Sequels can both be cause for concern and a reason to get extremely excited. Some of the best content of all time has been sequels: Aliens, Half-Life 2, The Empire Strikes Back. When done well, a sequel expands on the lore of the original while either furthering the stories of your characters or telling new stories in the same universe. However, sequels have also been known to provide uninspired, poorly executed, or downright bad content -- the difference lies in the intentions. If it’s obvious that the studio is producing it as a cash grab or a desperate bid to revive a once profitable franchise, it’s most likely not going to be a good product. But if the sequel is given the time and care it needs and comes from a franchise that has more stories to tell, then there’s a good chance it can be good. This is how we decide what upcoming sequels we’re excited for and which we’re really nervous about.
Just as there have been hundreds of sequels in the past, there are hundreds of upcoming sequels in the works. Be it a sequel season of the Daredevil Netflix series, the second chapter of the surprise hit IT, or the next entry in the rebooted Tomb Raider series, there are a wealth of sequels to be released in the next several months. And each of them have elicited varying levels of excitement from fans. So let’s look through some of the most high profile ones and predict which next chapters we're excited for, and which ones make us nervous.
20 EXCITED FOR: DAREDEVIL SEASON 3
The first season of Daredevil is still the peak of Marvel’s Netflix shows. It gave us a compelling Matthew Murdock who felt human as he tried to do what he thought was right and constantly paid for it. In addition, the fight scenes were exciting, impactful and was one of the first to popularize the one-take fight scene.
The second season started out just as strong as Daredevil squared off against an equally as compelling Punisher but faltered when it came to the Hand. Now that the Hand are out of the way and this season is set to take cues from the classic story: Born Again while also introducing his rival Bullseye, we’re eager to see what Daredevil will give us next.
19 NERVOUS ABOUT: INDIANA JONES 5
When it was announced that Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull was coming out, audiences were happy to see Indiana return with the hat and the whip but confused as to how Harrison Ford, now 76, would handle the action needed to portray an adventure-seeking archaeologist. But eventually the goal became clear: set up Shia LaBeouf’s Mutt Williams as a replacement for Indiana Jones.
But, obviously, this didn’t work out. This franchise is one of the few that actually does need a reboot if it wants to shake off its formulaic reputation and win back its fans. Unfortunately, this doesn’t appear to be the case as Harrison Ford is signed on to return while LaBeouf is not.
18 EXCITED FOR: SYSTEM SHOCK 3
Fans of classic games will have heard of this series. Those who haven’t have probably heard of its spiritual successors: the haunting work of art known as BioShock and the impactful and thought-provoking Deus Ex series. Both of these games are movie-quality thrillers with a cerebral element to them -- but System Shock did it first.
Nobody knows why the System Shock series never received a sequel, but we’re sure glad that it’s finally happening. The first two games are set in a cyberpunk future where a rogue A.I threatens humanity with a massive space station and a devastating mutagenic virus. The story, style, and gameplay were all incredible, and the second game even ended on a massive cliffhanger.
17 NERVOUS ABOUT: SUICIDE SQUAD 2
We think that audiences may need some space from the squad after the debacle of Suicide Squad. David Ayer’s take on the team of supervillains appeared to be intriguing when the first trailer came out. However, every subsequent trailer shifted the style until the final product ended up as a shell of a movie ruined by studio interference.
The movie’s failure seems to rest mostly on the studio’s shoulders, however whoever is helming this movie has a very difficult cast. For one, ensemble movies are tough to handle, but also with the previous movie being so divisive, it will take incredibly strong direction to separate the two. Director Gavin O’Connor’s track record doesn’t seem to suggest he’s the man to take on this task.
16 EXCITED FOR: IT: CHAPTER TWO
It was a surprise hit that took the world by storm. Propelled along by incredible performances, inspired direction, and exquisite makeup and special effects work, It brought in new fans and pleased loyalists all while giving the world an incredibly entertaining movie. Some may say that it wasn’t truly scary, but nobody can deny that it was a good movie.
Seeing more dollar bills to add to their collection, the studio immediately greenlit a sequel with Andy Muschetti returning to the director’s chair and Bill Skarsgard reprising his role as Pennywise, the dancing clown. It: Chapter Two is set to give us a thrilling conclusion to one of Stephen King’s most well known books.
15 NERVOUS ABOUT: X-MEN: DARK PHOENIX
The X-Men series has been a rollercoaster ride ever since its inception. There have been some average films, some questionable films, and some extraordinary ones. However, the series seems to be on one of the downward slopes after lukewarm reception to X-Men: Apocalypse because the audience didn’t connect with the younger versions of the classic X-Men introduced in this movie.
