Hollywood is having a field day with making sequels and remakes to various films. Some work better than others, but sometimes you see a film and it’s potential hasn’t been realized in a single story. That or it has a great idea that has more possibilities to expand in a sequel. Remakes are a difficult matter since most films don’t really need remakes while others had rough starts and could do with a different or modern interpretation.
The 90’s are an interesting era for cinema. There are plenty of good films but many of them didn’t do as well as they could have or only got recognition years later as cult classics. These are the films that I think should get a sequel. Sometimes to expand on a good story and other times to bring attention to the original but expanding on an already interesting film.
1. Muppet Treasure Island (1996)
I grew up watching this film as a kid. It doesn’t get as much reverence as other Muppet films like A Christmas Carol or the original Muppets Movie. Jim Henson’s son Brian Henson directed Treasure Island, which is a very difficult shadow to live under career wise. His work on Muppet Treasure Island was always going to be compared to Jim Henson’s previous work and because of this Treasure Island tends to get overlooked.
However, now that the Muppets are back on TV and in movies we should look back to Treasure Island and see where Tim Curry’s fantastic Long John Silver is today. Jim already made his journey so a sequel can either take place years later when Jim has grown up to be a pirate or older Long John Silver perhaps takes another young boy under his wing.
Unfortunately Tim Curry is not in good health so he probably wouldn’t be able to reprise the role. Recasting would be difficult but it’s certainly possible.
2. Toy Soldiers (1991)
Toy Soldiers was a ridiculous film. It was pretty much Red Dawn without the anti communist paranoia. It is a quintessential 90’s film and one that could work well in sequel form. All the original cast are too old to reprise the same roles but what could be interesting is take the original plot of terrorists taking over a boarding school and having some of the original cast play either parents or teachers who have kids at the school.
That way you can bring back someone like Sean Astin but bring in a new generation of young actors to fight the terrorist threat invading the school. The original was a pretty goofy film so a sequel really can’t take itself that seriously.
What could be more fun is if it’s plays along with the silly idea and turns it into a kind of Home Alone with a bigger group of kids fighting terrorists in improvised ways. A sequel has a lot of room to grow since the original is less fondly remembered than other films of that era. Many still love it but it’s not as sacred of a film as others I can think of from the 90’s.
There would be less of a backlash if Hollywood made a sequel to Toy Soldiers. All they do is gather a young cast of up and coming names, throw in some of the original cast as parents or teachers then have them all fight off a terrorist threat. These days a terrorist invading a school is a timely subject so it would have to tread carefully and not take the subject too lightly but still have fun with the absurd idea.
3. Ravenous (1999)
Critics had no idea what Ravenous was when it came out. It seems like they were confused as to whether it was a comedy or horror. The truth is the film is a fantastic mix of absurd dark comedy and horror. The film failed to do well both commercially and critically since it was not advertised very well. These days it has gathered a cult following with those who get what it’s trying to do but the ideas present in the film have a lot of potential for a sequel.
The overall concept of the original film where cannibalism is linked to the Native American legend of the Wendigo where a man consuming another man’s flesh gains his strength is a brilliant and twisted idea that was explored in the original but could be expanded upon in a sequel.
Without getting too far into spoiler territory, most of the characters in the original film are not doing well by the end. It would be difficult to bring back most of the original cast. As much as I would love to see Robert Carlyle and Guy Pearce return, it wouldn’t really make much sense to have them come back. However the core concept can return perhaps with a different ensemble. T
ake the original idea of cannibalism linked to the Wendigo legend and move it to another military outpost in a remote area. Perhaps the people that discover what happened at the site of the original film find out about the Wendigo legend and bring it back to their base where they eventually get snowed in and succumb to the horrors of cannibalism despite how they know what it can do to people.
Maybe they don’t believe the legend at first but the closer they inch to needing to resort to eating their fellow man the more they realize it’s too late to go back.
4. Election (1999)
Election wraps up it’s story by the end of the original film without really leaving it too open for a sequel. Despite that though I think there is some potential with Reese Witherspoon’s character Tracey Flick. We pretty much know where Matthew Broderick’s character Jim is heading by the end of the first film but Tracey’s fate is up in the air.
We last see her apparently working for a congressman when enrages Jim, but I’d like to see how far her naïve self-importance and idealism would get her in the real world. It would be like a dark comedy version of Legally Blonde. Tracey was never that ditsy but seeing her face the harsh realities of life and having to adjust to them would be interesting.
We don’t want to get too close to Legally Blonde but we can have her running for Congress and maybe if we want to bring Broderick back he can be apposing her. She is the young naïve idealist and he is the jaded politician who despite not having tons of political experience he is much more jaded by reality and see’s how she screwed him over before and wants to get back at her for ruining his life.
Seeing where they both are now would be an interesting story. Her fate is more compelling than Jim’s since her character has more possibilities but bringing Jim back even if just for a glorified cameo could provide context for the rest of the story.
5. Small Soldiers (1998)
I haven’t seen this film in years. It’s one I have fond memories of from when I was a kid but I don’t know popular it is today. Joe Dante of Gremlin’s fame directed it but Small Soldiers doesn’t usually get brought up as one of his gems.
The idea of a bunch of toy soldiers lead by Chip Hazard who don’t realize they’re toys fighting against a group of alien toys called the Gorgonites who want to return to their homeland is a ridiculous idea. Despite the absurdity it is grounded in the real world by the main character a young boy named Alan.
At the end of the original the evil Commandos have been defeated but it’s hinted that they’re being sold to Rebels in South America. When we leave the Gorgonites they have been taken to their homeland in Yosemite where Alan sets them free to find their homeland of Gorgon. Sequel wise the Commando’s fate is ominous so the idea of them returning in a new film perhaps plotting to overthrow a dictator in South America could be fantastic.
Especially if Dante subverts the audience’s expectations like he did with Gremlins 2. Some of the original cast like Ernest Borgnine, Phil Hartman and George Kennedy are no longer alive but their roles can be replaced with other characters or just change voice actors.
Transport the absurd idea of toys who don’t realize they’re toys trying to take over a country in South America has a lot of possibilities. Not sure how the Gorgonites would fit into that narrative since their story was wrapped up in the last film but it doesn’t seem necessary for them to return.