Son of the Return of the Bride
Of Next! II: Attack of the Sequels!!
all this talk about a waning interest in sequels? Flip
over to Cash Drawer and discover that 11 of this summer’s top 20 grossers
were follow-ups – and September’s top film
was the third installment of the “El Mariachi” trilogy!
(And hey, what’s Ian McKellen doing on this issue’s
And as the following will attest, “Thank you, sir,
may I have another?” is a refrain heard as often
in studio executive suites as at the box office.
“Kill Bill: Vol. 2” continues the trend of
shooting a movie and its sequel(s) simultaneously. “Vol.
2” is a bit of an accident, with a single film split
into two when Miramax balked at the original 3-plus hour
running time of the original combined film.
The dark comedy-actioner continues the story
of a highly-trained assassin who, after her employer/ex-boyfriend
in a coma on her wedding day, wakes up five years later
to seek revenge. Those returning from “Vol. 1” include
writer-director Quentin Tarantino (“Pulp Fiction,” “Jackie
Brown,”). Uma Thurman (“Chelsea Walls”),
Lucy Liu (“Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle”),
Gordon Liu (“Drunken Master III”), David Carradine
(“Roadside Prophets”), Michael Madsen (“Die
Another Day”), Sonny Chiba (“Aces: Iron Eagle
III”), Daryl Hannah (“A Walk to Remember,” “Northfork”),
Vivica A. Fox (“Boat Trip”), LaTanya Richardson
(“The Fighting Temptations,”), Chiaki Kuriyama
(“Battle Royale”), Samuel L. Jackson (“S.W.A.T.”),
Bo Svenson (“Speed 2”) and Michael Jai White
(“Exit Wounds,” “Pandora’s Box”)
star. Tarantino provides the voice of Pai Mei. Miramax
finishes it off Feb. 20.
“Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed,” a sequel
to the 2002 blockbuster, finds the Scooby Gang taking on
a criminal mastermind in possession of a machine capable
of manufacturing monsters. Returnees from part one include
director Raja Gosnell (“Big Momma’s House”)
and screenwriter James Gunn (“The Specials”)
as well as actors Matthew Lillard (“Thir13en Ghosts,”)
as Shaggy, Freddie Prinze Jr. (“Summer Catch”)
as Fred, Sarah Michelle Gellar (“Harvard Man”)
as Daphne, and Linda Cardellini (“Legally Blonde”)
as Velma. Newcomers to the series include Seth Green (“The
Italian Job,” “Party Monster”) as a museum
curator and Alicia Silverstone (“Love’s Labour’s
Lost”) as a reporter. Warner Bros. revs up the Mystery
Machine March 26.
Those looking for something other than
a massacre around Valentine’s Day may prefer “Dirty Dancing Havana
Nights.” This prequel to the hit 1987 romantic drama
is set in 1958 Cuba, and concerns a 17-year-old American
girl who defies her family by keeping company with a local
dancer. Guy Ferland (“Telling Lies in America”)
directed from a screenplay by Ronald Bass (“Snow
Falling on Cedars,” “Passion of Mind”).
Diego Luna (“Frida,” “Open Range”)
stars with Romola Garai (“Nicholas Nickleby”),
Sela Ward (“Runaway Bride”), John Slatterly
(“Bad Company,” “Mona Lisa Smile”),
Mika Boorem (“Blue Crush”), Jonathan Jackson
(“Tuck Everlasting”) and January Jones (“American
Wedding”). Artisan hopes you’ll have the time
of your life Feb. 13.
A trio of sequels goes the clever-numbering route.
This one goes to twelve. “Ocean’s Twelve” finds
master thief Danny Ocean contemplating more high-stakes
mischief, reportedly involving heists in Rome, London and
Berlin. Returnees from part one were expected to include
director Steven Soderbergh (“Solaris”) and
actors George Clooney (“Intolerable Cruelty”),
Brad Pitt (“Full Frontal,” “Confessions
of a Dangerous Mind”), Andy Garcia (“Confidence”)
and Bernie Mac (“Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle,” “Bad
Santa”). Newcomers to the franchise may include screenwriter
George Nolfi (“Timeline”). Warner Bros. plans
to steal some screen time Dec. 10, 2004.
