris Pratt couldn’t be just what the doctor ordered. Sure, it would be a David vs. Goliath situation because there isn’t a book sequel so you’d be creating one from scratch. This would certainly put you in the crosshairs of the great Stephen King who may or not appreciate the gesture. That doesn’t mean a sequel shouldn’t happen, though!
This may not be The Godfather: Part II but Space Jam is the kind of film that you can’t just do a remake of. That said this tale of the Looney Tunes re-enlisting a retired Michael Jordan to win an intergalactic basketball game needs to continue. The best part? You could update it with the likes of Steph Curry and Lebron James (Space James, anyone?) and suddenly you have one of the biggest movies (and sequels) ever. In fact, in this nostalgic time, you could most likely follow the same story, employ much of the same cast (Larry Bird, Bill Murray, Charles Barkley, Patrick Ewing, etc.), and the game would be on!
The Iron Giant
This classic tale of a friendship between a young boy, a giant robot, and the forces that try and come between them has been told in various forms throughout history. Iron Giant had Brad Bird at the helm and that probably explains why it had the heart and soul that it did. So why not do a sequel that captures the magic all over again? Perhaps, given how special fx have improved since 1996 this could be a live action version ala Ready Player One? Before you scoff at this idea, remember that The BFG was pretty much the same movie and Steven Spielberg pulled that off, right? If they did go the animated route, how hard would it be to dial up much of the old cast? Again, as nostalgic as this time has become, doesn’t it seem fitting to continue this wave of nostalgia with an Iron Giant sequel?
Filled questions, an odd storyline, and incredible performances, Pulp Fiction is still a tale from the 90s that we’re trying to wrap our heads around. To try and distill the film’s plot down into one sentence would be impossible. So, if you haven’t seen Pulp Fiction, know that it involves a boxer, a hit man, a mob boss, some interesting owners of a pawn shop, and a host of other interesting characters. These characters are all intermingled and while we resolve their stories, the fact that they aren’t told from beginning to end is what made Pulp Fiction so incredible. That it has pulled in over $200 million worldwide shows that audiences don’t always need cookie cutter films. Most of the time. Where would a Pulp Fiction sequel go? Some people might want answers to where the characters have ended up? Others might want an explanation of what was in the briefcase? Chances are Pulp Fiction director Quentin Tarantino will touch on some of these questions, yet make a wholly new (and brilliant) story.
Was there a funner movie in the 1990s than Clueless? This story of high school, popularity, friendships, and how to manage all of that in the days when a phone (not texting or even social media) was the biggest distraction, is ripe for a 2018 sequel of the highest order. Heck, you could bring back Alicia Silverstone, Paul Rudd, Donald Faison, Breckin Meyer and whoever else, and from there the story could follow their kids? Or, it could follow them showing where they are since we last saw them in 1995. Considering how much the world has changed technologically, and how much these characters would be tied to that, could truly create a story with very interesting social ramifications. And, if done right, they could pay homage to the late Brittany Murphy in a way that was respectful and also in keeping with the spirit of her special character.
Considering that space exploration has gotten a boost with Space X, Virgin Galactic and all this interest in Mars, isn’t it high time that we continue the story of Event Horizon? For my money the best sci-fi stories are the ones where our main characters are traveling in a space vessel and someone or something effects them. One need look no further than 2001: A Space Odyssey or Alien to see how strong those stories are. And while I’m not saying that Event Horizon is on that level, it certainly is in that family, and for that reason this tale of a spaceship that enters a blackhole, only to return extremely effected by that experience, needs to go on. With a solid cast that included Laurence Fishburne, Sam Neill, Kathleen Quinlan and Joely Richardson, the new film could feature all new characters while having the old characters play important supporting roles. Space travel to planets seems within our grasp. It may be a long time before this comes to fruition, but a sequel to Event Horizon could certainly ride this newfound wave of interest in space travel all the way to the box office.
If you liked the movie The Sixth Sense and marveled at its twist ending, then you need to know that Jacob’s Ladder has the same ending and it came out 9 years before M. Night Shyamalan’s opus! This tale of a Vietnam veteran (Tim Robbins) struggling with reality, PTSD, his dreams and just about everything else, is a slow burn of the highest order. Yet, all of that builds up into a fascinating reveal that ultimately makes Jacob’s Ladder not only one of the best movies of the 1990s, but a film that might be greatly helped out by a sequel. Imagine, if M. Night Shymalan, rather than make a sequel to The Sixth Sense took Jacob’s Ladder under his creative wing for second go round? It needn’t be a reboot either. Tim Robbins could return but in a different, almost otherworldly, capacity. Honestly, I am not too sure where a sequel to Jacob’s Ladder goes from there. The first film was so interesting, unique, and special. If done correctly, a sequel to Jacob’s Ladder could potentially establish it as a franchise.
The Fifth Element
The reality of The Fifth Element is that it was too ahead of its time. Yes, Luc Besson’s visually splendid film about the future just showed people a world that they were not ready to accept. That our society is slowly mirroring this in 2018 makes the idea of a sequel even more necessary. To try and describe the plot of this insanely colorful actioner would be a lesson in futility. Lets just say that The Fifth Element sees a cab driver (Bruce Willis) trying to preserve a weapon and a genetically created being named Leeloo (Milla Jovovich), all in a bid to preserve society. Okay, I will just say it, in many ways the actors are playing second fiddle to the effects in this film. What would the story be? I am all for bringing back the original cast. Well, all of the original cast that survived the first film. My main feeling is that a sequel, not a redo or a reboot, could really make the lore behind The Fifth Element that much stronger. Heck, look at what a sequel did for Blade Runner?
The Sixth Sense
With a career that has careened in many directions since M. Night Shyamalan was deemed to be the next Spielberg, he has started to return to the films that first brought him to prominence. A sequel to The Sixth Sense probably seems impossible given the “twist” ending that the first movie had. This tale of a child psychologist (Bruce Willis) trying to help a young boy (Haley Joey Osment), turned things on its ear in the final few moments of the film. However, if a sequel were to happen, I am going to suggest that we don’t follow Bruce Willis’s character. Rather, and Haley Joel Osment is going to love this list because of this, why don’t we see where he went since 1999? If Shyamalan were to take the same measured approach that he took with the first film (and Unbreakable), we could have a sequel that potentially surpasses the original.