Sometimes, both the audience and the makers of a movie want more. It happens when there’s a story that is compelling, that really invests in its characters and makes those that are watching the movie also invest in those characters. Arguably, that’s the business of storytelling, to get those listening and looking in to buy into “author’s purpose,” which is to convey a message. Thus, the notion of wanting to see more from those characters, to know about them, and to follow what happens next to them, are hallmarks of having scripted and brought to life a pretty decent movie, to say the least. However, that may not always be the case when it comes to the sometimes chaotic waters of film making.
Movies that are self-aware of their own potential to continue the story are products of their makers believing that the story that they are presently telling could spin off into more, and the decision to tease that in the current film can be presumptuous, especially given the many hurdles that it takes to get a movie green lit and actually made. Here are some movie teases that went nowhere.
10 Austin Powers in Goldmember (2002)
The Austin Powers franchise was a fun one from the moment Mike Myers put on that cropped wig and deigned those despicable munchers. Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery was such a hit that it almost immediately spawned a sequel, Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me. It was clear and evident that the James Bond-esque spoof had considerable staying power as long as Mike Myers remained willing to be the sex-craved super spy.
A third film, Austin Powers in Goldmember, followed and the presumption that there was going to be a fourth was made within the film for audiences to salivate over. Austin Powers in Goldmember teased that Scott, Dr. Evil’s son, would take over for him since he’d switched sides to join Austin Powers, the twin brother that he didn’t know he had. However, nothing has ever come of it despite the third movie doing really well at the box office.
9 Eragon (2006)
Eragon is based on the first book of the same name in The Inheritance Cycle series by author Christopher Paolini. The film adaptation was supposed to set up the story and action for the second book of the series, Eldest, but unfortunately that never took place and the likelihood of it ever happening has tremendously diminished. The movie teased the main bad guy and antagonist, John Malkovich’s Galbaltorix, revealing that he had his own dragon, the big bad Shruikan, foreshadowing the dragon fight that was to come in the next movie. However, the film didn’t do so well at the box office, nor was it really well liked and with the book series itself only seen as mediocre, the film franchise breathed its last fiery breath with the first movie.
8 Super Mario Bros. (1993)
The first adaptation of the hit video game franchise made its way into theaters in the early 90s, sporting John Leguizamo as Luigi Mario and Bob Hoskins as Mario Mario, better known as Super Mario. The Super Mario Bros. as a live-adaptation attempted to bring to life the Nintendo story of the two plumbers who are accidentally brought into a mushroom-filled world where princesses and fantastical powers exist.
Ultimately, the face-off with Bowser, a big bad, who wants to rule the Mushroom world as well as the Mario Bros. reality. The movie ends with Princess Daisy coming to the Mario Bros. with a huge weapon of some kind and telling them that they’re not going to believe something, beckoning them to follow her back into some kind of peril or danger that needs them to fix. Unfortunately, the movie did not do well at the box office despite the luster and pre-eminence of the Super Mario Bros. franchise.
7 District 9 (2009)
Aliens landed on earth thirty years prior not to take over or war with humanity, but instead seeking refuge. In this movie, human beings and aliens are separated and aliens are managed by a government organization that doesn’t really care for the welfare of the extraterrestrials, but are very concerned and very much interested in their advance technology. The plot of the story Involves a human who contracts some kind of virus that begins to transform into something else. The only place he can hide out is in District 9, the place designated as alien space. The ending of District 9 teased a continuing story that involved the fully transformed human, Wickus, and potentially pending war that was to come. However, despite great box office numbers, no script or story has been written for sequel.
6 Godzilla (1998)
As a franchise, when TriStar took over the rights of Godzilla, their original plan was to create a trilogy based around the super monster. In Godzilla, Matthew Broderick’s character, Dr. Niko Tatopoulus, is assigned to study the beast that has emerged from decades ago radiation testing. Subsequently, an all out war breaks out between the monster and the military, but not without Dr. Tatopoulus discovering that Godzilla has laid a massive amount of eggs. Needless to say those eggs are supposedly bombed and destroyed, but the ending teases that one egg survived. This was supposed to be the setup for the sequel which would see the son of Godzilla emerge. However, a lackluster response to the first movie killed any possibility of the second happening.
5 Predators (2011)
Predators places a group of humans on an alien planet where they are hunted by a breed of aliens. This is the third film in the franchise and sets up an interesting dynamic of survival that included not only the fight against the aliens but also the strain of people working together to survive. The rag-tag group of figting survivors attempt to war off their “Predators” while also dealing with each other. The ending of the movie saw others parachuting down to the planet with only two survivors remaining, still looking for a way off of the planet. However, low box office returns ended the idea of another film to follow.
4 Green Lantern (2011)
Green Lantern is one of the more popular DC Comics super-heroes. The 2011 Green Lantern movie adaptation brought fan favorite Ryan Reynolds into the role of Hal Jordan, who would then become Green Lantern. Despite the character’s popularity and Reynolds’ fame, it wasn’t enough to sustain the negative reviews of critics, nor the backlash from some comic book fans. The end-credit scene shows Sinestro finding the yellow power ring of fear, subsequently corrupting him. This was to tease the sequel, but unfortunately, this iteration of Green Lantern is over and done with the DCU moving in a different direction under James Gunn.
3 National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets (2007)
National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets was the follow-up to the wildly successful first installment, National Treasure, which follows treasure hunter Benjamin Franklin Gates and his crew as they solve riddles and course through clues trying to find treasure and truth. While the first movie did not tease a follow-up per se, the sequel did, having the President of the United States telling Nicolas Cage’s character, Gates, to turn to page 47 of the Book Secrets and requesting his help on the “life altering” information present on the page. Despite there already being a planned story for a third film, development and production has stalled in completing a script to move forward on.
2 Flash Gordon (1980)
Flash Gordon is a fantastical adventure that centers around a football star, Flash Gordon, a travel agent, and scientist who believes that there’s something more to the strange hail and aberrations that they are experiencing on earth, as they attempt to save the world from an impending doom (the scientist was in correct in his thinking). While the story is part of pop culture legend, full of nostalgia and fan reverence, the movie adaptation fell crudely short and despite the ending of the movie teasing the main villain, Ming’s, return after someone picks up the fallen ring, there sequel was scrapped.
1 Young Sherlock Holmes (1985)
A prequel to the elder Sherlock Holmes that is widely known in literature, TV, and film, Young Sherlock Holmes puts a teenage version of the detective in a mystery adventure where he meets a young John Watson for the first time at a boarding school. From there, the two investigate a mysterious happening within the school where people are experiencing crazed delusions. Unfortunately, the film was severely underrated and barely made a profit at the box office. Thus, the movie’s ending, which teased the young Sherlock Holmes’ fencing instructor Professor Rathe’s alter-ego, Eh-Tar, having survived a horrendous fall and checking himself into an inn under the name of Moriarty. This alludes to Eh-Tar eventually becoming Holmes infamous nemesis, Dr. Moriarty later in life.