“The Whole Ten Yards” finds hapless dentist
Nick Oseransky turning to his hitman pal Jimmy “The
Tulip” Tudesski for help when his wife is kidnapped
by the Hungarian mob. It’s a sequel to the 2000 comedy “The
Whole Nine Yards.” Newcomer to the series Howard
Deutch (“The Replacements”) directs from a
screenplay by returnee Mitchell Kapner. Other veterans
of the first film include actors Bruce Willis (“Tears
of the Sun”), Matthew Perry (“Serving Sara”),
Natasha Henstridge (“Ghosts of Mars”), Kevin
Pollack (“The Santa Clause 2”) and Amanda Peet
(“Identity,” “Something’s Gotta
Give”). Warner Bros goes the last mile April 9.
“Blade: Trinity” is the third in the lucrative “Blade” franchise.
David S. Goyer (“Zigzag”), who scripted all
three installments, was reportedly set to direct this episode
as well. Other expected returnees include Wesley Snipes
as the title character and Kris Kristofferson as Whistler.
Jessica Biel (“Texas Chainsaw Massacre”) co-stars
as (that’s right) Whistler’s daughter. Parker
Posey (“The Event”) and Ryan Reynolds (“The
In-Laws”) have reportedly joined the cast. New Line
expects it to make the cut in August 2004.
Set in the early part of the 20th century, “Exorcist:
The Beginning” is a prequel to the 1973 thriller,
this time about a young priest’s journey through
Africa and his first encounter with demonic possession.
It’s based upon characters and events depicted in
William Blatty’s novel “The Exorcist.” Paul
Schrader (“Affliction,” “AutoFocus”)
directed from a screenplay by novelist Caleb Carr (“The
Alienist”) and William Wisher Jr. (“Judge Dredd,” “The
13th Warrior”). Stellan Skarsgård (“City
of Ghosts”), Clara Bellar (“A.I. Artificial
Intelligence”), Gabriel Mann (“Buffalo Soldiers”),
Dutch film star Antonie Kamerling, Andrew French (“The
Tailor of Panama”), Ralph Brown (“Mean Machine”)
and Billy Crawford star. Warner Bros. exercises its option
“Bridget Jones: The Edge Of Reason” finds
the neurotic diarist realizing that life with her perfect
mate, Mark Darcy, is not so perfect after all. It’s
a sequel to the 2001 romantic comedy “Bridget Jones’s
Diary.” It’s also based on the 2000 second
novel in the “Bridget Jones” series authored
by Helen Fielding (“Cause Celeb”). Returnees
from “Diary” were expected to include screenwriters
Fielding and Andrew Davies (“The Tailor of Panama”),
as well as actors Renée Zellweger (“Down With
Love,” “Cold Mountain”) (reportedly already
packing on the extra pounds), Hugh Grant (“Love Actually”)
and Colin Firth (“What a Girl Wants,” “Love
Actually”). Newcomers to the franchise were expected
to include director Beeban Kidron (“Swept From the
Sea”). Miramax is reportedly on the edge of a Nov.
“Star Wars: Episode III” has a colon, but
no subtitle. The reported final installment of the epic
is said to have Obi-Wan Kenobi fighting the Clone Wars
alongside longtime Jedi trainee Anakin Skywalker, who finds
himself moving much closer to the dark side of the Force.
Returnees from “Episode II” include director-screenwriter
George Lucas (“The Phantom Menace”) and screenwriter
Jonathan Hales (“The Mirror Crack’d”),
as well as actors Ewan McGregor (“Down With Love,” “Big
Fish”) as Obi-Wan, Natalie Portman (“Where
the Heart Is,” “Cold Mountain”) as Padmé,
Hayden Christensen (“Shattered Glass”) as Anakin,
Samuel L. Jackson as Mace Windu, Christopher Lee (the “Lord
of the Rings” series) as Count Dooku, Ian McDiarmid
(“Sleepy Hollow”) as Palpatine, Silas Carson
(“Fever Pitch”) as Ki-Adi-Mundi, Ahmed Best
as Jar-Jar Binks, Jimmy Smits (“Price of Glory”)
as Sen. Bail Organa, Anthony Daniels (“Return of
the Jedi”) as C3PO, Kenny Baker (“24 Hour Party
People”) as R2-D2, Joel Edgerton (“Race the
Sun,” “Praise”) as Owen Lars and Bonnie
Piesse as Beru Whitesun. Returnees from the original “Star
Wars” trilogy include Peter Mayhew as Chewbacca.
