"Rocky," "Alien," "Die Hard," "Scream" ... the list of hit movies that have spawned sequels is practically endless. But for every "The Godfather, Part II" there is, alas, a "Batman and Robin."
Columbia announced a "Spider-Man" sequel more quickly than you could say "Rambo," and with follow-ups to "The Matrix," "The Fast and the Furious" and "Pitch Black" in the works as well as new additions to the "American Pie" and "Terminator" franchises don't expect movie sequels to stop coming anytime soon. Here's a roundup of what Hollywood's got cooking.
"American Pie 3"
Adam Herz, the man responsible for the first two "American Pie" scripts, has been hired to write a third, and it's unclear at this early stage which if any of the principal actors will return for the increasingly "Porky's"-esque series.
Last fall, Seann William Scott ("Stifler") told CNN, "I think personally I'm going to leave it at the second one. I hope ['American Pie 2'] does well enough for them to want to do a third one, but I think I'm running out of bodily fluids to use."
"Austin Powers in Goldmember"
It's official: After a momentary wagging of the proverbial finger, the James Bond folks have decided to let Mike Myers use "Goldmember" in the title of his third Austin Powers flick (see "Austin Powers Dismembered By James Bond Producers"). The movie co-stars Destiny's Child's Beyoncé Knowles and is set for a summer release. Incidentally, Pierce Brosnan will return as James Bond in "Die Another Day," which he is currently shooting alongside co-star Halle Berry.
"Batman: Year One"
Production on the "Batman" films ground to a halt after the dismal box-office performance of 1997's "Batman and Robin," which starred George Clooney ("ER," "Ocean's Eleven") as the caped crusader. The blockbuster bling of 2000's "X-Men" movie got Warner Bros. moving on the DC hero again, with development now happening on a number of "Batman"-related projects, including a Catwoman flick (Ashley Judd is definitely attached to that movie, her publicist said) and a live-action version of the futuristic "Batman Beyond" cartoon.
The most promising of these looks to be an adaptation of Frank Miller's edgy "Batman: Year One" mini-series. As its title suggests, the "Year One" comics depict Bruce Wayne during his first year as a young, unpolished crime fighter. Miller, well known in comic book circles for his dark Batman, Daredevil and "Sin City" stories, is co-writing a "Year One" script with "Requiem for a Dream" writer/director Darren Aronofsky. A spokesperson for Aronofsky said that he will direct "Batman: Year One" just as soon as he's finished with a sci-fi epic currently in production.
"The Fast and the Furious 2"
Vin Diesel, star of this summer's secret agent thriller "XXX", will not appear in "The Fast and the Furious 2." Contradicting widespread reports, a source close to Diesel said that the buff one's absence from the sequel has nothing to do with money he had already committed to a "Pitch Black" sequel, "Chronicles of Riddick," before he was approached about "Furious 2," and scheduling conflicts prevent him from appearing in both. "Furious 2" will get made anyway, with Paul Walker's character as its focus.
"Final Destination 2"
New Line has already wrapped "Final Destination 2," which sees a whole new cast of kids escaping an accident (this time, a freeway wreck) before kicking the bucket one by one. Ali Larter, last seen in "Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back" and "Legally Blonde," is the only cast member returning from the first film. Her character makes a brief appearance, having committed herself to a mental institution sometime after the conclusion of the events in "Final Destination."
"Freddy Vs. Jason"
Pitting the horror genre's two most popular slashers against each other, "Freddy Vs. Jason" first became a possibility when "A Nightmare on Elm Street" distributor New Line Cinema inherited the reins of the "Friday the 13th" series from Paramount, beginning with 1993's "Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday." In that "final" flick, Jason is seen descending into Lucifer-land just before Freddy's glove grabs his signature hockey mask. It was all a setup for this movie. Like "Aliens Vs. Predator" a similar dueling franchise premise that has spawned several comic books, but no movies to date "Freddy Vs. Jason" is a concept that has had fans salivating for a decade. Thanks no doubt to the relative success of last month's "Jason X," a New Line spokesperson confirmed that "Freddy Vs. Jason" will finally get moving at the end of this year.
"The Friday After Next"
"The Friday After Next," again minus the original film's Chris Tucker, sees Craig (Ice Cube, who again co-writes) and partner-in-smoke Day-Day (Mike Epps, last paired with Cube in "All About the Benjamins") returning to the 'hood (see "Ice Cube Out To Make Hollywood Bow Down"). This Friday falls on Christmas Eve, when a ghetto Santa Claus robs our heroes of their holiday presents and rent money. The two bumbling ne'er-do-wells are forced to take on jobs as mall security guards, and their wacky hijinks resume. "Next Friday," released in 2000, wasn't nearly as well received as the 1995 original, though it did generate enough cash to get a third film made.
"Indiana Jones 4"
For years, fans of Harrison Ford's popular Indiana Jones character have been clamoring for new adventures. The success of the derivative "Mummy" series has no doubt only intensified the world's desire to get back to the real deal. Rumors have circulated wildly for some time about a fourth Indiana Jones movie, though solid news has yet to materialize.
"The Matrix: Reloaded" and "The Matrix: Revolutions"
Ever since the Wachowski Brothers announced they intended 1999's off-kilter sci-fi action tale "The Matrix" to be the first of a trilogy, anticipation has mounted for its sequels. The death of Aaliyah (see "Aaliyah Killed In Plane Crash") happened roughly around the same time as the passing of Gloria Foster, who was set to reprise her role as "the Oracle." Nona Gaye ("Ali"), daughter of Motown legend Marvin Gaye, will replace Aaliyah (see "Aaliyah's 'Matrix' Role To Be Given To Nona Gaye"), with Jada Pinkett Smith also starring and Keanu Reeves, Hugo Weaving, Carrie-Anne Moss and Laurence Fishburne all returning. Plot details are still unclear, with rumors circulating wildly about a visit to the "last human city" of Zion, a double cross from a trusted hero, and a multiplying Agent Smith. Filmed in Chicago, Australia and San Francisco, "The Matrix: Reloaded" is scheduled for a Memorial Day 2003 release. "The Matrix: Revolutions," which is set to be the last chapter, will follow.