12 Proposed Sequels That Thankfully Never Happened

While unoriginal sequels have become commonplace, there are still some films that remain sacred, despite the sometimes decades of persistent rumors that a sequel is in the works. (We’re looking at you, Goonies.) Here are 12 proposed movie sequels that fortunately never happened.

1. E.T. II: NOCTURNAL FEARS

Call it a case of ’80s greed. Just over a month after E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial opened and stirred up an unexpected box office bonanza, Steven Spielberg and screenwriter Melissa Mathison came up with a concept for a follow-up film. Their idea? A ship full of evil, carnivorous aliens (their words) kidnap Elliott and his friends, and it’s up to E.T. to save them. (You can read Spielberg and Mathison’s full treatment here.)

Spielberg realized rather quickly that taking his iconic alien into darker territory was a bad idea. “Sequels can be very dangerous because they compromise your truth as an artist,” he recently said. “I think a sequel to E.T. would do nothing but rob the original of its virginity. People only remember the latest episode, while the pilot tarnishes.”

2. RETURN TO CASABLANCA

Rick’s final line in Casablanca—“Louie, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship”— left the door open for a continuation of Rick and Ilsa’s love story (or at least more of Rick). Shortly after the film’s release, Warner Bros. began work on a sequel, Brazzaville, which only ever made it to the treatment phase. Small-screen versions in 1955 and 1983 were short-lived. And a few of the original film’s screenwriters (there were a handful of them) have tried their hardest to keep the story going, too. In 1980, Howard Koch wrote a treatment for Return to Casablanca, in which Ilsa’s young son searches for his father (spoiler alert: it’s not Victor)! In early 2013, another sequel treatment—this one by Murray Burnett, who wrote the play upon which the film is based—was discovered. This one reunites Rick and Ilsa just three years after the original film ends. Warner Bros. passed on the idea years ago, but the pages were intriguing enough to memorabilia collector Albert Tapper that he purchased them from Burnett’s widow. “It's a great collectible,” Tapper noted, “a typewritten original with a coffee cup stain on the cover.” Collectible? Yes. But a viable idea that will ever make its way to the silver screen? Probably not.

3. FORREST GUMP 2: GUMP & CO.

Six months after Tom Hanks took home a Best Actor Oscar for Forrest Gump, author Winston Groom released Gump & Co., a sequel to the novel upon which the film was based. Meta in a way that the original book had no right to be (the follow-up book starts out with Forrest telling the reader, “Don't never let nobody make a movie of your life's story”), Gump & Co. offers more of the same guy-in-the-right-place-at-the-right-time shenanigans that the first book (and movie) did: Forrest invents New Coke, crashes the Exxon Valdez, and knocks down the Berlin Wall. Which, of course, set the Hollywood Hills alive with the sound of “sequel.” Eric Roth returned to pen the script, which he turned in the night before 9/11. “We sat down—Tom [Hanks] and Bob [Zemeckis] and I—looked at each other and said, we don’t think this is relevant anymore. The world had changed,” Roth told /Film in 2008. “Now time has obviously passed, but maybe some things should just be one thing and left as they are.”

4. THE BREAKFAST CLUB: 10 YEARS LATER

Though no sequel was ever made from a Brat Pack film, it wasn’t for lack of ideas or wanting. John Hughes expressed a strong desire to revisit several of his iconic characters, including the brain, the athlete, the basket case, the princess, and the criminal that made up The Breakfast Club. Hughes’ original idea was to catch up with the gang a decade after the original film, but he ended up losing interest in the project over time, telling the Hartford Courant in 1999, “There's no excuse that could ever put them in the same room ever again. There isn't anything in their lives after high school relevant to that day.”

5. FERRIS BUELLER 2: ANOTHER DAY OFF

As if a failed television series weren’t enough, revisiting Ferris Bueller on his 40th birthday was yet another thing on John Hughes’ to-do list. And there’s even a script, penned by Rick Rapier, which sees Ferris (now a motivational speaker) facing a midlife crisis as he approaches the big 4-0. So he enlists Cameron, now his business manager, to play hooky for a day and party like it’s 1986. Considering that it would be difficult to make a Ferris Bueller sequel without Matthew Broderick—who is now in his early 50s—and that it has been four years since Hughes’ untimely passing, seeing this long-gestating project come to fruition seems unlikely.

