This is a pretty big year for surprising sequels. We're all still flabbergasted at the idea that Star Wars: Episode VII is in the works, not to mention a number of other sequels and spin-offs planned for the franchise, too. Nobody saw that coming. It's not like The Hobbit movies, which not only had long been a serious consideration since the Lord of the Rings trilogy was in production, but it's also just natural given that it's based on a book. Nobody would have been surprised if we never saw another Star Wars movie.
Then again, going by chatter on Twitter today it seems many wouldn't be shocked if another Hobbit movie never existed, either, in spite of the fact the trilogy was filmed simultaneously. "I guess The Hobbit is still a thing," said our own Jacob Hall.
Funny, that's exactly what I said to myself when I saw news today that another Chronicles of Narnia movie is going to happen.There's never seemed to be a lot of excitement for the pricey franchise. Yet even though the third installment opened in 2010 to a measly $24 million in the U.S., where it also didn't even fully gross as much as its budget, the movie did continue the series' success overseas to the tune of a global total of $416 million (franchise total: $1.6 billion). No kidding they're making a fourth, based on The Silver Chair. They don't even need to put it in American theaters -- just release it straight to VOD and DVD.
VOD and DVD is where new surprising sequels are landing for Fright Night and Child's Play. The former, which debuted today and is titled Fright Night 2, isn't actually even a sequel at all in spite of the numeral being attached. It's apparently another remake of the 1985 original given that it features the same characters and plot as that and the 2011 redo, only there's a new setting, and this time the main vampire is a woman. As someone explained it to me, the producers must have had two different scripts written for the remake and they've decided to film both.
Curse of Chucky meanwhile is a straight sequel and a return to a more scary tone for the series. The main surprise there is that it was expected we'd be getting a complete reboot instead, not an installment aiming to appeal to die-hard fans of all the Chucky movies, especially the first couple.
Even in an era where sequels seem more common than original movies, there are a few ways that the existence of a sequel can be very surprising. It could be something long overdue (or just coming out very long after the original or prior installment, a la Riddick). It could be a follow-up to a movie that didn't seem to make any money or a movie of a genre that doesn't normally get sequels. And it could be something you didn't even know existed -- I just learned, for instance, there's Another Midnight Run.
Keep in mind that these don't have to be sequels we're surprised exist because they're bad. One of the most acclaimed movies of this year, remember, is a threequel, and it's part of probably the lowest-grossing trilogy of all time: Before Midnight might be the biggest surprise, and the most pleasant one, as well.
What sequel are you most surprised exists?
Here are some responses received so far via Twitter:
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