Fox has reportedly settled on May 25, 2005 for the release.
“Asterix And Obelix: Mission Cleopatra” is
an old friend of Next!, making its first appearance in
our pages for October 2002’s piece on sequels. The
French-language comedy is about the famous Egyptian queen
and her wager with Caesar that she can have a palace built
in three months. It’s a sequel to the international
hit “Asterix and Obelix Vs. Caesar” based on
the 1965 comic book by Rene Goscinny and Albert Uderzo.
Actor Alain Chabat (“The Taste of Others”)
makes both his feature directorial and screenwriting debuts.
Gerard Depardieu (“C.Q.,” “City of Ghosts”)
and Christian Clavier (“Just Visiting”) return
as the title characters, co-starring with Monica Bellucci
(“The Matrix Revolutions”), Gerard Darmon (“For
Sasha,” “The Good Thief”), Jamel Debbouze
(“Amelie”), Claude Rich (“Season’s
Beatings”), Edouard Baer (“Terror Firmer,” “Alias
Betty”) and Chabat star. Miramax has yet to provide
a sequel to its former June 2003 release date.
“Resident Evil 2: Apocalypse” takes place
in a city overrun by zombies, where elite military operative
Alice finds herself teaming with cop Jill Valentine to
combat the hulking monster Nemesis. Returnees from part
one include screenwriter Paul W.S. Anderson (“Event
Horizon,” “Soldier”) and actors Milla
Jovovich (“Dummy”) and Eric Mabius (“Cruel
Intentions”). Longtime second-unit director Alexander
Witt (“Daredevil,” “The Italian Job,” “Pirates
of the Caribbean”) makes his feature directorial
debut. Other newcomers to the series include Sienna Guillory
(“The Time Machine”), Oded Fehr (“The
Mummy Returns”), Sandrine Holt (“Ballistic:
Ecks Vs. Sever”), Mike Epps (“The Fighting
Temptations”), Zack Ward (“Freddy Vs. Jason”)
and Jared Harris (“Igby Goes Down,” “Sylvia”).
Sony has yet to narrow the release date down beyond 2004,
but seeing how it’s the Apocalypse – we can
Analogy time: “Aliens” is to “Alien” as “Anacondas” is
That is correct! “Anacondas” is a sequel to the 1997 actioner thriller “Anaconda,” set
in the jungles of Borneo. Dwight Little (“Murder at 1600”) directs
from a screenplay by John Claflin and Daniel Zelman. Morris Chestnut (“Confidence”),
Nicholas Hope (“Scooby-Doo”), Peter Curtin (“Darkness Falls”),
Eugene Byrd (“8 Mile”) and Salli Richardson (“Biker Boyz”)
star. Sony has yet to set a date.
Filming may have started in October
on “Be Cool.” It’s
a sequel to the 1996 comedy “Get Shorty,” and
based on the novel by Elmore Leonard (“Out of Sight” “The
Big Bounce”). The new comedy is about how Chili Palmer,
the sneaky Miami loan shark (and one-time film producer),
helps out a struggling singer wanted by the Russian mafia.
F. Gary Gray (“The Italian Job”) was set to
direct from a screenplay by Peter Steinfeld (“Analyze
That”). John Travolta (“Basic”) was set
to reprise the Palmer role. MGM plans to serve reheated
Chili next November.
“Shrek 2” is the highly-anticipated sequel
to the computer-animated 2001 comedy blockbuster. In it,
Princess Fiona accepts a dinner invitation from her father,
who is shocked to learn that she’s now an ogre married
to another ogre. Returnees from part one include director
Andrew Adamson, screenwriter Joe Stillman (“Beavis & Butthead
Do America”) and the voices of Mike Meyers, Cameron
Diaz, Eddie Murphy and John Lithgow. Newcomers to the series
include screenwriters J. David Stem & David N. Weiss
(the “Rugrats” movies, “Jimmy Neutron:
Boy Genius,” “Clockstoppers”), as well
as actors John Cleese, Julie Andrews, Antonio Banderas,
Rupert Everett and Jennifer Saunders. DreamWorks plans
a May 21 bow.