6. GLADIATOR 2: Christ Killer

We’re not sure which part is stranger: that when talks of a Gladiator sequel came about, studio executives approached musician Nick Cave to write it. That John Logan wrote a version of the script, too. Or that it never got made it all.

In July, the rocker finally set the record straight on WTF with Marc Maron. Basically, it was all true!

Cave explained that it was his good friend Russell Crowe who approached him about the project. Cave had one question: “‘Hey Russell, didn't you die in Gladiator 1?’ ‘Yeah, you sort that out,’” Cave recalled of their original conversation. So he came up with an idea for Maximum: “He goes down to purgatory and is sent down by the gods, who are dying in heaven because there’s this one god, there’s this Christ character, down on Earth who is gaining popularity and so the many gods are dying so they send Gladiator back to kill Christ and his followers… I wanted to call it Christ Killer and in the end you find out that the main guy was his son so he has to kill his son and he was tricked by the gods. He becomes this eternal warrior and it ends with this 20-minute war scene which follows all the wars in history, right up to Vietnam and all that sort of stuff and it was wild. It was a stone cold masterpiece.”

Cave also recalled Crowe’s reaction: “Don’t like it, mate.”

“I enjoyed writing it very much because I knew on every level that it was never going to get made,” Cave said. “Let’s call it a popcorn dropper.”

7. ELF 2

In 2005, Will Ferrell nabbed the number 18 spot on Forbes’ Top 100 Celebrities list after banking $40 million in one year alone. But Ferrell made it clear that he wasn’t in Hollywood simply for the hefty paychecks when he turned down $29 million to make Elf 2. “Twenty-nine million [dollars] does seem [like] a lot of money for a guy to wear tights, but it's what the marketplace will bear,” Ferrell told The Guardian in 2006. He went on to note the decision to say no to a sequel—or such a massive payday—“wasn't difficult at all. I remember asking myself: Could I withstand the criticism when it’s bad and they say, ‘He did the sequel for the money'? I decided I wouldn't be able to. I didn't want to wander into an area that could erase all the good work I've done.” He also said no to Old School Dos. “But you watch,” Ferrell noted. “I'll do some sequel in the future that’s crap.”

8. EI8HT

David Fincher made his feelings on a sequel to Se7en clear when asked whether he would be involved in Ei8ht by an audience member at an event for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button at New York City’s Lincoln Center. “I would be less interested in that than I would in having cigarettes put out in my eyes,” he stated. “I keep trying to get out from under my own shadow… I don’t want to do the same shit over and over.” Neither Brad Pitt nor Morgan Freeman were interested either. But the studio already had a script, about a psychic working with the FBI to help track a serial killer, and they weren’t ready to drop it into the shredder just yet. So they did a little tinkering and turned the film into Solace, which bears the same premise but nothing to do with Se7en. It will arrive in theaters next year with Anthony Hopkins and Colin Farrell.

9. THE MATRIX 4

Anything is possible in The Matrix—numbers four and five. On January 24, 2011, entertainment writers went wild after learning that Keanu Reeves had confirmed that there would be at least two more entries in The Matrix franchise during a speech he was giving at the London International School of Performing Arts. There was just one problem: Keanu Reeves was never at the London International School of Performing Arts. The whole sequel excitement—which many publications around the globe picked up and ran with—was just a hoax. Reeves’ reps told The Playlist that “none of it is true… he did not speak nor get an award from the London International School of Performing Arts.” Oops.

10. THE GODFATHER 4

You can’t blame Paramount executives from toying with the idea of adding yet another Godfather film to the franchise, if only to make up for the bad taste left in audiences' mouths following the third installment. But it’s also not possible without Francis Ford Coppola. When asked about a long-rumored sequel in 2012, Andy Garcia agreed that “It’s in Francis’ hands.” And Francis made his feelings about the mythical project clear when he told TMZ, the media’s favorite arbiter of truth, that when it comes to The Godfather films, “There should have only been one.” You don’t have to agree with Coppola, but the man has spoken.

11. THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS 2

It’s safe to say that Disney executives would be thrilled if Tim Burton ever decided to follow through on his original plans to produce a sequel to his dual-holiday, stop-motion classic. But Burton has stated his reconsideration of this plan on numerous occasions, after the studio proposed the idea for a CGI continuation in 2001. “I was always very protective of [Nightmare], not to do sequels or things of that kind,” Burton told MTV in 2006. “You know, 'Jack visits Thanksgiving world' or other kinds of things, just because I felt the movie had a purity to it and the people that like it. Because it’s not a mass-market kind of thing, it was important to kind of keep that purity of it. I try to respect people and keep the purity of the project as much as possible.”

12.OFFICE SPACE 2: STILL RENTING

Mike Judge has a habit of making movies that flop at the box office but find new—and profitable—life on home video. He did it with Extract in 2009, Idiocracy in 2006 and, of course, Office Space in 1999. But Judge has been very vocal about the challenges which working with a studio created on Office Space, recalling to the A.V. Club in 2009 that “It was very satisfying to make, but I had to fight for every decision: [the studio] didn’t like the music, they didn’t like the cast, or much of anything. So when it didn’t do well at the box office, it was kind of like, ‘Well, you know, they were right.’ So to have it become more and more popular and make more and more money over these years has been really vindicating.” It must have been particularly vindicating when the studio later approached him with the idea of making a sequel, which he promptly turned down.

Bonus: It's a Wonderful Life

Some movies can benefit from a sequel. It’s a Wonderful Life is not one of them. Still, that tiny fact didn’t stop producers Allen J. Schwalb and Bob Farnsworth from telling Variety in 2013 that a sequel—It’s a Wonderful Life: The Rest of the Story, focused on George Bailey’s not-so-wonderful grandson—was in the works for the 2015 holiday season. Paramount’s reaction to the news was swift and clear: “No project relating to It's A Wonderful Life can proceed without a license from Paramount,” the company said in a statement. “To date, these individuals have not obtained any of the necessary rights, and we would take all appropriate steps to protect those rights.”

Amazon's Best Black Friday Deals: Tech, Video Games, Kitchen Appliances, Clothing, and More

Amazon
Amazon

This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

Black Friday is finally here, and Amazon is offering great deals on kitchen appliances, tech, video games, and plenty more. We will keep updating this page as sales come in, but for now, here are the best Amazon Black Friday sales to check out.

Kitchen

Instant Pot/Amazon

- Instant Pot Duo Plus 9-in-115 Quart Electric Pressure Cooker; $90 (save $40)

- Keurig K-Cafe Special Edition; $190 (save $30)

- Ninja OS301 Foodi 10-in-1 Pressure Cooker and Air Fryer; $125 (save $75)

- Nespresso Vertuo Next Coffee and Espresso Machine by Breville; $120 (save $60)

- KitchenAid KSMSFTA Sifter with Scale Attachment; $95 (save $75)

- Keurig K-Mini Coffee Maker; $60 (save $20)

- Cuisinart Bread Maker; $80 (save $97)

- Anova Culinary Sous Vide Precision Cooker; $139 (save $60)

- Aicook Juicer Machine; $35 (save $15)

- JoyJolt Double Wall Insulated Espresso Mugs - Set of Two; $14 (save $10)

- Longzon Silicone Stretch Lids - Set of 14; $16 (save $11)

- HadinEEon Milk Frother; $37 (save $33)

Home Appliances

Roomba/Amazon

- iRobot Roomba 675 Robot Vacuum with Wi-Fi Connectivity; $179 (save $101)

- ASAKUKI 500ml Premium Essential Oil Diffuser; $22 (save $4)

- Facebook Portal Smart Video Calling 10 inch Touch Screen Display with Alexa; $129 (save $50)

- Bissell air320 Smart Air Purifier with HEPA and Carbon Filters; $280 (save $50)

