10 Movies That Set Up Nonexistent Sequels


Hollywood is the place of big dreams, but sometimes those dreams are too big—as in, “Oh crap, I thought I was directing a movie that would definitely get a sequel, only it turns out no one wanted to see this one.” Here are 10 such would-be franchise-starters that flew too close to the sun.


The end credits of cult favorite The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension, a campy, bonkers homage to pulp sci-fi serials, famously promised a sequel. It’s now more than 30 years later, and Buckaroo Banzai Against the World Crime League is nowhere to be found. “If the movie had gone out to make a fortune, we would have done it,” director W.D. Richter told Moviefone in 2011. But by now, “the paper trail for the rights is almost impossible to follow … PolyGram sold it to MGM as a big bundle—all these films move around.”

On top of that, Richter said late producer David Begelman “was a notorious double dealer,” who might have made deals that no one knows about; even if someone is “enthusiastic about doing a sequel, they'll say, ‘our legal department is saying we don't have a clear chain of title here, so we're not going to stick our heads up, invest money, and then discover that some guy says, ‘Oh, by the way, I have all the international rights.’” Still, Richter has not given up hope, noting that “Technically, we have not violated our promise to the audience. We try to keep the franchise and the brand alive, anyway, because we never know when somebody is going to say, ‘Yeah, make something else.’”


In the days before Iron Man, post-credit scenes weren’t nearly as ubiquitous as they are today. Still, Masters of the Universe snuck one in back in 1987. In it, Skeletor (a facial prosthetics-laden Frank Langella), having been vanquished by He-Man (Dolph Lundgren), emerges from the pit into which he presumably fell to his doom and gleefully announces “I’ll be back!” He was supposed to be: Cannon Films fully intended to make a low-budget sequel to Masters of the Universe, but their licensing check to rights-holder Mattel bounced and, well, that was the end of that. The sets and costumes Cannon had already built were integrated into a different film, the Jean-Claude Van Damme-starring Cyborg (1989).

3. MAC AND ME (1988)

Mac and Me

, best known to some as the movie Paul Rudd keeps trolling Conan O’Brien with, ends with the cute/terrifying (mostly terrifying) alien Mac blowing a gum bubble with the words “We’ll be back!” on it. He never was. Critics hated Mac and Me, specifically its overt product placement. (Peter Travers described it as “A blatant commercial for McDonald’s and Coca-Cola disguised as an E.T. ripoff.”) It earned only $6.4 million worldwide and was nominated for four Razzies, two of which (Worst Director and Worst New Star) it “won.”


Super Mario Bros.

wraps up everything quite nicely—King Koopa (Dennis Hopper) defeated, Daisy (Samantha Mathis) reunited with her newly non-fungoid royal father in Dinohattan, Mario (Bob Hoskins) and Luigi (John Leguizamo) returned to their normal life back in New York—until, in the film’s final seconds, a weapon-toting Daisy busts into the brothers’ apartment and tells them, “You gotta come with me! I need your help … You’re never gonna believe this.” And … scene. The film was a famous disaster (and Hoskins’s biggest regret), so we never found out what, exactly, Daisy had gotten herself into until 2013, when fans Steven Applebaum and Ryan Hoss collaborated with one of the film’s screenwriters on an unofficial webcomic sequel.

5. GODZILLA (1998)

Roland Emmerich’s critically maligned version of Godzilla ends with ‘zilla dead, our heroes (played by Matthew Broderick and Maria Pitillo) reunited, and New York saved … plus one of Godzilla’s eggs, thought to all be destroyed when Madison Square Garden was bombed, hatching all by its lonesome. Presumably someone came along and stepped on Baby Godzilla before it got big enough to cause trouble, because a sequel never happened and the world stayed safe from big green monsters until director Gareth Edwards’s 2014 reboot.

6. ERAGON (2006)

The movie world is filled with teen and YA franchises that someone, somewhere thought would be a good idea, only for them to crash and burn after one movie. The Golden Compass (see below). Beautiful Creatures. Vampire Academy. The Last Airbender. I Am Number Four. Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events. Some of these manage to tell a complete story, whereas others end on an epic cliffhanger fated to never be resolved. A particularly egregious example of this latter type is Stefen Fangmeier’s Eragon, a fantasy movie about a young boy who discovers he’s a “dragon rider.” With a little help from his friends, dragon and non-dragon alike, Eragon (Ed Speleers) defeats the evil sorcerer Durza (Robert Carlyle). This angers Durza’s boss, Galbatorix (John Malkovich), a despotic king who’s about to enter into a large-scale war against Eragon’s elfin allies. It’s revealed that Galbatorix has a scary-looking dragon of his very own, and then … the movie ends. Though it made a fair amount of money internationally, Eragon wasn’t successful enough for Fox to commit to a sequel; viewers who want to find out how it ends will just have to read the rest of Christopher Paolini’s Inheritance Cycle.



