Fans begged for these sequels and got nothing

In Hollywood, sequels can mean big business for movie studios—raking in cash and merchandise sales by capitalizing on popular and established film franchises. However, studios frequently invest their time and money into lackluster cash-grab sequels that probably shouldn't have been made—like Terminator 3 or S. Darko—while completely ignoring popular films that really deserved a follow-up. Here's a look at some of the movies that had fans practically begging for a sequel that just never happened.

District 9

Director Neill Blomkamp's 2009 film District 9 offers up a great blend of science fiction, action, and horror—presented with a unique premise that echoes the real-life events of apartheid South Africa. The film chronicles an alternate history in which an alien ship appears over Johannesburg, and the sickly insect-like aliens within the ship are eventually relocated to a government camp on the edge of town. Twenty-eight years later, one alien makes an attempt to escape with his son and return to their home planet. Despite being filmed on just a $30 million budget, District 9 was financially successful—earning over $210 million worldwide—and also earned critical acclaim, Oscar nominations, and a dedicated fan following.

Ever since then, Blomkamp has been promising those fans that a sequel to District 9 would be forthcoming. Blomkamp began publicly floating the idea of a sequel even before District 9 was released. In 2010, District 9 star Sharlto Copley voiced his support for a sequel and suggested that "if everything goes according to plan we'll do the second film in about two years time." Despite this promise, no sequel has ever materialized. So what happened? In 2013, Blomkamp told IGN that "I really want to make a District 9 sequel. I genuinely do," but that other projects were taking precedence in his schedule.

The Goonies

After The Goonies first came out in 1985, it became almost an instant cult classic. Fans couldn't get enough of the treasure-hunting gang of misfit teens, and people began clamoring for a sequel immediately. As those fans have aged, their call for a sequel revisiting the "Goon Docks" has only gotten louder. In 2005, Jeff Cohen ("Chunk") told fans that while Steven Spielberg (who wrote the original movie), director Richard Donner, and the cast were all on board, the studio executives at Warner Brothers weren't too keen on shelling out the cash to make a sequel. However, Donner has claimed that "Goonies 2 will still happen, provided enough of you keep complaining and sending in letters."

Since then, fans have been getting some extremely mixed signals about the status of a Goonies sequel. Sean Astin ("Mikey") called it "an absolute certainty" in 2007, while Corey Feldman ("Mouth") said in 2008, "There is no Goonies 2! I'm sorry but it's just not gonna happen." Donner brought the hype back in 2014, telling a photographer that the sequel was already in the works and that he had plans to bring back the entire original cast. Unfortunately, there's been only radio silence on the Goonies front since then.

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Whenever a beloved fictional franchise like Douglas Adams' The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is adapted for television or the big screen, fans are bound to get nervous about how the adaptation will turn out. Thankfully, director Garth Jennings' 2005 movie based on Adams' works was mostly well-received and earned over $100 million at the box office. It also generated a whole new legion of Hitchhiker's Guide fans. Because the movie's ending left several possibilities open for a continuation of the tale, those fans soon began wondering when Jennings would be bringing the next installment back to theaters.

At first, it seemed there was plenty of interest in a Hitchhiker's Guide sequel from Jennings, the cast, and the fans. However, years passed with no news of a sequel on the horizon. In 2008, fans finally learned that the studio (Disney-owned Touchstone Pictures) had put the final kibosh on the deal. Hitchhiker's Guide star Martin Freeman reported that Jennings had told him over dinner that the movie "just didn't do well enough" financially to get the green light for a sequel.

Spaceballs

While spoofs are a dime a dozen, few have been as popular as Mel Brooks' 1987 comic science-fiction movie Spaceballs. Starring Bill Pullman, John Candy, Daphne Zuniga, and Rick Moranis, Spaceballs went on to become a cult classic and remains one of Brooks' most popular movies. Although Spaceballs was a parody of Star Wars and other sci-fi franchises, it has since gone on to become just as important to pop culture and entertainment as the films it was inspired by.

Eager fans have been waiting for years for a Spaceballs sequel to make its way to the big screen. In fact, the wait has been a bit of a tease—director Mel Brooks has promised (then failed to deliver) Spaceballs II on several occasions. In 2013, Rick Moranis said that some years prior, he had discussed a possible Spaceballs sequel with Brooks. Moranis (who is on hiatus from acting) also revealed that ultimately he and Brooks were unable to reach a deal on the project. In 2015, Brooks revived fan interest in the sequel when he said the new Star Wars trilogy made now a perfect time to create Spaceballs II. Even though several members of the original cast have passed away, Brooks said that he'd do it if he could get Daphne Zuniga and Moranis on board. At an event in early 2017, Brooks revealed that he was in talks with MGM about developing the sequel, but, unfortunately, there's been no news since then.

Dredd

Comic character Judge Dredd first hit the big screen in a 1995 movie starring Sylvester Stallone. The movie, aptly titled Judge Dredd, was a critical and commercial flop—one that director Pete Travis hoped not to repeat with his 2012 reboot film, Dredd. He was only partially successful. While Dredd earned praise from fans and critics, it failed to make a profit at the box office. However, Dredd found new life following its home release, and the film has since become a cult favorite.

Before Dredd hit theaters, producer Alex Garland said a sequel was likely if it grossed over $50 million. When Dredd fell short, Garland switched gears—suggesting that a potential TV series might be a better idea. Unsurprisingly, fans have been unwilling to let the matter drop. They started an unofficial online petition, which was even endorsed by the original comic's publisher. In 2016, Dredd star Karl Urban called for a Dredd series on Amazon or Netflix and said that "conversations are happening." A new series—Judge Dredd: Mega-City One—was announced in early 2017, and reports indicated Urban was in discussions to reprise his role for the show. Since then, most news about Mega-City One has been little more than speculation or rumors. The show has yet to find a home, let alone begin production. According to producer Jason Kingsley, they are still "so early in the process" that Dredd fans will have to wait "at least two years" (2019) before they get their promised followup.