After the recent disappointment from that movie, fans are hesitant to see the company jump right into the X-Men’s most ambitious storyline. Neither the fans nor the characters have had the time to endear themselves to Jean, which is necessary to give this storyline the gut punch it needs. If we’re lucky, Marvel will just be able to do the storyline justice in the future.
14 EXCITED FOR: CREED 2
Everybody thought that the Rocky franchise was finished. The tumultuous franchise had fluctuated wildly in quality, but 2006’s poignant Rocky Balboa seemed like a fitting end to the franchise with Sylvester Stallone getting older, but in 2015 everybody was proven wrong. Ryan Coogler, the director behind Fruitvale Station, picked up the franchise with the incredible Creed starring Michael B Jordan as Adonis Creed, Apollo Creed’s illegitimate son.
The duo of Coogler and Jordan proved as unstoppable as always and the movie was universally loved and drew from the previous entries while forging its own identity. Though Coogler isn’t directing Creed 2, the franchise has a strong enough base to draw intrigue on its own. Plus, Sylvester Stallone is no stranger to directing movies in this series.
13 NERVOUS ABOUT: MCCLANE
Many times, studios misconstrue what audiences loved about a movie and, when the inevitable sequel comes out, they focus on the wrong things, hurting the franchise. There’s no better example of this than the Die Hard series which turned the relatable and out-of-his-league cop John McClane into some sort of super soldier. The latest entry in this series is titles McClane and it’s hard to get excited about it.
McClane will be a prequel to the original Die Hard and will feature John McClane solving a case from his past -- however significant parts of the movie will feature flashbacks to McClane while he was a young beat cop. After the failure of the series’ last two entries, fans are rightly skeptical of this origin story.
12 EXCITED FOR: GODZILLA VS KING KONG
Legendary’s MonsterVerse started out on shaky terms with 2014’s Godzilla. However, the western reimagining of the Toho’s King of Monsters had enough potential to keep audiences interested in a possible sequel, and when a post-credits scene in 2016’s Kong: Skull Island revealed that it also took place in the MonsterVerse, audiences immediately demanded that the Kong and Godzilla do battle.
Luckily, Legendary knows what we want and has already greenlit a Godzilla vs King Kong movie. Kong: Skull Island was enjoyable and had an awesome King Kong. Meanwhile, Godzilla: King of Monsters looks amazing and seems to actually focus on the Titans. We have every reason to be cautiously optimistic about this movie.
11 NERVOUS ABOUT: FRANK MILLER’S THE DARK KNIGHT IV
At one point, Frank Miller may have been considered the premiere storyteller in the world. His stories had a gritty tone that didn’t feel too far removed from our own world. His takes on Batman (including his magnum opus: The Dark Knight Returns) and Daredevil catapulted him to superstar status and he got the opportunity to do virtually whatever he wanted.
Miller took that opportunity to pursue some odd and, sometimes downright bad, projects such as The Spirit which he wrote and directed. His normally legendary comic book work had even become inconsistent as well. His two sequels to TDKR were met with less than stellar reviews. Therefore, a third sequel in this series doesn’t have the appeal that it would’ve in 1986.
10 EXCITED FOR: RED DEAD REDEMPTION 2
Rockstar Studios has had their names on some of the best made and most fun games to come out in the 21st century. From L.A. Noire to the Grand Theft Auto series, they’ve consistently produced quality work. However, their magnum opus may arguably be Red Dead: Redemption, the second game in the Red Dead series.
The Western setting was well crafted and so refreshing. The world was deep and filled with amazing characters. The gameplay offered tenser combat than most other shooters. The story was genuinely Oscar-worthy material and had one of the impactful and tragic endings in video game history. With all that being said, it’s easy to see why we’re so excited for this.
9 NERVOUS ABOUT: RUSH HOUR 4
The Rush Hour series had its time to shine. The original 1998 movie proved to be an effective addition to the buddy cop genre. It was funny, the Jackie Chan-led action scenes were innovative, and Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker made a great duo. However, two sequels proved that the exact same formula would not work again.
The last two Rush Hour movies have proven that these tropes only worked once and the studio has refused to try and do anything different with the series. So yet another sequel with an older Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker doesn’t sound appealing. Plus, Chris Tucker has been hiding from the public eye for some time now, so he’d likely be rusty jumping back into big budget movie-making.
8 EXCITED FOR: MEN IN BLACK SEQUEL
The original Men in Black was a wildly entertaining action-comedy. Tommy Lee Jones’ and Will Smith’s personalities made for one of the most effective buddy cop duos while the premise paved the way for a flood of clever jokes that could entertain to all ages. The other entries in the series have yet to reach this peak, but the upcoming sequel has the potential to achieve this.