Fans of Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy were shocked when the film adaptation of the first book in the series, The Golden Compass, lopped off the last few chapters of its source material. In the movie, young heroine Lyra (Dakota Blue Richards) and her companions set off to find Lyra’s father, Lord Asriel (Daniel Craig). In the book, Lyra finds her father only to witness him murder her best friend as part of his investigation into the mysterious particle known as “Dust.” In the final pages, she follows her father through a portal into another dimension.

The film’s director, Chris Weitz, later explained his decision to move this sequence (which was shot but cut out) to the beginning of the second movie: “My job is to make sure that all of Pullman’s story will be told, not to flame out gloriously with one film. The juncture at which to leave audiences hoping for more was before Lyra sets off to find Asriel. She has fulfilled the initial reason for her journey (to save her friend Roger), but there is a further tangible aim for her … [D]ifficult to handle/difficult to swallow material, which is to say dark material (no pun intended) can work perfectly well in the second film of a trilogy (cf. The Empire Strikes Back).” Ironically, given that “all of Pullman’s story” statement, The Golden Compass was reviled by critics and fans alike, and plans for a sequel were scrapped despite a fairly successful international run.        


The Incredible Hulk

kind of did get a follow-up and kind of didn’t. It’s part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, in which The Hulk is obviously still kicking around, though there’s been no movement in terms of another standalone film. William Hurt, who played General Ross, was even brought back for a supporting role in this summer’s Captain America: Civil War. But it’s pretty clear that The Incredible Hulk intended to set certain wheels in motion that never actually started spinning. Chief among them: In the comics, Samuel Sterns, the character played by Tim Blake Nelson, eventually becomes The Leader, a hyper-intelligent nemesis of Bruce Banner/The Hulk. In the movie, Sterns is infected by Banner’s blood, and his head starts to mutate; Nelson has confirmed that he was supposed to be The Leader in subsequent films. But the MCU’s Hulk went in a different direction, with a different actor (from Edward Norton to Mark Ruffalo) and a different way of joining the Avengers than what The Incredible Hulk’s post-credits scene initially set up. And nary a peep from Sterns, whom your casual Marvel moviegoer probably doesn’t even remember exists. It’s not going too far out on a limb to say this particular dangling thread will likely never be woven back into the whole.


Midway through the Green Lantern credits, Sinestro, the mentor of hero Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds), gets himself a new bauble in the form of a yellow power ring. It’s a sequence that was meant to act as “a nod to where the trilogy was intending to head to,” said Sinestro actor Mark Strong—namely, the comic book story arc where Sinestro goes evil and creates a sort of bizarro version of the peacekeeping Green Lantern Corps. But the critically despised Green Lantern tanked, barely earning back its $200 million production budget (and that’s not even taking into account all the money it spent on marketing). Movies two and three never happened, with Warner Bros. instead opting to reboot the property with 2020’s Green Lantern Corps. For Strong’s part, he says that “the putting on of the ring and the whole suit turning yellow would have been great fun.”


Over the course of two Spider-Movies, director Marc Webb teased audiences with hints that Peter Parker’s father, who supposedly died in a plane crash when Parker (Andrew Garfield) was a boy, was alive after all. The mysterious Man in the Shadows (later revealed to be criminal mastermind Gustav Fiers, a.k.a. The Gentleman) asked villain The Lizard (Rhys Ifans) if he told Parker “the truth about his father” in The Amazing Spider-Man’s mid-credit sequence, while The Amazing Spider-Man 2 actually had a deleted scene where Parker meets his pops. That was it for Papa Parker’s screentime, though, as a deal between Sony and Disney integrated Spider-Man into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, with younger actor Tom Holland stepping into Garfield’s tights.

Chris Cooper, who played Harry Osborn’s father Norman in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, has since spoken out about the “huge role” he would have had in the third movie, had it been made. It involves his head in a box.

Looking to Downsize? You Can Buy a 5-Room DIY Cabin on Amazon for Less Than $33,000

Five rooms of one's own.
Five rooms of one's own.