Elf

If you've ever watched network television between Thanksgiving and Christmas, then chances are you've probably seen the heartwarming movie Elf, starring Will Ferrell, James Caan, and Zooey Deschanel. After its release in 2003, Elf became an instant success that has since joined the pantheon of "classic" Holiday films—an impressive feat for a relatively recent movie. Naturally, a large number of fans would love to see an Elf sequel that covers Buddy's next stage in life.

In an interesting reversal from many of the other films on our list, the roadblock for getting an Elf sequel hasn't been the studio executives. Instead, the main detractors are actually Elf director Jon Favreau and star Will Ferrell. New Line Cinema (which produced Elf) is undoubtedly eager to capitalize on the original's success, but when the topic of Elf 2 comes up, Favreau has been generally noncommittal; Ferrell has even been downright negative about the idea. In the end, neither the Elf director or its star are very interested in putting their necks on the line for a risky project that could potentially damage the reputation of the original—which means Elf fanatics will not be getting a sequel under the tree from Santa anytime soon.

TRON: Legacy

Fans seldom demand a sequel to a sequel, but the 2010 sci-fi action film Tron: Legacy is an exception. Nearly 30 years after the 1982 original, Tron: Legacy served to revive the classic franchise and bring it back into the mainstream. While Legacy received mixed reviews from critics, it created a new generation of Tron fans and grossed over $400 million at the box office worldwide. Disney was clearly planning a sequel for the film; the open ending of Legacy even hinted to the direction of the story's next chapter.

Before Tron: Legacy hit theaters, producer Steven Lisberger said that plans for a sequel were already in the works. The Legacy screenwriters were back on board to pen the new script, which was completed under the working title Tr3n in 2011. Legacy's stars were back on board too. Actor Bruce Boxleitner (Alan) suggested filming would start in late 2014, and Disney officially greenlighted the production to start in 2015. However, they cancelled the sequel just a few months later. Disney's constant vacillation about Tron 3 even caused the once-eager Boxleitner to lose all interest in returning. In February 2017, Legacy director Joseph Kosinski revealed that the sequel hadn't been scrapped entirely but, rather, is in "cryogenic freeze" for now. Other reports indicated Disney might be considering a reboot of the franchise centered on a new Tron 3 character, with Jared Leto in discussions to play the part. Unfortunately, there's been no news since then.

RocknRolla

The 2008 British-American crime comedy film RocknRolla received mixed reviews and grossed only $25 million worldwide, but it shot to #1 in the U.K. box office in its first week of release and gained a dedicated fan following. Naturally, many of those fans want to know when the next film will be out. RocknRolla director Guy Ritchie had revealed, before the movie's release, that he wanted to develop his movie into a trilogy—which had fans excited. Not only has Ritchie been dropping hints about a sequel for years, the movie literally ends with a title card that promises the characters will be back in "The Real RocknRolla."

In 2011, Ritchie told Movieline that he'd already written a "great" script for the sequel and that RocknRolla producer Joel Silver was ready to foot the bill for the project to get started. However, Richie had been too busy making big movies like Sherlock Holmes and its sequel Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows to focus on RocknRolla 2. Since then, Ritchie has directed 2015's The Man from U.N.C.L.E. and 2017's King Arthur: Legend of the Sword. With Ritchie currently filming a live-action Aladdin adaptation for Disney (slated for a 2019 release), it's unlikely we'll see a RocknRolla sequel anytime soon.

Hocus Pocus

Director Kenny Ortega's 1993 horror/fantasy comedy Hocus Pocus reigns as one of the most popular Halloween-themed movies of all time. Starring Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy, and Sarah Jessica Parker, Hocus Pocus received negative reviews and only earned $39 million at the box office. Nevertheless, the film went on to gain cult classic status and an extremely dedicated fan following through DVD sales and television broadcasts.

Simply put, fans adore Hocus Pocus and have been begging for a sequel for years. The cast has been ready for some time too—but they were waiting on Disney to give the sequel a green light for a sequel to begin production. As of this writing, the Hocus Pocus fans and cast alike were still waiting. In late 2017, screenwriter Mick Garris let slip that he was working on a script for Hocus Pocus 2, but Disney let fans down when they revealed the truth: the new project is a remake to be aired on the Disney Channel—and neither director Kenny Ortega or the original stars will be involved. Unfortunately, it seems unlikely that a Hocus Pocus sequel featuring the original Sanderson sisters will ever make its way to the big screen.  

Kill Bill: Volume 2

Although Beatrix Kiddo's bloody tale of revenge came to a close in 2004's Kill Bill: Volume 2, parts of her story were definitely left open-ended: What might happen when Vernita Green's daughter Nikki grows up?  Will Nikki seek out Black Mamba to take her own revenge? And what does the future hold in store for little B.B.? Kill Bill director Quentin Tarantino said back in 2004 that he wanted to make another sequel to his martial arts drama franchise and that he even had the basic story arc of the next film planned already.

Tarantino has also discussed the idea of creating some animated Kill Bill films to explore the origin stories of both Bill and The Bride. Tarantino later said that Kill Bill Volume 3 would be his ninth film, to be released in 2014, but the project was later shelved and The Hateful Eight (2015) ended up taking its place. In 2016, the director was still talking about making a Kill Bill sequel and revealed he'd spoken to Uma Thurman about the project. However, there's been no word on the sequel since then, and Tarantino has moved forward on a film about the Charles Manson murders under the working title Helter Skelter.