The idea came to me at the top of the weekend, watching (what else) “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.” It was an average episode — funny thank-you notes, a dull filler gag, a redeeming chat with Uma Thurman — but it was the second guest that caught my attention.
His name was Anthony Anderson, although I didn’t know that at the time and I still have no idea who he really is. What he was talking to Fallon about, though, was “Scream 4,” the decade-later sequel to the critically acclaimed “Scream” trilogy.
All by itself, the movie is nothing surprising — in Hollywood, sequels are generally unavoidable, like death and taxes. But “Scream 4” is only the latest in a series of years-later films that have been popping into theaters in recent years, preceded by “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull,” “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps” and “Tron: Legacy,” among others.
The films are great, but they’re majorly unnecessary. Sure, it’s nice to see Indy again, and intellectually making fun of horror films never gets old, but if you’re going to reboot or belatedly sequel-ize any movie, it should be one that deserves it.
So, Hollywood, take a hint: Sequel up one of these movies and you’ll be doing more than just rebuilding a cash cow — you’ll actually be improving the original cow herself.
5) “Pretty in Pink: 25 Years Later”
It was either this or “The Breakfast Club.” (Don’t light the torches yet, angry townsfolk, it’s only going to get worse.)
Yes, it’s a classic, and yes, proposing a sequel to a John Hughes teen comedy is somewhat heretical. But if you’re going to make a sequel to any Hughes movie that isn’t “Home Alone” (and please don’t make any more of those), it’d better be this one, because this “classic” might have the worst ending ever.
I mean, really. Duckie just lets Andie go make out with the preppie guy because he’s nice to her at prom? Come. On.
I have some words for the test audience that let that travesty happen, but I can’t print them here because of some stupid obscenity laws.
Now, since the actors are still alive, throw them back on screen for some closure. I’m not saying Duckie and Andie need to stroll off into the middle-aged sunset in the end. But it’d be nice.
4) “Star Wars: Episodes VI+”
The key word in this suggestion is “sequel,” George Lucas. Not prequel.
Not to break out my nerd card, but while Lucas may have always wanted to deliver Episodes I through III, he’s completely ignoring an extended universe’s worth of post-“Return of the Jedi” novels that take Luke, Leia, Han and the rest of the gang far enough into the future that they have grandchildren.
I’m not saying we need to skip to the geriatric Jedi section of the novels, but there’s enough material in the works to get us through a few movies at least. Yes, you’d have to recast the main roles, since Lucas blew it his first run through the franchise, but hindsight’s 20-20.
Let me put this another way. Chewie wants more screen time. You don’t want to make a Wookie angry. I think you know what to do, Mr. Lucas.
3) “Back to the Future Part IV”
I know, I know, it sounds crazy. But so did Doc Brown himself, and look how that turned out.
Forgive the pun, but there’s no better time to restart this franchise. It’s almost 2015, the critical year featured in “Back to the Future Part II,” and you know the execs would love to capitalize on that.
Here’s my basic plot structure: Due to his future-meddling, Marty McFly ends up an actual rock star and not a loser wearing double-ties. One day, while he’s out on tour, Doc Brown shows up with his grown-up twins Orson and Wells and takes the McFly kids back to 1985 to prevent a dictator from being born and eventually making 2016 post-apocalyptic.
The best part: Their meddling delays the advancement of future science, so when they go back to 2015 it’s our 2015, and the set designers can radically cut costs for Parts V and VI. They’ll get to keep the hoverboards though; that’d just be mean otherwise.
2) “Grease: No Longer the One that I Want”
I absolutely hate “Grease.” It’s disgustingly saccharine, the acting’s leaden and the ending’s worse than “The Breakfast Club” and “Pretty in Pink” combined, with an extra spoonful of misogyny.
But you know what’d be great? If someone took all that, flipped it, and made it real.
Think about it. Danny and Sandy fly off into the sunset but crash to earth two years later when they can’t pay the mortgage. Frenchie finds out being a beauty school dropout isn’t all it’s cracked up to be when she can’t hold down a job. And half the T-Birds end up in prison, leaving the Pink Ladies single moms.
I guess it wouldn’t be any better than the real “Grease 2,” but at least I’d feel vindicated.
1) “Inception 2”
Please please please please please. I’ll take anything you give me, Christopher Nolan. Prequel. Sequel. Sidequel. Midquel. Novel. TV show. Radio drama. Video game. Live-action RPG. Children’s book. Comic book. Coloring book.
Don’t judge. You were thinking it too.