- Oscillating Quiet Cooling Fan Tower; $59 (save $31)

- TaoTronics PTC 1500W Fast Quiet Heating Ceramic Tower; $55 (save $10)

- Vitamix 068051 FoodCycler 2 Liter Capacity; $300 (save $100)

- Ring Video Doorbell; $70 (save $30)

Video games

Sony

- Marvel's Spider-Man: Game of The Year Edition for PlayStation 4; $20 (save $20)

- The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening; $40 (save $20)

- Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity; $50 (save $10)

- Marvel's Avengers; $25 (save $33)

- The Last of Us Part II for PlayStation 4; $30 (save $30)

- LEGO Harry Potter: Collection; $15 (save $15)

- Ghost of Tsushima; $40 (save $20)

- BioShock: The Collection; $20 (save $30)

- The Sims 4; $24 (save $20)

- God of Warfor PlayStation 4; $10 (save $10)

- Days Gonefor PlayStation 4; $20 (save $6)

- Luigi's Mansion 3 for Nintendo Switch; $40 (save $20)

Computers and tablets

Microsoft/Amazon

- New Apple MacBook Pro 16 inches with 512 GB; $2149 (save $250)

- Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 with 13.5 inch Touch-Screen; $1200 (save $400)

- Lenovo ThinkPad T490 Laptop; $889 (save $111)

- Amazon Fire HD 10 Tablet (64GB); $120 (save $70)

- Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids Edition Tablet (32 GB); $130 (save $70)

- Apple iPad Mini (64 GB); $335 (save $64)

- Vankyo MatrixPad S2 Tablet; $120 (save $10)

Tech, gadgets, and TVs

Apple/Amazon

- Apple Watch Series 3 with GPS; $120 (save $79)

- Seneo Wireless Charger, 3 in 1 Wireless Charging Station; $16 (save $10)

- SAMSUNG 75-inch Class Crystal 4K Smart TV; $998 (save $200)

- Nixplay 2K Smart Digital Picture Frame 9.7 Inch Silver; $238 (save $92)

- All-New Amazon Echo Dot with Clock and Alexa (4th Gen); $39 (save $21)

- MACTREM LED Ring Light 6" with Tripod Stand; $16 (save $3)

- Amazon Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote; $28 (save $12)

- DR. J Professional HI-04 Mini Projector; $93 (save $37)

Headphones and speakers

Beats/Amazon

- Beats Solo3 Wireless On-Ear Headphones; $120 (Save $80)

- Apple AirPods Pro; $169 (save $50)

- Anker Soundcore Upgraded Bluetooth Speaker; $22 (save $8)

- Powerbeats Pro Wireless Earphones; $175 (save $75)

- JBL Boombox; $280 (save $120)

Movies and TV

HBO/Amazon

- Game of Thrones: The Complete Series; $115 (save $89)

- Jurassic World 5-Movie Set; $23 (save $37)

- Deadwood: The Complete Series; $42 (save $28)

- Back to the Future Trilogy; $15 (save $21)

Toys and Games

Amazon

- Awkward Family Photos Greatest Hits; $15 (save $10)

- Exploding Kittens Card Game; $10 (save $10)

- Cards Against Humanity: Hidden Gems Bundle; $14 (save $5)

- LOL Surprise OMG Remix Pop B.B. Fashion Doll; $29 (save $6)

- LEGO Ideas Ship in a Bottle 92177 Expert Building Kit; $56 (save $14)

Furniture

Casper/Amazon

- Casper Sleep Element Queen Mattress; $476 (save $119)

- ZINUS Alexis Deluxe Wood Platform Bed Frame; $135 (save $24)

- ROMOON Dresser Organizer with 5 Drawers; $59 (save $11) 

- AmazonBasics Room Darkening Blackout Window Curtains; $26 (save $5)

- Writing Desk by Caffoz; $119 (save $21)

- SPACE Seating Office Support Managers Chair; $112 (save $116)

- Rivet Globe Stick Table Lamp; $53 (save $17)

