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13 Movie Franchises That Will Likely Never Be Rebooted

Nowadays, Hollywood has seen a plethora of reboots, remakes, and sequels take over theaters. Some, like "Ghostbusters: Afterlife" or "Spider-Man: No Way Home," pay homage to the history of their franchises, while others, like Disney's "The Little Mermaid" or Hulu's "White Men Can't Jump" remake, try to recapture the magic of classic films for newer audiences to varying degrees of success.

While reboot culture has led to a lot of beloved tributes to cinema history, it's also exhausted some audiences who want more original creations. On top of that, many franchises that would normally be ripe for remaking are unable to see the light of day due to controversy surrounding their creators or cast, or legal disputes over licensing rights.

The following 13 franchises at one point helped to define movie culture and inspired generations of filmmakers, but, sadly, they may not have much of a future at this point in time. For some, it's for the best, given that not many audiences want to see their favorite franchises hit rock bottom because of a studio's desperate quest for profits. For others, it'll be a sad development if these iconic franchises never hit the big screen again.

The Godfather

Ask anyone what the greatest film of all time is, and there's a good chance they'll say "The Godfather" or "The Godfather Part II." The Francis Ford Coppola-directed films released in the early 1970s, becoming the most defining films not just of their era but of cinematic history. Coppola followed them up over a decade later with "The Godfather Part III," which concludes the iconic story of Michael Corleone, played by Al Pacino.

Following the release of "The Godfather Part III," Coppola planned a fourth film with Andy Garcia attached, but that fell apart when Mario Puzo, author of the 1969 novel that inspired the trilogy, passed away in 1999. Subsequently, Puzo's estate compiled his ideas for the sequel into a 2012 novel titled "The Family Corleone," prompting a legal dispute with Paramount Pictures over ownership of the rights to make more "Godfather" films.

The studio's plans aside, it seems unlikely Coppola will ever return to the franchise, especially without Puzo by his side. As he told GQ Magazine in 2012, "If I had had my way, there would only be one 'Godfather.'" The best fans of the franchise will likely get is the 2022 Paramount+ miniseries "The Offer" starring Miles Teller, Dan Fogler, and Juno Temple which recounts the production of "The Godfather."

Back to the Future

Few films capture the mid-1980s better than "Back to the Future," a time travel comedy in which Marty McFly, played by Michael J. Fox, accidentally travels to the 1950s, where he must make his parents fall in love with each other to secure his existence with the help of Doc Brown, played by Christopher Lloyd. The film was followed by two direct sequels, released in 1989 and 1990, and has become one of the most iconic movie franchises of all time.

Although this film series seems like an easy target for a modern-day Hollywood reboot, Robert Zemeckis, the franchise's co-creator and director, told The Telegraph in 2015 that he wouldn't authorize a reboot "until both [co-writer Bob Gale] and I are dead." (via Vanity Fair). When approached about a potential reboot, actor Tom Holland shut down the suggestion that he could play Marty McFly, believing it to be a perfect film that doesn't need to be remade.

Thankfully for "Back to the Future" fans, there's plenty of content out there that continues the story. Christopher Lloyd reprised his role in a series of video games developed by Telltale, while Lloyd and Fox have also donned their iconic outfits for various special occasions, including a celebratory appearance on "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" in 2015.

Kill Bill

Quentin Tarantino has been the creative force behind multiple iconic films, including "Pulp Fiction" and "Django Unchained." In the early 2000s, he gained recognition for his martial arts homages "Kill Bill: Volume 1" and "Kill Bill: Volume 2," starring Uma Thurman as an assassin who seeks revenge on her former lover when she's attacked at her wedding rehearsal.

Due to the critical and commercial success of both films, Tarantino floated the idea of doing a third installment as early as 2004, making more concrete plans to develop sequels by the early 2010s. More recently, Tarantino revealed that he and Uma Thurman had discussed ideas for a new "Kill Bill" movie and in 2021 suggested potentially casting Thurman's daughter, "Stranger Things" star Maya Hawke, as the Bride's daughter.

Sadly, another "Kill Bill" film is unlikely, given that Tarantino seems committed to his plan to only make ten films throughout his entire career. His tenth and final film, "The Movie Critic," is set to begin production in 2023, and the director has confirmed "Kill Bill Volume 3" won't be happening after all. Though it was a nice idea to see Thurman and Hawke share the screen in a new "Kill Bill" film, perhaps the real-life mother and daughter could appear together in smaller roles in Tarantino's final film.