“Barbershop 2” finds the gang interacting
with the owner of a nearby beauty shop. Returnees from
part one include screenwriter Don D. Scott as well as actors
Ice Cube (“Friday After Next,” “Torque”),
Cedric the Entertainer (“Serving Sara,” “Intolerable
Cruelty”), Michael Ealy (“2 Fast 2 Furious”),
Eve (“XXX”), Troy Garity (“Bandits”)
and Sean Patrick Thomas (“Halloween: Ressurection”).
Newcomers to the series include director Kevin Sullivan
(“How Stella Got Her Groove Back”) and actress
Queen Latifah (“Scary Movie 3”). MGM has an
appointment Feb. 6.
“Agent Cody Banks 2” is a sequel to the 2003 action
comedy about a teen recruited by the CIA to perform special “kid” assignments.
Returnees from part one include actors Frankie Muniz
(“Deuces Wild”) and Connor Widdows (“X2”).
Newcomers to the franchise include director Kevin Allen
(“The Big Tease”) and screenwriter Don Rhymer
(“The Santa Clause 2”) as well as actor Anthony
Anderson (“Scary Movie 3”). MGM is banking
on a March 12 release.
This month’s Preview section has dibs on a pair
of sequels. New Line’s highly anticipated final installment
of the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy, “The
Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” will
lord it over theatres Dec. 17. Buena Vista’s “Young
Black Stallion” debuts on Christmas.
Warner Bros. plans a June 4 breakout
Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban,” which finds
the titular hero, in the summer before his third year at
Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, forced to contend
with Sirius Black, a believed enemy of the Potter clan
who has just escaped after 12 years of imprisonment. It’s
based on the 1999 novel by J.K. Rowling. Alfonso Cuarón
(“Great Expectations,” “Y Tu Mama También”)
directed. Returnees from “Harry Potter and the Chamber
of Secrets” include screenwriter Steve Kloves (“Wonder
Boys”) and actors Daniel Radcliffe (“The Tailor
of Panama”) as Potter, Rupert Grint as Ronald Weasley,
Emma Watson as Hermione Granger, Robbie Coltrane (“From
Hell”) as gamekeeper Rubeus Hagrid, Maggie Smith
(“The Divine Secrets of Ya-Ya Sisterhood”)
as headmistress Minerva McGonagall, Alan Rickman (“Blow
Dry,” “Love Actually”) as Professor Severus
Snape, Julie Walters (“Billy Elliot”) as Mrs.
Molly Weasley, David Bradley (“Nicholas Nickleby”)
as Argus Filch, Warwick Davis (“Leprechaun 2”)
as Professor Flitwick, Tom Felton (“Anna and the
King”) as Draco Malfoy, Richard Griffiths (“Vatel”)
as Vernon Dursley, Miriam Margolyes (“Cats & Dogs”)
as professor Sprout, Harry Melling as Dudley Dursley, Oliver
Phelps as George Weasley, Chris Rankin as Percy Weasley,
Fiona Shaw (“The Triumph of Love”) as Petunia
Dursley and Danielle Taylor as Angelina Johnson. Newcomers
to the series include Gary Oldman (“Hannibal”)
as Black, Michael Gambon (“Open Range,” “Sylvia”)
as Albus Dumbledore, Julie Christie (“No Such Thing”)
as Madame Rosmerta, David Thewlis (“Gangster No.
1,” “Timeline”) as professor Remus Lupin,
Timothy Spall (“Nicholas Nickleby”) as Peter
Pettigrew, and Pam Ferris (“Death to Smoochy”)
as Aunt Marge. A key no-show is John Cleese, who will not
reprise Nearly Headless Nick this time around.
Cleese will reportedly return, however,
Potter And The Goblet Of Fire.” Mike Newell (“Pushing
Tin,” “Mona Lisa Smile”) was set to direct
from a screenplay by Kloves. In this installment, based
on Rowling’s 2000 novel, 14-year-old Harry, having
grown tired of the prudish and anti-wizard muggle branch
of his family, decides to spend the balance of his summer
vacation with Hermoine, Ron and the other Weasleys, who
are off to see the Quidditch World Cup. It’s in development
at Warner Bros.
