10 Planned Horror Sequels We Never Got Apr 11, 2015 22:02:05 GMT -6
Post by The Ultimate Nullifier on Apr 11, 2015 22:02:05 GMT -6
The movie-making business is a fickle one, with projects oftentimes appearing one day and then completely disappearing the next. There are so many factors that go into making a movie that it’s quite frankly a miracle that so many movies do end up getting made. But what about the ones that are planned and announced, but never actually materialize?
There are a whole lot of them, and today we take a look at a handful of horror sequels that found themselves (perhaps forever) stuck in the dreaded Development Hell!
BEFORE THE MASK : THE RETURN OF LESLIE VERNON
One of the most frustrating stories in recent years within the horror genre is the story of Before The Mask, the sequel to 2006’s utterly brilliant cult classic Behind The Mask that, for whatever reason, just can’t seem to get off the ground. Described as a “spreemake,” meaning a sequel, prequel and a remake all rolled into one, Before The Mask took to Kickstarter a couple years back, after Anchor Bay refused to fund it, and the campaign unfortunately only raised less than half of its $450,000 goal.
Despite the fact that the script is written, and director Scott Glosserman is itching to bring Leslie Vernon back to life, the project is at this point in time dead in the water, due to a lack of funding. Though if all the great slashers have taught us anything, it’s that they’ll always be back for more.
THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT 3
Rumors of a third installment in the Blair Witch Project franchise have been circulating around the internet since the release of the second film back in 2000, which was at the time supposedly going to be a prequel to the two films, telling the story of the titular Blair Witch. Many years later, in 2009, the writing/directing duo of the first one (Eduardo Sanchez & Daniel Myrick) announced that they would taking back the reigns of the series, and were hard at work on a second sequel, reporting that they had come up with an idea that they were really excited about.
Talks resumed in 2011 when Sanchez was promoting his film Lovely Molly, telling the press that the sequel would disregard the events of Book of Shadows, and feature appearances by the cast members of the original film. He said the ball was in Lionsgate’s court, and to this day they’ve still never taken that ball and ran with it. “The film seems inevitable to me,” Sanchez recently told us, and he seems confident that it’s only a matter of time.
The closest a fourth installment in the Candyman franchise ever got to being made was back in 2004, when the film was being actively developed. According to Tony Todd, legal issues halted the production, as no one at the time was really sure who owned the rights to the franchise. In 2009 Todd began talking about Candyman 4 again, saying he had been coming up with ideas for it and talking it over with Deon Taylor, a director who he was working with at the time.
Right around the same time, there were rumors that the franchise would be getting a complete remake, without Tony Todd in the lead role, though not a peep has been heard about either project in several years. Maybe if we all collectively chant his name in the mirror, the Candyman will soon return.
If there’s any sequel that horror fans have been itching for over the years it’s Gremlins 3, which has been rumored and teased for as long as Ghostbusters 3 was. It was in 2006 that Joe Dante revealed that a third Gremlins films was in the works, but that he likely wouldn’t be asked to direct it. He also expressed concerns most of us have been expressing since the rumors began circulating, fearing that the incredible animatronics and puppetry that made the first two films so awesome and loveable would be replaced with CGI.
In 2010 rumors picked up again, this time indicating that the sequel was on the fast track, and that it would be Gizmo and pals’ first foray into three dimensions. It was also rumored that original stars Zach Galligan and Phoebe Cates might be returning, which further excited Gremlins fanatics. Unfortunately, it was more recently announced that the sequel was going to be thrown out in favor of a remake, and only time will tell if that project ever actually hatches.
HOUSE OF RE-ANIMATOR
In 2006 it was announced that Herbert West would return in a brand new Re-Animator trilogy, the first installment of which was to be titled House of Re-Animator. Conceived as a satire of then president George W. Bush’s presidency, House was going to feature West being called into the White House to re-animate the dead president, who was set to be played by William H. Macy. Bruce Abbott’s character Dan Cain was going to also be in it, a character that was absent from the previous sequel.
Director Stuart Gordon cited fears of offending the Bush administration as the reason why no studio wanted to fund the project, with the final nail in the coffin coming when the Bush presidency ended. A you know what shame, considering all parties involved seemed quite passionate and excited about giving the series a healthy dose of West’s re-agent, and bringing it back to life.
