Posted: Thursday, April 17, 2014 12:00 pm

By Debbie Baldwin

It seems most of what comes out of Hollywood these days are sequels and prequels…and remakes and re-imaginings and reinterpretations. It’s green, actually: Reuse, reduce, recycle. If there’s an additional dollar to be made…like I said, green. So it may surprise you to know that at some point, industry executives dropped the ball. Either that or they exercised some discretion and halted work on an ill-conceived sequel. Perhaps someone learned a valuable lesson from Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo and Weekend at Bernie’s 2. Believe it or not, according to, these sequels were actually in the works until the plug—for whatever reason—was pulled.

Forrest Gump 2: Gump and Co.

Honestly, there was so much going on in the first movie, I can’t imagine what was left to film. You can only cover so many decades.

E.T. II: Nocturnal Fears

As a child, I’d often hoped for E.T.’s return. Sure, that freakishly adorable alien was ‘right here’ in our hearts, but I wanted to see that darn bike fly again. As time passed, it occurred to me that the perfect sequel would be a film where Elliott is an off-track adult with a family of his own and E.T. returns. The sequel they actually had planned involved evil aliens invading and abducting children. Go big or go home. Fortunately, they went home.

The Breakfast Club 2

At least, there was no ridiculous subtitle following the colon. The film would have reconnected with the high-school outcasts: the nerd (Anthony Michael Hall), the princess (Molly Ringwald), the jock (Emilio Estevez), the rebel (Judd Nelson) and the poet (Ally Sheedy). The film fell through when star Judd Nelson had a very public falling out with writer/director John Hughes. Maybe Nelson knew he was the only one who wouldn’t have a career going forward.

Gladiator 2

Always an interesting undertaking when the main character dies in the first film, rumor has it this sequel involved Russell Crowe’s Maximus in the afterlife. Fortunately, everyone came to their senses.

Napoleon Dynamite 2

I guess there is only so much pot people can smoke.

Kill Bill Vol. 3

This may be the only regrettable decision on this list. Tarantino planned to follow Vernita Green’s (Vivica A. Fox) daughter as she grows up, with a life mission to avenge her mother’s death and kill The Bride (Uma Thurman). It’s not too late.

Elf 2

It may not star Will Ferrell, but this will happen—trust me.

Ferris Bueller 2: Another Day Off

OK, maybe not another day off in high school or even college, but the idea of Ferris as a buttoned-up lawyer who has lost his zest for life taking a day off, that’s appealing. Maybe Ferris’ hypochondriac buddy Cameron (Alan Ruck) changed the course of his life when he liberated his father’s Ferrari from its glass garage. Maybe sister Jeanie (Jennifer Grey) ran off with the bad boy (Charlie Sheen) in the police station. Think of the possibilities.

One need only look at the American Pie franchise or Ocean’s Eleven to see the lengths to which Hollywood is willing to go to milk a concept. For now, everything seems fine on the sequel front. If Stallone tries to turn Grudge Match into another Rocky franchise, we may have a problem.