As the title suggests, “Alien vs. Predator” is
a prequel to two movies: 1979’s “Alien” and
1987’s “Predator.” Set in the early 21st
century, it stars Lance Henriksen (the android in “Aliens” and
the billionaire industrialist in “Alien3”)
as a billionaire industrialist who leads an Antarctic scientific
expedition to uncover an ancient pyramid. On arrival, the
party discovers two alien races engaged in a battle to
the finish. Paul W.S. Anderson (“Resident Evil”)
was set to direct from a screenplay by Anderson and Shane
Salerno (“Armageddon”). Fox anticipates a summer
2004 title bout.
“Mission: Impossible 3” also has taken to refreshing
the series with new directorial blood. Joe Carnahan (“Narc”)
directs this one from a screenplay co-written by Dean Georgaris
(“Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life,” “Paycheck”).
In it, secret agent Ethan Hunt is again deployed by the
U.S. government’s top-secret Impossible Mission Force.
Returnees from parts one and two are expected to include
screenwriter Robert Towne (“Without Limits”)
and actors Tom Cruise (“Minority Report,” “The
Last Samurai”) and Ving Rhames (“Dark Blue”).
Paramount expects to open it in late 2004 or early 2005.
Look Who’s Masking. “Son Of The Mask” is
a comedy fantasy about a man whose infant son gains superpowers
when the tot dons the mask of Loki. Lawrence Guterman (“Cats & Dogs”)
directed from a screenplay by Tom Gammill & Max Pross
(TV’s “Seinfeld”), Lance Khazei (“Romantic
Comedy”) and Rob McKittrick. Jamie Kennedy (“Malibu’s
Most Wanted”) and Alan Cumming (“Spy Kids 3D:
Game Over”) were set to star. New Line gives us a
peek Oct. 8.
“Riddick” is a sequel to “Pitch Black” and
a sci-fi actioner about an escaped convict who learns more
about his special vision powers as he is drawn into a galactic
war. Returnees from part one include writer-director David
Twohy (“Below”) and actor Vin Diesel (“A
Man Apart”). Co-stars include Ja Rule (“Half
Past Dead”), Thandie Newton (“The Truth About
Charlie”), Judi Dench (“Die Another Day”),
Colm Feore (“National Security,” “Paycheck”)
and Karl Urban (“Ghost Ship”). It’s also
known as “The Chronicles of Riddick” and “Pitch
Black 2.” Universal plans to let it see the light
of day June 11.
“Spider-Man 2” is well under way. In this
installment, Peter Parker must use his bizarre superpowers
to combat the freakish multi-armed super-villain Dr. Otto
Octavius (and perhaps also a supervillain dubbed The Lizard).
This follow-up to the 2002 mega-hit is based on the 40-year-old
Marvel Comics character created by Stan Lee (“X-Men,” “Daredevil,” “Hulk”).
Returnees from part one include director Sam Raimi (“The
Gift”) as well as actors Tobey Maguire (“Seabiscuit”)
as Parker, Kirsten Dunst (“Cat’s Meow”)
as Mary Jane Watson, James Franco (“Sonny”)
as Harry Osborne, J.K. Simmons (“The Mexican”)
as J. Jonah Jameson, Ted Raimi (“For Love of the
Game”) as Ted Hoffman, Rosemary Harris (“The
Gift”) as Aunt May, Elizabeth Banks (“Catch
Me If You Can”) as Betty Brandt and Bruce Campbell
(“The Majestic”). Newcomers to the series include
novelist Michael Chabon (“Wonder Boys”), who
contributes to the script, and screenwriter Alvin Sargent
(“Unfaithful”), as well as actors Alfred Molina
(“Identity,” “My Life Without Me”)
as Doc Ock, Dylan Baker (“Head of State,” “How
To Deal”) as Curt Connors and Daniel Gillies (TV’s “Jeremiah”)
as astronaut John Jameson. Sony plans box office fireworks
The sequel development world is mighty
busy with franchises new and old. Newcomer William Monahan
(whose spec script
became the upcoming “Tripoli”) was reportedly
hard at work on the screenplay for “Jurassic
Park IV.” Rumor has it the new film will be set in an
urban environment, and bring together Dr. Ian Malcolm (Jeff
Goldblum) and Dr. Alan Grant (Sam Neill) – to say
nothing of millionaire John Hammond (Richard Attenborough) – for
the first time since the 1993 original. Universal puts
the bite on July 2005.