The untitled fourth entry in the Men in Black series will be a spinoff following a new generation of agents and starring Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson. These two are both incredible actors in their own right and have already shown chemistry in Thor: Ragnarok. Additionally, Hemsworth has proven lately that he’s very talented comedic actor as well.
7 NERVOUS ABOUT: JURASSIC WORLD 3
Jurassic World had its problems, but it was entertaining. However, the hope was that the sequels would use the audience goodwill from the familiar tone of Jurassic World to take the franchise in a different direction to establish its own identity. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom accomplishes this but fails to do so in a cohesive way.
The best thing to do is to just move on from the franchise. It’s had its highlights and the original will go down as one of the best and most influential movies of all time. But the source material doesn’t necessarily lend itself to a prolonged series and franchise seems to have run out of steam. It’s time to give other dinosaur/adventure movies a chance. Turok, anyone?
6 EXCITED FOR: WONDER WOMAN 1984
The Worlds of DC (or DCEU, we’re not sure at this point) may not have a future if it wasn’t for Patty Jenkins and Gal Gadot making magic in 2016’s Wonder Woman. The movie gave us a compelling Diana that’s enhanced by a compassionate and confident performance by Gal Gadot, but neither of these things were as impressive as Jenkins’s inspired directing. Her vision meshed perfectly with who Wonder Woman is.
With Patty Jenkins returning for the sequel and Kristen Wiig signed on to play Diana’s rival, Cheetah, Wonder Woman 1984 is set to excite us all. Jenkins and Gadot have already proved to be a fantastic duo and Wiig is a talented actor. Plus, we all want to see how Steve Trevor is back!
5 NERVOUS ABOUT: SAN ANDREAS 2
Where else can they go? San Andreas gave us a fun, one-off disaster movie that was just good enough to be entertaining if you didn’t pay much attention to it. Dwayne Johnson was his usual charismatic self, Paul Giamatti was entertaining as always and the rest of the cast did well enough to make us care. But why push your luck with a sequel?
San Andreas’ premise doesn’t even lend itself to a sequel. This movie is about a historically powerful earthquake that ravaged California and Johnson’s struggles to get his family to safety. He did it successfully and his story should be over. That earthquake was a freak occurrence; involving Johnson’s character with anything more will just feel like a cash grab.
4 EXCITED FOR: SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME
As the third reboot of Spider-Man since 2001, people were rightly concerned about the MCU’s Spider-Man movie: Spider-Man: Homecoming. People wondered how it would tread different ground from the previous five movies. However, we’ve all learned to trust the MCU and they delivered with a fun, ground-level movie that felt very fresh and still very faithful to the comics.
Holland’s portrayal is so reminiscent of Peter Parker’s early days as Spider-Man, and he doesn’t just shine in his own movies. He was a fantastic addition to the ensembles of Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War because his status as a kid from Queens thrust into extraordinary circumstances makes him extremely relatable. It’s safe to say that we’re pumped for Spider-Man: Far from Home.
3 NERVOUS ABOUT: CRACKDOWN 3
The freedom of sandbox games is unmatched and can be great fun, but it also has its problems. This can be seen in the Crackdown series -- the first one is fun and well praised, but the sequel was essentially just more of the same.
There’s only so far a destruction simulator can get you. For your game to have any staying power, it needs something to compel players to continue playing (this is where the story usually comes in). Crackdown 3 seems to be headed for the same pitfalls as its predecessors. It’s lifting much of the same gameplay from the previous games and none of the trailers have focused much on the story, indicating that it’s not an important element in the game.
2 EXCITED FOR: GLASS
It’s strange to say, but we’re excited about M. Night Shyamalan’s new movie. After a remarkable string of success in the late ‘90s that included the unique superhero movie Unbreakable, Shyamalan gave in to his odder urges and every movie he directed after this got worse and worse.
But recently, he’s turned his career completely around and may have returned to his late ‘90s peak form. The Visit was a huge step forward from his previous projects and Split was an excellent movie. When it was revealed that Split was a surprise sequel to his beloved Unbreakable, fans are eagerly awaiting the next movie in the series, Glass. And after a fantastic first trailer, audiences are stoked to see David Dunn vs. The Horde.
1 NERVOUS ABOUT: AVENGERS 4
Before you revolt, this is not on here for the reason you think. We’re all dreading Avengers 4 for one reason: the possibility of our favorite characters being gone forever. We’ve been promised that deaths in Avengers 4 will carry weight, meaning that most of them, if not all of them, will stick.
The thought of watching characters that we’ve come to love over the course of ten years and 18 movies pass away on-screen is an incredibly painful one. This movie will usher in a new age of Marvel movies while moving on from the previous age and those that are linked with it. This bittersweet moment will sure be hard to swallow.