- Christopher Knight Home Merel Mid-Century Modern Club Chair; $188 (save $10)

- Walker Edison Furniture Industrial Rectangular Coffee Table; $121 (save $48)

Beauty

Haus/Amazon

- MySmile Teeth Whitening Kit with LED Light; $21 (save $12) 

- Cliganic USDA Organic Lip Balms Set of Six; $6 (save $4)

- HAUS LABORATORIES By Lady Gaga: LE RIOT LIP GLOSS; $7 (save $11)

- Native Deodorant for Men and Women Set of Three; $25 (save $11) 

- BAIMEI Rose Quartz Jade Roller & Gua Sha; $14 (save $3)

- Honest Beauty Clearing Night Serum with Pure Retinol and Salicylic Acid; $20 (save $8)

- WOW Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo and Hair Conditioner Set; $30 (save $5) 

- La Roche-Posay Effaclar Purifying Foaming Gel Cleanser; $15 (save $5)

- wet n wild Bretman Rock Shadow Palette; $9 (save $6)

- EltaMD UV Daily Tinted Face Sunscreen Moisturizer with Hyaluronic Acid; $25 (save $6)

Clothes

Ganni/Amazon

- Ganni Women's Crispy Jacquard Dress; $200 (save $86) 

- The Drop Women's Maya Silky Slip Skirt; $36 (save $9)

- Steve Madden Women's Editor Boot; $80 (save $30)

- adidas Women's Roguera Cross Trainer; $40 (save $25)

- Line & Dot Women's Elizabeth Sweater; $74 (save $18)

- Levi's Men's Sherpa Trucker Jacket; $57 (save $41)

- Adidas Men's Essentials 3-Stripes Tapered Training Joggers Sweatpants; $28 (save $12)

- Timex Men's Weekender XL 43mm Watch; $32 (save $20)

- Ray-Ban Unisex-Adult Hexagonal Flat Lenses Sunglasses; $108 (save $46) 

- Reebok Men's Flashfilm Train Cross Trainer; $64 (save $16)

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12 Spirited Facts About How the Grinch Stole Christmas

Warner Home Video
Warner Home Video

Each year, millions of Americans welcome the holiday season by tuning into their favorite TV specials. For most people, this includes at least one viewing of the 1966 animated classic How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Adapted from Dr. Seuss’s equally famous children’s book by legendary animator Chuck Jones, How the Grinch Stole Christmas first aired more than 50 years ago, on December 18, 1966. Here are 12 facts about the TV special that will surely make your heart grow three sizes this holiday season.

1. Theodor “Dr. Seuss” Geisel And Chuck Jones previously worked together on Army training videos.

During World War II, Geisel joined the United States Army Air Forces and served as commander of the Animation Department for the First Motion Picture Unit, a unit tasked with creating various training and pro-war propaganda films. It was here that Geisel soon found himself working closely with Chuck Jones on an instructional cartoon called Private Snafu. Originally classified as for-military-personnel-only, Private Snafu featured a bumbling protagonist who helped illustrate the dos and don’ts of Army safety and security protocols.

2. It was because of their previous working relationship that Ted Geisel agreed to hand over the rights to The Grinch to Chuck Jones.

After several unpleasant encounters in relation to his previous film work—including the removal of his name from credits and instances of pirated redistribution—Geisel became notoriously “anti-Hollywood.” Because of this, he was reluctant to sell the rights to How the Grinch Stole Christmas. However, when Jones personally approached him about making an adaptation, Geisel relented, knowing he could trust Jones and his vision.

3. Even with Ted Geisel’s approval, the special almost didn’t happen.

By Al Ravenna, World Telegram staff photographer - Library of Congress. New York World-Telegram & Sun Collection. Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons

Whereas today’s studios and production companies provide funding for projects of interest, television specials of the past, like A Charlie Brown Christmas and How the Grinch Stole Christmas, had to rely on company sponsorship in order to get made. While A Charlie Brown Christmas found its financier in the form of Coca-Cola, How the Grinch Stole Christmas struggled to find a benefactor. With storyboards in hand, Jones pitched the story to more than two dozen potential sponsors—breakfast foods, candy companies, and the like—all without any luck. Down to the wire, Jones finally found his sponsor in an unlikely source: the Foundation for Commercial Banks. “I thought that was very odd, because one of the great lines in there is that the Grinch says, ‘Perhaps Christmas doesn’t come from a store,’” Jones said of the surprise endorsement. “I never thought of a banker endorsing that kind of a line. But they overlooked it, so we went ahead and made the picture.”

