Some movies are so great they have us clamoring for a sequel. And then we get… nothing. Until suddenly, years later, a sequel appears! Sometimes clashing schedules or lack of a good idea leave sequels on the table for a long time, so long that fans never really think it’s going to happen. But over the years, we’ve been blessed with some super late sequels — we’re talking ten years or more! — that have completely blown our minds!
The extra time it takes for the sequels to come into our lives may actually be a benefit. When sequels to popular movies are rushed out to capitalize on the popularity, they can often be disappointing. They’re rushed and thrown together just to be pushed out for fans. On the flip side, when movies are put on hold for years and years until they’re perfect, we the fans reap all the rewards. Here are some sequels that came out a decade or more after their previous installment!
18. Mad Max: Fury Road
The Mad Max films brought Mel Gibson fame, and basically introduced the idea of dystopian futures to film. The original three films were released in the late ’70s and early ’80s, and then many fans assumed the franchise was done. Until 30 years later when Mad Max: Fury Road brought a new sequel into the series! The movie began development in the ’90s, with attempts to shoot it in the early ’00s. But development issues kept setting it back and it wasn’t until 2015 when the flick finally hit theaters. The wait was more than worth it, though, since the movie was widely acclaimed and even nominated for several Academy Awards!
17. Scream 4
The original Scream film revitalized the horror-comedy genre, bringing back the thematic elements of slasher films especially. The original trilogy is one of the best horror film trilogies ever. Except, the series didn’t end at a trilogy like it was meant to. 11 years after Scream 3, the fourth installment was released, bringing the revolutionary film series to a new audience. This sequel was an impressive return to form. Kevin Williamson came back after writing the first two films and much of the original cast returned to reprise their roles. It was a perfect send-off for these characters that fans had grown to love in a sequel that actually added value to the series.
16. Blues Brothers 2000
Not long after the original Blue Brothers film, one of the movies stars, John Belushi, passed away. That pretty much put the rumors of a sequel to rest. How could they go on without the incomparable Belushi? 18 years after the original, OG Blues Brother Dan Aykroyd decided to bring everyone back for another go-round, dedicated to Belushi’s memory. The film features plenty of stars from the original, as well as a few new faces. It nailed the same fun, bluesy energy as the first film and somehow managed to pile up more cars than the original too!
15. Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps
The original Wall Street film really nailed the financial boom of the ’80s and the great deal of monetary success happening at the time. It took 23 years for a sequel to emerge, but when it did, it encapsulated an entirely different time for the U.S. economy. This time around, the subject was the all-too-relevant 2008 financial crisis. Michael Douglas returns as Gordan Gekko, less of a scumbag than he was in the original. After the original movie, he spent some time in prison. But he’s back and attempting to repair his image. As far as sequels go, this one took a timely twist on the first installment and still stayed true to the characters.
14. Basic Instinct 2
The original Basic Instinct was a crazy erotic thriller. It took 14 years and a whole lot of development hell, but an equally thrilling sequel soon emerged. Issues with casting the male lead held up production since many shied away from the sexual and controversial content of the film. Eventually, the film was called off altogether. But a determined Sharon Stone sued for breach of contract and pushed hard to get the movie made. The second installment may not be as iconic as the first, but it has Stone being sexy as hell so it’s not all bad.
13. Clerks II
In 1994, Clerks was that silly, sleeper hit that every cool kid loved. It was shot in black-and-white and it was totally weird and hilarious. Fans discovered the cult film over time and wondered where a sequel was. It took 12 long years for the sequel to appear due to Kevin Smith‘s burgeoning career and various commitments. But eventually Clerks 2 came out with the same original cast along with a few new additions. The movie was just as much the slacker epic as the original was, proving to be a movie-anthem for lazy dudes everywhere.
12. Tron: Legacy
The original Tron was released in 1982. The sequel? 2010. That’s almost thirty years in between installments. But what the fans want, the fans get! The original garnered a cult following and campaigned for years to get a sequel made. When it was finally released, it only received decent reviews, but one thing was clear: both films had the same state-of-the-art effects despite being produced in different eras. They are both stunning films and many of the same actors from the original appear in the second. Guess it doesn’t matter how long it takes if fans truly love a movie, they’ll show up for the sequel!
11. Psycho 2
Psycho is regarded to this day as both one of the greatest horror movies of all time and as one of Alfred Hitchcock‘s greatest cinematic accomplishments. As is common when anything is a huge success, someone has to make a dang sequel. Twenty-three years after the 1960 original, Psycho 2 was released. Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins) is back and freshly released from a mental institution. He tries to live a normal life but his past is never far behind. While it didn’t quite match up to the original (not even close!), it did come close to the tone and feel of a Hitchcock film. That’s a credit to director Richard Franklin, a friend and fan of Hitchcock’s.
10. Men in Black 3
The Men in Black series has always been out-of-this-world entertaining. But it’s hard to keep up the tone and humor by the time you get to a third film — especially when there’s a decade’s long gap between the second and third films in a series. But Men in Black 3 somehow manages to be just as great as its predecessors and even made more money than them. Damn! Occasionally sequels are just as good, if not better, than the original – making the case for their existence. This is one of those times where the sequel, though released a bit late, adds value to the series. Can we get a Men in Black 4 now please?
9. Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines
The themes of The Terminator pretty much never stop being relevant. The idea that computers may take over the world is basically becoming more realistic by the day. So, of course, Terminator 3 needed to happen in the modern era. Twelve years after the second installment in the series comes the third, in which Judgement Day approaches. The resistance against the machines remains strong in the past and present, and you know what else is still strong? Arnold Schwarzenegger, who was in his 50s during the 2003 film. Two more sequels have been released since then, with the Arnold looking so good, you’d never know there were long gaps between the sequels!
8. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
Not all long-awaited sequels are good sequels. The first three Indiana Jones films were absolute classics of the action-adventure genre. So another film would only be a good thing, right? Ehhh. Nineteen years after the third film, the fourth flick was released. Unfortunately, it didn’t exactly live up to expectations. The original deal was for five Indiana Jones films, but Steven Spielberg thought after three, he was fresh out of ideas. It wasn’t until many years later, he began to tinker again with reviving the franchise, reportedly at the urging of his son. While it’s always good to have a little more Harrison Ford in our lives, the alien subplot and Shia LaBeouf inclusion we could’ve done without. We get it, maybe Spielberg was a little rusty. So here’s to hoping the planned 2020 fifth installment will be better!
7. Dumb and Dumber to
Sometimes you don’t need a sequel, but you’re sure happy you got it. Dumb and Dumber to is one of those sequels. The third film in the hilarious Dumb and Dumber franchise follows Harry (Jeff Daniels) and Lloyd (Jim Carrey), who are as idiotic as ever, as they search for Harry’s daughter who was adopted. The film went through a bit of production hell before it was finally made, including a stint where Carrey dropped out of the picture altogether. The issues were solved, though, and the hilarious film was made. And thank god, because we definitely don’t have enough Jim Carrey on-screen anymore!
6. The Godfather: Part III
When you have a story as vast and intricate as that of the Corleone family’s, you’re going to need more than a few movies to tell it in. Sixteen years after the superb second film in the trilogy, part three of the mafia epic hit theaters. Francis Ford Coppola and Mario Puza reunited yet again to write the film and Coppola directed as well. The film is meant as a bookend to the series; Coppola called it an epilogue to the first two films. He didn’t even want to make the film, originally, and only agreed to it out of financial necessity, which is why it came so much later than the first two. The film is still beloved, though not as much as the first two.
5. Rocky Balboa
Sylvester Stallone has played Rocky Balboa for the better part of his career, and it’s what made him a star. Obviously, he wasn’t going to completely let the character go in the ’90s. Sixteen years after the fifth film in the series, Rocky returns, though a little more battered than before. His wife has died and he’s trying to navigate life after boxing. He eventually becomes reinvigorated with fighting and finds that he may still have it in him to kick some ass. The movie is full of training montages and beautifully choreographed fights, plus the realization that Rocky’s a little older, a little wiser, and this world is a little different than before.
4. Star Wars: Episode VII
After the first two trilogies in the Star Wars series, it was assumed there would be no more sequels. George Lucas certainly didn’t seem keen on making any more. But when his production company was sold to The Walt Disney Company, suddenly talks of a new Star Wars film began floating around. Those talks led to Star Wars: Episode VII, a.k.a The Force Awakens. The Walt Disney Company wasn’t going to waste any time making money off of one of their newly-acquired, highly-profitable franchises! The film was met with surprisingly good reviews and launched a whole new trilogy for a new generation.
3. Jurassic World
As amazing as the original Jurassic Park films, it’s hard not to imagine how great they could be with modern CGI. Since, you know, the biggest component of the film is dinosaurs! Fans got that wish in 2015 when Jurassic World brought the franchise into a new era. Fourteen years after the original trilogy of films ended, a new one began that continued the dinosaur epic. While the film was planned much earlier than it was released, it was that time that allowed it to become something a little more modern and different from its predecessors. Plus, those years in between gave Chris Pratt time to get famous enough to be in the film and we’re all thankful for that!
2. Toy Story 3
The first two Toy Story films were incredibly special for ’90s kids. They were heartfelt, hilarious, and have infinite rewatch potential. So when Toy Story 3 was announced eleven years after the second, pretty much everyone was stoked. The third was amazing and well worth the wait. But it wasn’t an easy road to get made. Another version of the film was initially in development when contentious negotiations left Pixar leaving the franchise behind. When Disney bought Pixar, that version of the film was laid to rest as Pixar was able to make the movie fans deserved. What resulted was a surprisingly emotional and touching film.
1. The Incredibles 2
In 2004, The Incredibles was pretty much a revelation. Kids loved it, adults loved it and everyone wanted a sequel. But as time went on, it seemed clear that it wasn’t going to happen. Director Brad Bird was interested in a sequel but had to find the time in between other projects. When he finally did have the time, the challenge was now creating a superhero film in an era where superhero films were everywhere in a way they hadn’t been in 2004. In 2018, The Incredibles 2 finally saw the light of day and there were definitely as many adults as kids in theaters on opening day. With elevated animation and refreshing humor, the film is one those sequels that gets it so right. Let’s hope it’s not another fourteen years until the third film!