THE LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT : PART 2
Decades before getting the remake treatment, Krug and his band of murderous slimeballs almost returned to the big screen in the form of a sequel to Wes Craven’s horrifying exercise in exploitation excess. Fresh off of writing/directing Friday The 13th : A New Beginning, the late Danny Steinmann was approached to bring Krug back in the mid-80s, and he quickly set to work on writing the script and scouting for locations. Steinmann’s script took place at a summer camp, where youngsters were being knocked off one by one by an unseen force, which turned out to be none other than Krug Stillo. Though he wasn’t in love with the idea, David Hess had planned on reprising the role that turned him into a horror icon.
The project ultimately fell apart when Steinmann learned that the proper rights to make a sequel hadn’t actually been secured, which meant that all of his work was flushed down the crapper.
The return of Frank Zito?! Well, not exactly. Though Maniac director William Lustig had no interest in making a sequel, star Joe Spinell thought otherwise, and many years ago came up with an idea for a sequel that was very much in line with the original film, without being a direct follow-up. Spinell’s idea saw him as the makeup-wearing host of a children’s television show, targeting parents who abuse the kids that watch his show. When funding was finally secured, a promo reel was shot by Combat Shock director Buddy Giovinazzo, but the film never made it past that stage. The death of Joe Spinell in 1989 spelled the end of the production.
Listen to the full story and see the Maniac 2 promo reel above!
MANIAC COP 4
1993’s second Maniac Cop sequel, Badge of Silence, ended with the strong suggestion that we hadn’t seen the last of Matt Cordell and his murderous ways. But for over a decade, it seemed that we in fact had. It wasn’t until 2008 that William Lustig started talking about Maniac Cop 4, revealing that he and writing partner Larry Cohen had gotten back the rights to the franchise, and were planning on bringing Cordell back from the dead for one last bloody hurrah. Lustig said that he had planned on “re-inventing the series” with the fourth installment, and that the late Robert Z’Dar would for the first time not be returning to play the titular Maniac Cop.
More recently we learned that Drive director Nicolas Winding Refn was in talks with Lustig/Cohen to produce a remake of Maniac Cop, rather than a sequel, which would essentially serve as a prequel to/reboot of the first film. That project, sadly, seems to have also fallen by the wayside.
Originally conceived as the fourth installment in the franchise, Phantasm super fan/Silent Hill writer Roger Avary once wrote a screenplay which at the time was called Phantasm 1999 A.D., but was later re-named Phantasm’s End. Set to star original cast members as well as Bruce Campbell, the script was billed as the epic conclusion to the series, set in a desolate future and centering around high-tech troops trying to destroy the Tall Man once and for all. Due to budgetary issues, Don Coscarelli instead wrote and directed Phantasm 4: Oblivion, reportedly hoping to follow it up with the more ambitious Roger Avary film. That of course never happened.
Set for release sometime in the near future is Phantasm: Ravager, which will serve as the franchise’s fifth installment. At the time of writing this, no release date has been set, but we do know that the film has been completely shot and is on its way. Ravager features Reggie Bannister in his decades-long pursuit of the malevolent Tall Man, and it finally forces him to confront the mysteries at the heart of the Phantasm saga.
THE RETURN OF THE KILLER KLOWNS FROM OUTER SPACE…IN 3D!
As far back as I can remember there have been talks about a Killer Klowns From Outer Space sequel, talks that tend to pick up and then die down with each passing year. But it wasn’t until 2011 that it seemed the film was finally on the horizon, when Klowns star Grant Cramer revealed that a 3D sequel was most definitely in the works, and that he would return to star in the film which would again be directed by the Chiodo brothers. He went on to say that the film would feature brand new Klown designs, and that Mike Tobacco would serve as the mentor to two new young leads, tasked with saving the world from the Klown invasion.
Last I heard, funding was secured but a distribution deal was not in place, and it’s been a couple years now since Cramer has revealed anything further about the production. With a script written and both fans and filmmakers eager to bring the Klowns back, we can only wonder one thing at this point; what the hell is the hold up?!?!
Which of these films would you most like to see find their way in front of the camera? And do you know of any other horror sequels that almost entered our lives? Comment below and let us know!