"Porky's" is one of many 1980s comedies that, frankly, hasn't aged well. Directed by Bob Clark, the movie centers on a group of teenage boys attempting to lose their virginity, including an infamous moment where the boys spy on a group of teenage girls showering at their high school. The film was a box office hit, spawning two sequels, "Porky's II: The Next Day" in 1983 and "Porky's Revenge!" in 1985, which were both poorly received.

Since the 1980s, the potential for a "Porky's" reboot has been unlikely. The film is looked at differently nowadays due to its content, with Kirk Miller of InsideHook retrospectively pointing out, "The real issue with 'Porky's' isn't the dated gags or aggressive titillation; it's that the film was not funny back in the day and certainly not funny now." Additionally, "Porky's" was the subject of a dispute over licensing rights, stalling plans Howard Stern once had to remake it.

During this dispute, an ashcan "reboot" of "Porky's" was released in 2009 in an effort by Mola Entertainment to retain the rights before they expired. A settlement was reached in 2013, with no update on whether Stern's version would ever move forward, but given that there's been no "Porky's" remake news since, it's safe to assume the franchise is dead.


Will Ferrell and Adam McKay first joined forces working at "Saturday Night Live," becoming fast friends and writing partners. After leaving the sketch series in 2002, Ferrell and McKay made their first film together, "Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy." Ferrell stars as a misogynistic 1970s news anchor and co-stars Christina Applegate, Paul Rudd, David Koechner, and Steve Carell as his news crew.

Though McKay and Ferrell remained close collaborators, a follow-up to "Anchorman" didn't arrive until 2013, "Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues." Talks about a third "Anchorman" film immediately began following the sequel's release, despite McKay shooting down the idea in 2014. However, McKay seemed to have a change of heart by 2018, teasing discussions and ideas floating around about potential stories.

Sadly, the likelihood of a third "Anchorman" film is lower than ever, mostly due to a falling out between McKay and Ferrell as collaborators after Ferrell wasn't cast in McKay's HBO sports drama "Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty." As apologetic about the end of their creative friendship as he seems, McKay probably won't reach out to Ferrell to revive Ron Burgundy anytime soon.

Die Hard

Whether or not it's actually a Christmas story, no one can argue that "Die Hard" isn't one of the best action movies ever made. The 1988 film turned Bruce Willis from a television lead to a blockbuster movie star, spawning a franchise that continued into the 2010s with four sequels, each starring Willis as the reluctant hero cop John McClane.

The fifth film of the franchise, "A Good Day to Die Hard," left things on a sour note, with The Los Angeles Times' review stating, "the sense of exhilaration and fun that marked the best of the series has gone unaccountably AWOL." Nevertheless, Willis wanted to formally retire the character of John McClane with one final film, titled "McClane," though production was stalled numerous times due to rewrites and scheduling conflicts.

The final blow to the film's chances came when Disney acquired 20th Century Fox, axing the film from the production lineup. In 2022, Willis formally announced his retirement from acting after being diagnosed with aphasia, which progressed into dementia in 2023. Considering accounts that the conditions had been affecting his on-set performance as early as 2020, Willis will never be able to reprise his role as McClane again.

Pirates of the Caribbean

After its debut in 2003, "Pirates of the Caribbean" quickly became one of Disney's biggest non-animated franchises, spawning sequels, theme park rides, and merchandise. The original cast included Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom, and Keira Knightley, although the most recent entry, 2017's "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales," featured the latter two in mere cameo roles as opposed to starring alongside Depp. Unfortunately, the franchise's future has become complicated since then.

Plans for a sixth film were supposedly scrapped as a result of Johnny Depp's controversy surrounding his marriage to actress Amber Heard. During their defamation trial in 2022, Depp testified he would not return to the role of Jack Sparrow after Disney cut him out of the franchise before a verdict had been reached in the trial. However, after winning the trial, Depp was reportedly more open to working with them again on a new "Pirates" film.

Disney also planned a spin-off starring Margot Robbie, although by 2022, Robbie confirmed it had been shelved. Perhaps there's still hope for "Pirates of the Caribbean," but given Depp's tainted image, as well as the lack of desire to return from original cast members like Keira Knightley, it seems unlikely to happen anytime soon.

