Richard Linklater is reportedly planning a sequel to Boyhood, which strikes me as a ve-r-y bad idea.
Boyhood was a great movie for its novelty, charm and sheer authenticity. And it’s easy to see there’d be ways to move forward with the character of Mason, post college, if push came to shove. But would it make sense to do it? Hell no.
Firstly, you’d need another 12 years on the clock to deliver what would be a true sequel to this movie, otherwise it’s just another boring film about a boy in his 20s – and we’ve got enough of those already. Without Boyhood‘s unique ‘real’ time structure, which marked it as one-of-a-kind (and let’s face it, was the essence of its appeal) there simply isn’t enough left to work with.
In a podcast interview with Jeff Goldsmith, the Houston-born director talks about how the two sequels to Before Sunrise came about, and how it wasn’t his initial intention to create a trilogy. The ideas for Before Sunset and Before Midnight germinated in his mind over time and he hints the same thing is now starting to happen with Boyhood.
But come on, there’s some crucial differences between these two concepts. There was a whole lot more to do and explore with Jesse and Céline in Before Sunrise, and the beauty of those films is the stripped-back focus on just two characters and their dynamic. With Boyhood, there’s a larger cast at play with nothing hugely of interest to develop, and at the heart of the film; this raw ‘coming-of-age’ component, which we were able to witness as never before. But that’s the thing; now it’s been done – and it sure ain’t gonna be as good the second time!
We won’t be marvelling at the life changes of a lad moving through his 20s in the same way we could for a boy going through his transformative years of age 5 to 18.
Please, pleeease leave it alone…
Here are five sequels that were in the pipeline but thankfully NEVER saw the light of day.
A sequel to David Fincher’s 1995 psychological thriller Se7en (a FilmsInFive favourite) was fully scripted, telling the story of a psychic working with the FBI to help track a serial killer. Unsurprisingly, no one involved in the first movie was up for it – not even Morgan Freeman.
When asked whether he would be involved in an ‘Ei8ht‘ movie at a New York press event the director David Fincher responded: “I would be less interested in that than I would in having cigarettes put out in my eyes”. (A Fincher image if ever there was one.) But the script wasn’t scrapped. Instead it’s been reworked for a different film and given the new name, ‘Solace’. The movie hits cinemas this year and stars Anthony Hopkins and Colin Farrell in its lead roles. Look out for Brad Pitt-Colin Farrell parallels. There’s bound to be a few.
There have been stirrings around a sequel to Casablanca for some time – more than half a century in fact – but thankfully it’s yet to materialise. Warner Bros. apparently began working on a sequel shortly after the film’s release in 1942, which for whatever reason never got past the treatment phase. Nearly 40 years on, another treatment was penned titled Return to Casablanca, in which Ilsa’s son searches for his father. Then in 2013 a third script was discovered, written by Murray Burnett (who wrote the original play) which saw Rick and Ilsa reunited just three years after the original film ends. Definitely one to leave be.
Yes, there was very nearly a follow-up film to Forrest Gump, and how glad I am that didn’t happen. Winston Groom, the author of the book ‘Forrest Gump’ that the movie’s based on, released a sequel to his first novel, titled ‘Gump & Co.’ (urgh, even the name makes me shudder) in 1995 – a year after the movie came out. On the first page, Forrest tells readers “Don’t never let nobody make a movie of your life’s story” and the actual story touches on events surrounding the film’s release that affected Forrest’s life. Crazy, right? Eric Roth began working on the script just before 9/11. “We sat down—Tom [Hanks] and Bob [Zemeckis] and I—looked at each other and said, we don’t think this is relevant anymore. The world had changed,” Roth told /Film in 2008. Sounds like a very good call.
Can I include a third sequel in this list? Ok, I guess it’s my list. It’s easy to understand why Paramount execs were keen for a fourth Godfather film, given that this franchise was an exceptional case in the world of sequels. The Godfather Part II was, after all, the first ever sequel to win a Best Picture Oscar – and even the third instalment was nominated for a whopping seven Academy Awards. That stuff just doesn’t happen with sequels. But director Francis Ford Coppola wasn’t even slightly interested in making another. The 75-year-old director made his feelings clear in 2011 when he told TMZ, “There should have only been one.”
Although many would disagree, there’s one thing we can all agree on: there could never be another Godfather film without Coppola.
Talks of a Gladiator sequel to be penned by writer and musician Nick Cave made slightly unsettling news a few years back, and would have been problematic given that Maximus dies in the first film. According to Cave, his friend Russell Crowe approached him about the project, keen to see what he’d come up with for a sequel premise. Cave recalls his idea for keeping Maximus in the movie:
“He goes down to purgatory and is sent down by the gods, who are dying in heaven because there’s this one god, there’s this Christ character, down on Earth who is gaining popularity and so the many gods are dying so they send Gladiator back to kill Christ and his followers… I wanted to call it Christ Killer… and in the end you find out that the main guy was his son so he has to kill his son and he was tricked by the gods…” (it goes on).
Apparently Crowe was unconvinced. Hard to imagine why.
Which movie sequels should NEVER have been made? There are tons, right? One of the highest on our list is The Matrix Reloaded – the first one should have been left WELL alone…
What tops your list?