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It’s Never Too Late For Sequels

Written by Omair Alavi

Five super famous films that made a comeback in long-awaited second comings.

Bad Boys for Life was a reunion that brought many people back to the cinemas to witness, well, two unforgettable bad boys back in action. No one wanted to miss the first adventure of Marcus Burnett (Martin Lawrence) and Mike Lowrey (Will Smith) in 17 years! If you think that’s too long a gap for a sequel, think again. With Top Gun: Maverick (34 years), Ghostbusters: Afterlife (31 years) already in production and set for a release later this year, let’s analyze some of the sequels that came decades after their originals made history.

Mary Poppins Returns

(54 years)

Original Cast Returning: Only Dick Van Dyke, in another role

And the award for the longest gap between the original and the sequel goes to Mary Poppins Returns that follows the adventures of Mary Poppins, the magical nanny who loves saving Banks’ children. While it was Julie Andrews who played the titular character in the original, Emily Blunt played the charming nanny 54 years later. Only Dick Van Dyke was able to return for the sequel but instead of playing Bert or Mr. Dawes Sr (as he did in the original), he played Mr. Dawes Jr. and saves the day in the end. Just like the original flick, he was credited as Navckid Keyd before the letters unscrambled to reveal his name.

Bladerunner 2049

(35 Years)

Original Cast Returning: Only Harrison Ford as Rick Deckard

Harrison Ford’s longevity as an actor has helped many franchises make a comeback after many years; Star Wars and Indiana Jones are two prime examples. However, it was Bladerunner’s sequel that takes the prize as it came 35 years after the original and was loved by all who still believe that there is no better Science Fiction film than Bladerunner. In Bladerunner 2049, Harrison Ford’s Rick Deckard is joined by Ryan Gosling as the two continue their fight in a future that is darker than the one envisioned in the original.

The Odd Couple II

(30 years)

Original Cast Returning: Both Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau

It was one of those sequels that couldn’t have gone wrong; both Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau returned as Felix and Oscar, as did Neil Simon who wrote the original flick, The Odd Couple in 1968. However with times changing and fans of the original film growing old, the sequel bombed at the box office. The obsessive-compulsive Felix and the sloppy Oscar never reunited after that as they both died a few years later.

Tron: Legacy

(28 Years)

Original Cast Returning: Jeff Bridges as Kevin Flynn, Bruce Boxleitner as Alan Bradley

When Tron was released in 1982, it was considered way ahead of its time since it dealt with computer hacking, digitization and cyberspace, terminologies that were alien to many in those days. However, when the sequel was released in 2010, Science Fiction as a genre had gained many fans and followers. The story had also moved twenty years forward with Kevin Flynn (Jeff Bridges) disappearing again. He plays both the older Flynn and also, CLU (Codified Likeness Utility) a digitally de-aged form. His friend, Alan Bradley (Bruce Boxleitner), also returns from the original flick and plays both Alan and Tron, thanks to de-aging. It is Alan who urges Flynn’s son Sam (Garrett Hedlund) to search for his father before it’s too late and he is helped by a digital warrior Quorra (Olivia Wilde) in the process. The visual effects were out of this world and made people watch the original in order to understand the plot. Although the film got mixed reviews when it was released, it is now considered a cult classic because of its superior handling of the plot and de-aging of characters from the original flick, something Marvel now excels in.

The Color of Money

(25 years)

Original Cast Returning: Only Paul Newman as Fast Eddie Felson

Although Walter Tevis, the writer of the novel on which both The Hustler and The Color of Money were based, was credited with the screenplay, director Martin Scorsese didn’t opt for the draft submitted for the sequel. Instead he went in another direction, updating the original flick’s storyline and making it more 1980-ish than 1960-ish. Of course, Paul Newman reprised the Fast Eddie Felson character and won an Oscar for it, but it was Tom Cruise who attracted the younger audience, something he still does after four decades in the business.

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About the author

Omair Alavi

Omair Alavi is a highly regarded journalist, critic, and commentator, specializing in news, sports, showbiz, film, blogs, articles, drama, reviews, and PTV drama. With extensive experience and a keen eye for storytelling, he captivates audiences with his insightful analysis and compelling presentations. His expertise and contributions have made him a prominent figure in the media and entertainment industry.