‘Top Gun: Maverick’ and 36 Other Movie Sequels That Took Forever to Hit the Screen (Photos)

·6-min read

Whether it’s because of endless delays, fan demands, a director’s passion project or a cash grab reboot that seemingly no one ever actually wanted, Hollywood has produced an enormous amount of sequels to beloved films full decades after they originally hit theaters. Some of them have been wildly successful with critics and audiences, and others we’re just pretending never existed. Here are some of the sequels that took forever to hit the screen.

“Bad Boys For Life” (2020)

There had been talk for years about getting the boys back together, and the reunion finally happened this year, with Will Smith and Martin Lawrence teaming up for one last ride. This time however Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah are taking over directing duties from Michael Bay.

George Miller took nearly 30 years to follow up “Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome” with the Tom Hardy-Charlize Theron thriller “Mad Max: Fury Road.”

“The Odd Couple II” is among the sequels with the biggest gaps between films. Twenty-nine years after the 1968 original, Jack Lemmon returned as Felix Unger and Walter Matthau was Oscar Madison in their last film together.

“Tron: Legacy” came 28 years after the original, and featured Jeff Bridges and Bruce Boxleitner. Shot in 3D, the film featured extensive visual effects and a score by Daft Punk. It grossed more than $400 million worldwide in 2010.

“The Color of Money” featured Paul Newman reprising his role as “Fast Eddie” Felson alongside Tom Cruise. Newman won the Best Actor Oscar, 25 years after 1961’s “The Hustler.”

In “Psycho 2,” Meg Tilly played a traveler who encounters Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins), 23 years after Alfred Hitchcock‘s 1960 horror classic.

Greed was still pretty good in “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps,” which came 23 years after the original and returned Michael Douglas as Gordon Gecko and co-starred Shia LaBeouf.

Sly Stallone wrote, directed and starred in 2008’s “Rambo,” which came 20 years after “Rambo III.” It was dedicated to the memory of Richard Crenna, who played Col. Sam Trautman in the first three films.

A full 20 years after “Dumb and Dumber,” Jeff Daniels and Jim Carrey reprised their roles as dim-witted pals in 2014’s “Dumb and Dumber To.”

“The Last Picture Show” stars Cybill Shepherd and Jeff Bridges returned after 19 years for 1990’s “Texasville,” which unlike the original drama about small-town America, was shot in color.

“Blues Brothers 2000” came 18 years after the 1980 original. John Goodman stepped in for the late John BelushiJohn Candy and Cab Calloway also died before the sequel – but the film bombed.

“Live Free or Die Hard” might have arrived sooner than 2007, 16 years after “Die Hard with a Vengeance,” but it was delayed after the events of 9/11. In this one, Bruce Willis‘ John McClane character battles cyber terrorists.

Sly Stallone wrote, directed and stars in 2006’ “Rocky Balboa,” the sixth film in the boxing franchise. It came 16 years after “Rocky V,” and featured the pugilist as widower, retired from the ring and running an Italian restaurant called “Adrian’s,” after his late wife.

Star Jack Nicholson and writer Robert Towne came back for 1990’s “The Two Jakes,” the followup to the 1974 noir classic “Chinatown.” Audiences didn’t however, and it flopped.

Francis Ford Coppola delivered 1990’s “The Godfather Part III” 16 years after the series’ previous installment and closed the book on Michael Corleone. The director’s casting of his daughter Sofia drew fire; Julia Roberts, Madonna and Winona Ryder were also considered for the role.

Sharon Stone reprised her role as Catherine Tramell in 2006’s “Basic Instinct 2,” the sequel to the 1992 erotic thriller. But moviegoers weren’t turned on and it bombed.

Writer-director Malcolm D. Lee waited 14 years before turning out “The Best Man Holiday,” a sequel to his 1999 ensemble comedy “The Best Man.” The timing was right: the sequel made $71 million on a $17 million budget.

Pixar waited a full 14 years to bring the superhero Parr family back to the big screen in “Incredibles 2.”

2015’s “Jurassic World” starring Chris Pratt landed in theaters nearly 14 years after “Jurassic Park III.”

Paul Hogan and Linda Kozlowski returned for “Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles,” which followed the original by 13 years. But the sequel didn’t have many g’days at the box office.

Shirley MacLaine and Jack Nicholson came back after 13 years for “Evening Star,” the followup to 1983’s Best Picture Oscar winner “Terms of Endearment.”

The 2003 action film “Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines” came 12 years after “Judgment Day” and was the last film for Arnold Schwarzenegger before he took over as California’s governor.

Writer-director Kevin Smith didn’t plan on making a sequel to his 1994 cult hit “Clerks.” But after 11 years — and “Jersey Girl” — he changed his mind.

Critics took director Tobe Hooper to task for infusing too much black humor into the cannibal saga “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2,” which came a decade after the original 1974 slasher film.

“Zoolander 2,” with Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson reprising their roles, came out 15 years after the original. Hoping to reel in fans of the first film, the sequel only managed to gross $28 million.

“My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2” is opening in theaters on March 25, 14 years after the original hit the big screen. It will be opening against box office behemoth “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” starring Ben Affleck and Henry Cavill.

“Finding Dory” is the sequel to 2003’s “Finding Nemo,” meaning it took 13 years for our fishy friends to come back to the big screen. It is opening this Friday.

“Barbershop: The Next Cut” is the follow up to 2004’s “Barbershop 2: Back in Business” and the third movie in the franchise. The film was released on April 15 and grossed $54.6 million.

“Alice Through the Looking Glass,” the sequel to “Alice in Wonderland,” was released six years after the first. The follow-up bombed with only $77 million domestically, based on a reported $170 million budget.

“Bridget Jones’s Baby” is hitting theaters a full 12 years after the last in the franchise and 15 years after the first film, “Bridget Jones’s Diary.” The first film was a commercial and box office success, although the second scored measly reviews. The film has a score of 27 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.

“xXx: Return of Xander Cage” came out 15 years after the original and 12 years after its sequel. The second film did not star Vin Diesel as Xander Cage, but he made his return in the third film, which grossed $20 million its opening weekend.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting