As the world is starting to return back to normal, many of the movies that were supposed to have come out last year have finally been released. And though many of them weren’t very successful, there’s a major asterisk by their box office performances due to the pandemic. To any observer of box office results, a sequel for many of these movies seems unlikely, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t happen.
There are so many riveting movies filled with unique characters released in 2021 that it’d be a waste if they didn’t get sequels. Between a villain’s origin story that should be continued and a Tom Clancy adaptation that had a false start but shows potential, 2021 has seen a wealth of movies that deserve sequels and even long-running series.
Though it’s technically the ninth movie in the Saw franchise, Spiral is very much a standalone movie and sits apart from the main series. It was a complete overhaul for the series, which is partly why a sequel could be more successful.
The movie brought the series back to its detective-thriller roots and it stars several bankable actors. Between the prestige casting in the movie and the additonal care put into the narrative, even though everyone saw Spiral‘s plot twist coming, Spiral 2 could build on the potential that its predecessor set for the series.
9 Barb And Star Go To Vista Del Mar
Leave it to Kristen Wiig to create some unique oddball characters, as not only does she star in this absurd comedy, but she wrote the screenplay too. Bard and Star Go to Vista Del Mar follows two best friends who travel from Nebraska to Florida for vacation, only to be entangled in an absurd scheme.
It is far from the most captivating project Wiig has been a part of, but it’s the characters of the movie that make it an enjoyable ride. Comedy sequels don’t tend to be very successful, but the titular characters of Barb And Star Go To Vista Del Mar are too rich not to use again.
8 Jungle Cruise
As much as critics hate to admit it, Jungle Cruise is a thoroughly enjoyable family movie, and it’s a type of movie that is all too rare these days. It harkens back to hammy movies like Jumanji and even Disney’s own Blackbeard’s Ghost – the kind of films that are unapologetic about overindulging in the costumes and over-the-top sets.
Disney wants this movie to be the next Pirates of the Caribbean, at least in terms of starting a hugely successful series based on a theme park ride, and that’s still a possibility. Between flaunting its costume and practical set designs and being a movie that the whole family can enjoy, a sequel could be a bigger hit than the original, especially given the times the first movie was released in.
7 Free Guy
Though it’s almost as if Ryan Reynolds leads enough franchises already between Detective Pikachu and Deadpool, Free Guy is more deserving of a sequel than nearly any other Reynolds-led movie. The possibilities for a follow-up are literally endless, as the movie sees Guy in a sandbox-like video game where anything goes.
While not confirmed, Disney wants to make a Free Guy sequel, which is refreshing, as it’s a completely new property as opposed to a reboot or sequel. Not only that, but Free Guy is entertaining and so laugh-out-loud funny that its already received adoration from audiences, with many actually anticipating a continuation. There’s a slew of fascinating and brazen characters that deserve more screen-time in a sequel too.
6 Space Jam: A New Legacy
Space Jam: A New Legacy wasn’t the most well-reviewed movie of the past few months, and it was considered to be a much lesser entry in the series than the original film. However, regardless of the critical success of the sequel, there’s still so much potential for a third movie and even an ongoing series.
LeBron James was criticized for his performance, but there’s talk that a sequel could switch up basketball for wrestling with Dwayne Johnson in the lead. A sequel could experiment with other sports too, as it could potentially even follow a skateboarding competition with Tony Hawk in the lead. And as always, it’d still feature the same hilarious Looney Tunes.
5 Without Remorse
As with most movies that are released these days and set up sequels even if they never get developed, Without Remorse does the same. The ending of the movie hints at further sequels and even a shared universe.
Sure, the Tom Clancy action movie wasn’t as successful as it could’ve been, and it was derided by critics. However, not every successful film series got off to a great start, but they still went on to have incredible sequels, such as the Suicide Squad series. There’s no reason why Without Remorse couldn’t have a great sequel, especially as the end establishes Rainbow, the famous counter-terrorism team created by Tom Clancy.
Between the Maleficent sequel and the rumblings of a Joker follow-up, Cruella is surprisingly the sequel to a villain’s origin story that could be the most exciting. The movie is visually stunning, and Emma Stone approached the role in a unique way that she actually made audiences feel sorry for a character who skins dogs.
The movie doesn’t even need to be about Cruella’s relationship with dalmatians, as it could feature a more fashion-focused plot, which was the best part of the first film. Fortunately, unlike any of the other movies from 2021, a sequel to Cruella has officially been announced, with Stone returning to the role.
There are a lot of reasons as to why there should be a Nobody sequel. For starters, it’s clearly trying to set up a series, which is one of the reasons why Nobody is like the John Wick series.To clarify, aside from the incredible fight choreography in the movie, Nobody does a great job of world-building.
It sets up a world of assassins and the Russian mob in a way the leaves audiences craving more. The John Wick series has influenced a ton of copycat movies, and Nobody may be one of them, but it’s by far the best of the lot. Between seeing Bob Odenkirk back in action and the possibility of a crossover with the Wick franchise, Nobody 2 has so much potential.
2 The Suicide Squad
The Suicide Squad isn’t the first movie in the series, but it is part-sequel/part-reboot, as it retcons many of the original movie’s problems. The latest addition to the DCEU is full of surprises, is ultra-violent, and features a slew of B-rate comic book characters that are brought to life in a gloriously colorful way. There should be a sequel simply because it’s completely unique and unlike any other superhero movie ever released.
Though a sequel would generally go without saying for a property like this given the current superhero movie landscape, it isn’t as likely as some might think. The film massively underperformed at the box office, making less than $30 million domestically in its opening weekend. The movie is still yet to make back its budget, leaving the future of the series up in the air.
1 Mortal Kombat
The movie might have underperformed at the box office, and it wasn’t received well by critics, but Mortal Kombat wasn’t made for the critics. The video game movie is very much aimed at fans of the video game series, and those fans loved the film. There’s so much fan service, whether it’s characters’ catchphrases or the iconic music. And even to viewers who aren’t fans of the series, it’s entertaining and unpretentious cinematic comfort food.
There needs to be a sequel because, as many brilliant characters as there are in the movie, there are some obvious absentees. Fans are still yet to see Kitana, Johnny Cage, and many others, but they could all be introduced in a follow-up. Mortal Kombat is a great start to a potential movie series, and it only makes sense that there’s a sequel – as the 2021 film hasn’t even actually explored the authentic Mortal Kombat tournament.