Pop Culture Q&A, Vol. 4: What non-existent sequels would you want to see?

This installment of Pop Culture Q&A asks:

  • What movies would you like to see sequels to?

Great question, because it’s challenging to find the perfect movie that wouldn’t be ruined by adding more to the story. The inherent problem with answering this question is that a truly good movie is one that can stand alone on its own artistic merit. It doesn’t need to be enhanced by a prequel/sequel. It always surprised me that Lord Of The Rings: Return Of The King won the Academy Award for Best Picture because it was really the third part of a really long movie. On top of that, Hollywood has already answered this question for us many times over by tapping into some great sequel material (Godfather Part II, Back To The Future 2, Home Alone 2).

So here are two sequels that I’d go see.

1. Inception 2

I feel dirty even writing that title out. Inception is the story of dream-planter Cobb and his team of dream-manipulators who have to pull off a grand heist, or rather the inverse of a heist. This movie was from an original screenplay written by Christopher Nolan over the course of eight or nine years. That’s a large part of why I loved it so much. It felt like nothing I’d ever seen before. It wasn’t a reboot of a character or a continuation of a franchise, it was just Cobb and his mission. It was inventive and unique and so complex. And I would love to see what Nolan could do with a sequel. I feel like rather than focusing on Cobb, the emotional pull of the story would have to come from another character, like Arthur or Ariadne. It’d be difficult to hinge the sequel on Cobb again because Inception so perfectly follows the story of his emotional redemption and it’s put a period (at the very least, an ellipse) on his character’s arc. But Nolan is a master film maker and I wouldn’t put it past him to dive back into the dream world and create something equally as stunning and powerful as Inception.

2. The Sting II

Yes, yes, I know this movie was already made in 1983 with Jackie Gleason. However, it hardly qualifies as a legitimate sequel, as the main characters have essentially different back stories, hell, they even have different names (Henry Gondorff becomes Fargo Gondorff and Johnny Hooker is now Jake Hooker? Weird.). This could be thought of as a reboot, and I want to see a sequel. Give me Newman and Redford back in their title roles. I’m not sure where the story goes after The Sting ends; it was emotionally grounded because the con started from a place of vengence but quickly grew into something more important, Gondorff and Hooker’s letting go of the grief over the loss of their dear friend. I’m not sure how a continuation of Gondorff and Hooker’s story could have that sort of emotional punch and this makes me think a sequel would be dead in the water after the opening credits. A major twist to the format would be to pit Gondorff and Hooker against each other in some sort of con gone wrong or con gang war and see how that dynamic played out. Again, these are not perfect ideas and they’d most likely flop, but the joy of seeing Gondorff and Hooker on screen (as played by only Newman and Redford) is just too much for me not to kind of wish a real sequel had been made.

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