If you’ve already mastered DIY houses for birds and dogs, maybe it’s time you built one for yourself.

As Simplemost reports, there are a number of house kits that you can order on Amazon, and the Allwood Avalon Cabin Kit is one of the quaintest—and, at $32,990, most affordable—options. The 540-square-foot structure has enough space for a kitchen, a bathroom, a bedroom, and a sitting room—and there’s an additional 218-square-foot loft with the potential to be the coziest reading nook of all time.

You can opt for three larger rooms if you're willing to skip the kitchen and bathroom.Allwood/Amazon

The construction process might not be a great idea for someone who’s never picked up a hammer, but you don’t need an architectural degree to tackle it. Step-by-step instructions and all materials are included, so it’s a little like a high-level IKEA project. According to the Amazon listing, it takes two adults about a week to complete. Since the Nordic wood walls are reinforced with steel rods, the house can withstand winds up to 120 mph, and you can pay an extra $1000 to upgrade from double-glass windows and doors to triple-glass for added fortification.

Sadly, the cool ceiling lamp is not included.Allwood/Amazon

Though everything you need for the shell of the house comes in the kit, you will need to purchase whatever goes inside it: toilet, shower, sink, stove, insulation, and all other furnishings. You can also customize the blueprint to fit your own plans for the space; maybe, for example, you’re going to use the house as a small event venue, and you’d rather have two or three large, airy rooms and no kitchen or bedroom.

Intrigued? Find out more here.

[h/t Simplemost]

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

10 Fascinating Facts About Davy Crockett

State of Texas/Larry D. Moore Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain
State of Texas/Larry D. Moore Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain

Born on August 17, 1786, backwoods statesman Davy Crockett's life has often been obscured by myth. Even during his lifetime, fanciful stories about his adventures transformed him into a buck-skinned superhero. And after his death, the tales kept growing taller. Here are 10 facts about Crockett that’ll separate reality from fiction.

1. Davy Crockett ran away from home at age 13.

When Crockett was 13, his father paid for him to attend a school. But just four days in, an older, bigger boy bullied him. Crockett was never one to back down from a fight. One day, he waited in a bush along the road home until evening. When the bully and his gang walked up the road, Crockett leapt from the bush and, as he later wrote in his autobiography, “set on him like a wild cat.” Terrified the schoolmaster would whip him for beating one of the boys so severely, Crockett decided to start playing hooky.

His father, John, was furious when a letter inquiring about his son's poor attendance arrived home. Grabbing a stick, he chased after Davy, who fled. The teen spent the next few years traveling from his native Tennessee to Maryland, performing odd jobs. When he eventually returned home, Crockett’s parents didn’t even recognize him at first. Following an emotional reunion, the family decided he would stick around long enough to help work off some debts. About a year later, all these were satisfied, and Crockett soon left for good.

2. Davy Crockett nearly died in a boating accident.

G.F. Nesbitt & Co., printer Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain

After serving under General Andrew Jackson in the Tennessee militia, Crockett entered politics, completing two terms as a Tennessee state legislator between 1821 and 1823. After losing his seat in 1825, he chose an unlikely new profession: barrel manufacturing. The entrepreneur hired a team to cut staves (the boards with which barrels are constructed) that he planned on selling in New Orleans. Once 30,000 were prepared, Crockett and his team loaded the shipment onto a pair of flatboats and traveled down the Mississippi River. There was just one problem: The shoddy vessels proved impossible to steer. The one carrying Crockett ran into a mass of driftwood and began to capsize, with Crockett trapped below deck. His mates on the other boat pulled him out through a small opening, and a traveling merchant rescued them all the next day.

3. Davy Crockett claimed to have killed 105 bears in one year.

If his autobiography can be believed, the expert marksman and his dogs managed to kill 105 bears during a seven-month stretch from 1825 to 1826. Back then, bear flesh and pelts were highly profitable items, as were the oils yielded by their fat—and Crockett’s family often relied on ursid meat to last through the winter.

4. A successful play helped make Davy Crockett a celebrity.

Crockett ran for Congress in 1827, winning the right to represent western Tennessee. Four years later, a new show titled The Lion of the West wowed New York theatergoers. The production revolved around a fictitious Kentucky congressman named Colonel Nimrod Wildfire, whose folksy persona was clearly based on Crockett. Before long, the public grew curious about the real man behind the character, and in 1833, an unauthorized Crockett biography was published.