“The Bourne Supremacy” is a thriller about
what happens when someone assassinates the Chinese vice
premiere, then frames “Jason Bourne,” the false
identity used by CIA agent David Webb, for the slaying.
The sequel to the 2002 blockbuster “The Bourne Identity,” is
based on the second novel in the “Bourne” series
authored by Robert Ludlum (“The Osterman Weekend”).
Returnees from “The Bourne Identity” are expected
to include screenwriter Tony Gilroy (“Proof of Life”)
and actor Matt Damon (“Gerry,” “Stuck
on You”). Newcomers to the franchise were expected
to include director Paul Greengrass (“Bloody Sunday”)
and actress Tilda Swinton. Filming is expected to start
this month for Universal’s July 23 release.
“Batman 5” is the working title for the latest
in the lucrative Caped Crusader franchise, said to be centered
around the power-mad immortal Ra’s Al Ghul. Christian
Bale (“Reign of Fire”) was recently signed
for the title role. Christopher Nolan (“Memento,” “Insomnia”)
was set to direct from a screenplay by David S. Goyer (all
three “Blade” movies). Warner Bros. is aiming
at a summer 2005 release.
“Indiana Jones 4” is obviously the fourth
in the movies’ “Indiana Jones” series.
Returnees from the first three are expected to include
director Steven Spielberg (“Catch Me If You Can”)
and star Harrison Ford (“Hollywood Homicide”).
Frank Darabont (“The Green Mile”) contributed
the screenplay. Paramount is hoping to whip up enthusiasm
for a 2005 release.
“XXX2” is going forward without Vin Diesel
and “XXX” director Rob Cohen; Lee Tamahori
will instead direct Ice Cube in the lead role. Neither
of the newcomers is a stranger to sequels: the actor is
a vet of the “Friday” and “Barbershop” franchises
while Tamahori is likely best known for helming the latest
James Bond adventure, “Die Another Day.” There’s
no definitive word yet as to whether Samuel L. Jackson
will reprise his role as Agent Augustus Gibbons. Sony is
tentatively planning a June 2005 release.
It should not be confused with Fox’s “X-Men
3.” The latest edition in the mutant franchise is
expected sometime in 2006. There’s no word on which
mutants return or any plot points.
Speaking of which, “Scary Movie 4” is said
to spoof superhero movies. Returnees from part 3 may include
director David Zucker (“My Boss’s Daughter”)
and screenwriters Craig Mazin (“Rocket Man,” “Senseless”)
and Pat Proft (“Wrongfully Accused”). Returnees
from all three prior installments may include actress Anna
Faris (“May,” “Lost in Translation”).
It’s in development at Miramax/Dimension.
Do you like gladiator movies, Timmy?
2” is right up your alley. Writer John Logan is about
the only one certain to return for the sequel to the 2000
Academy Award winner. DreamWorks plans a 2005 or ‘06
“Mad Max: Fury Road” is
reportedly on hold due to security concerns at its Namibian
Fox, however, still posts July 23, 2004 as its release
“James Bond 21” will likely mark the last appearance
of Pierce Brosnan in the 41-year-old franchise. MGM spies
a 2005 release.
Naomi Watts is expected to return for “The Ring
2”. No other details are known about the DreamWorks
project beyond a Nov. 10 release date.
“Daredevil 2” and “Elektra” are
the respective sequel to and spin-off of the 2003 hit.
Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner are expected to reprise
their roles as blind-lawyer-by-day/superhero-avenger-by-night
Matt Murdock and heiress/assassin Elektra Natchios. The
Fox projects are in development.
No telling how many colons will find
their ways onto the title of Disney’s “Pirates of the Caribbean
II,” but don’t be surprised if the sequel to
this year’s second-highest grosser sets sail soon.