4. How the Grinch Stole Christmas had a massive budget.

Coming in at over $300,000, or $2.2 million in today’s dollars, the special’s budget was unheard of at the time for a 26-minute cartoon adaptation. For comparison’s sake, A Charlie Brown Christmas’s budget was reported as $96,000, or roughly $722,000 today (and this was after production had gone $20,000 over the original budget).

5. Ted Geisel wrote the song lyrics for the special.

No one had a way with words quite like Dr. Seuss, so Jones felt that Geisel should provide the lyrics to the songs featured in How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

6. Fans requested translations of the “Fahoo Foraze” song.

True to his persona’s tongue-twisting trickery, Geisel mimicked sounds of classical Latin in his nonsensical lyrics. After the special aired, viewers wrote to the network requesting translations of the song as they were convinced that the lyrics were, in fact, real Latin phrases.

7. Thurl Ravenscroft didn’t receive credit for his singing of “You’re A Mean One, Mr. Grinch.”

The famous voice actor and singer, best known for providing the voice of Kellogg’s Tony the Tiger, wasn’t recognized for his work in How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Because of this, most viewers wrongly assumed that the narrator of the special, Boris Karloff, also sang the piece in question. Upset by this oversight, Geisel personally apologized to Ravenscroft and vowed to make amends. Geisel went on to pen a letter, urging all the major columnists that he knew to help him rectify the mistake by issuing a notice of correction in their publications.

8. Chuck Jones had to find ways to fill out the 26-minute time slot.

Because reading the book out loud only takes about 12 minutes, Jones was faced with the challenge of extending the story. For this, he turned to Max the dog. “That whole center section where Max is tied up to the sleigh, and goes down through the mountainside, and has all those problems getting down there, was good comic business as it turns out,” Jones explained in TNT’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas special, which is a special feature on the movie’s DVD. “But it was all added; it was not part of the book.” Jones would go on to name Max as his favorite character from the special, as he felt that he directly represented the audience.

9. The Grinch’s green coloring was inspired by a rental car.

Warner Home Video

In the original book, the Grinch is illustrated as black and white, with hints of pink and red. Rumor has it that Jones was inspired to give the Grinch his iconic coloring after he rented a car that was painted an ugly shade of green.

10. Ted Geisel thought the Grinch looked like Chuck Jones.

When Geisel first saw Jones’s drawings of the Grinch, he exclaimed, “That doesn’t look like the Grinch, that looks like you!” Jones’s response, according to TNT’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas Special: “Well, it happens.”

11. At one point, the special received a “censored” edit.

Over the years, How the Grinch Stole Christmas has been edited in order to shorten its running time (in order to allow for more commercials). However, one edit—which ran for several years—censored the line “You’re a rotter, Mr. Grinch” from the song “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch.” Additionally, the shot in which the Grinch smiles creepily just before approaching the bed filled with young Whos was deemed inappropriate for certain networks and was removed.

12. The special’s success led to both a prequel and a crossover special.

Universal Pictures Home Entertainment

Given the popularity of the Christmas special, two more Grinch tales were produced: Halloween is Grinch Night and The Grinch Grinches The Cat in the Hat. Airing on October 29, 1977, Halloween is Grinch Night tells the story of the Grinch making his way down to Whoville to scare all the Whos on Halloween. In The Grinch Grinches The Cat in the Hat, which aired on May 20, 1982, the Grinch finds himself wanting to renew his mean spirit by picking on the Cat in the Hat. Unlike the original, neither special was deemed a classic. But this is not to say they weren’t well-received; in fact, both went on to win Emmy Awards.