Sketches and Eccentricities of Colonel David Crockett of West Tennessee became a bestseller—much to its subject’s chagrin. Feeling that Sketches distorted his life’s story, the politician retaliated with an even more successful autobiography the next year.

When The Lion of the West came to Washington, Crockett finally watched the play that started it all. That night, actor David Hackett was playing Col. Wildfire. As the curtain rose, he locked eyes with Crockett. They ceremoniously bowed to each other and the crowd went wild.

5. Davy Crockett received a few rifles as political thank you gifts.

Over the course of his life, Crockett wielded plenty of firearms. Two of the most significant were named “Betsy.” Midway through his state assembly career, he received “Old Betsy,” a .40-caliber flintlock presented to him by his Lawrence county constituents in 1822 (today, it’s in the Alamo Museum in San Antonio). At some point during the 1830s, the Whig Society of Philadelphia gave Crockett a gold-and-silver-coated gun. Her name? “Fancy Betsy.”

If you’re curious, the mysterious woman after whom these weapons were christened was either his oldest sister or his second wife, Elizabeth Patton.

6. Davy Crockett put a lot of effort into maintaining his wild image.

Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, The University of Texas at Austin, Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain

For somebody who once called fashion “a thing I care mighty little about,” Crockett gave really detailed instructions to portraitists. Most likenesses, the politician complained, made him look like “a sort of cross between a clean-shirted Member of Congress and a Methodist preacher.” Before posing for John Gadsby Chapman, Crockett asked the esteemed artist to portray him rallying dogs during a bear hunt. He purchased outdoorsy props and insisted he be shown holding up his cap, ready to give “a shout that raised the whole neighborhood.”

7. Davy Crockett torpedoed his political career by speaking against Andrew Jackson’s Native American policy.

Jackson was a beloved figure in Tennessee, and Crockett’s vocal condemnation of the his 1830 Indian Removal Act didn’t win him many friends back home [PDF]. “I believed it was a wicked, unjust measure,” the congressman later asserted, “and that I should go against it, let the cost against me be what it might.” He then narrowly lost his 1831 reelection bid to William Fitzgerald, who Jackson supported. In 1833, Crockett secured a one-term congressional stint as an anti-Jacksonian, after which he bid Tennessee farewell, famously saying, “You may all go to hell, and I will go to Texas.”

8. Davy Crockett really did wear a coonskin hat (sometimes).

Walt Disney’s Davy Crockett TV serial triggered a national coonskin hat craze in the 1950s. Suiting up for the title role was square-jawed Fess Parker, who was seldom seen on-camera without his trusty coonskin cap. Children adored the rustic hat and, at the peak of the show's popularity, an average of 5000 replicas were sold every day.

But did the historical Crockett own one? Yes, although we don’t know how often he actually donned it. Some historians argue that later in life, he started wearing the accessory more often to capitalize on The Lion of the West (Col. Wildfire rocked this kind of headgear). One autumn morning in 1835, the frontiersman embarked upon his journey to Texas, confident the whole Crockett clan would reunite there soon. As his daughter Matilda later recalled, he rode off while “wearing a coonskin cap.” She never saw him again.

9. There’s some debate about Davy Crockett’s fall at the Alamo.

Crockett was killed during or just after the Battle of the Alamo in 1836—but the details surrounding his death are both murky and hotly contested. An enslaved man named Joe claimed to have spotted Crockett’s body lying among a pile of slain Mexican soldiers. Suzannah Dickinson, whose husband had also perished in the melee, told a similar story, as did San Antonio mayor Francisco Ruiz.

On the flip side, The New Orleans True American and a few other newspapers reported that Crockett was actually captured and executed by General Santa Anna’s men. In 1955, more evidence apparently surfaced when a long-lost diary written by Lieutenant Colonel José Enrique de la Peña was published. The author writes of witnessing “the naturalist David Crockett” and six other Americans being presented to Santa Anna, who promptly had them killed.

Some historians dismiss the document as a forgery, but others claim it’s authentic. Since 2000, two separate forensics teams have taken the latter position [PDF].

10. During University of Tennessee sporting events, a student dressed like Davy Crockett rallies the fans.

Smokey the hound dog might get all the attention, but the school has another mascot up its sleeve. On game days, a student known simply as “the Volunteer” charges out in Crockett-esque regalia, complete with buck leather clothes, a coonskin cap, and—occasionally—a prop musket.