Charlie's Angels

"Charlie's Angels" originated in the late 1970s as an ABC television series about a trio of female secret agents, and it gained popularity with a new generation with 2000's film adaptation starring Drew Barrymore, Cameron Diaz, and Lucy Liu. After spawning one sequel, future films never made it far into development. Eventually, ABC tried but failed to revive it on TV in 2011, and Elizabeth Banks helmed a reboot of the film franchise with 2019's "Charlie's Angels," starring Ella Balinska, Naomi Scott, and Kristen Stewart.

Sadly, the 2019 film wasn't received well enough to spark a full-on franchise revival. Despite praise for the performances, particularly Stewart's, publications like TIME said the reboot spent "so much time advertising how glitzy and sparkly it thinks it is that it comes to resemble a migraine aura." In hindsight, Banks came to regret the angle of the film's marketing, lamenting the way the movie had been sold to audiences as being primarily for girls rather than everyone.

Because of the reboot's poor box office performance, a sequel was scrapped by Columbia Pictures, disappointing its stars. Though there could still be hope for a future return to "Charlie's Angels," it would be the fourth time trying to revive the franchise, which may be a sign that it's unfortunately not meant to be.


The success of James Cameron's "The Terminator" in 1984 spawned a media franchise spanning film, television, and video games. While the 1991 sequel, "Terminator 2: Judgment Day," is considered one of the greatest science-fiction movies of all time, the same can't be said for subsequent films in the franchise.

Notably, the three most recent films were all infamous disasters in their own rights. 2009's "Terminator: Salvation" was marred by difficulty during production, resulting in a film critics almost universally found lifeless and, ironically, robotic. 2015's "Terminator: Genisys" was highly anticipated but failed to impress critics or audiences. The most recent film, "Terminator: Dark Fate," tried to reignite faith in the franchise by bringing back Linda Hamilton, which worked for some but not as well for others.

By now, not even the franchise's primary star, Arnold Schwarzenegger, is optimistic about its future. In 2023, Schwarzenegger stated he wouldn't return to the franchise, telling The Hollywood Reporter, "I got the message loud and clear that the world wants to move on." James Cameron has allegedly recently begun working on rebooting the franchise, but given how many "Avatar" films he has on his schedule, who knows if "The Terminator" will ever truly be back.

Bill & Ted

"Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure," released in 1989, tells the tale of two high schoolers who travel through time recruiting historical figures to pass their history exam and secure their future as saviors of the universe. Stars Alex Winter and Keanu Reeves returned in 1991 with "Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey," before the franchise went dormant due to a lackluster performance at the box office.

After spending years in development hell, the long-awaited third movie finally arrived in 2020. In "Bill & Ted Face the Music," the older duo teams up with their oddly similar teenage daughters to save the universe yet again. Unlike other entries on this list, "Face the Music" debuted to positive reviews due to the sequel successfully replicating the charm of the original two movies.

Despite the positive response, a fourth "Bill & Ted" movie starring Winter and Reeves is likely off the table. Co-writer Ed Solomon explained to Den of Geek, "If we could come up with something that's worth doing, I think we'd all be up for doing it, but it really depends." While he expressed some interest in a sequel following the two daughters played by Samara Weaving and Brigette Lundy-Paine, there probably isn't a future for the franchise without its original leads.


Horror movie franchises always come back for more, receiving constant reboots over the years. This holds true for "Halloween," which began in 1978 with John Carpenter's film starring Jamie Lee Curtis as a woman stalked by a masked serial killer known as Michael Myers. From its flagship nigh-immortal murderer to its eerie musical score, "Halloween" has cemented its position as one of the most iconic horror movie franchises of all time.

There have been 12 sequels to the original "Halloween," with the most recent, "Halloween Ends," featuring Curtis reprising her role in 2022, despite not appearing in almost half of the franchise's films. Directed by David Gordon Green, who also helmed the previous two entries in the franchise, Halloween Ends" was designed to literally end the "Halloween" film franchise, though Carpenter himself acknowledged the movie's success could change that plan.

However, Curtis has firmly stated that "Halloween Ends" will be her last time playing the role of Laurie Strode, while producer Jason Blum confirmed it's the last "Halloween" film produced by Blumhouse Productions. Given the mediocre reviews and lukewarm fan reaction "Halloween Ends" garnered, it's safe to say the franchise may actually be dead.

Pitch Perfect

Released in 2012, "Pitch Perfect" was an unexpected box office hit, launching or elevating the careers of several cast members, including Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, and Skylar Astin. Even more unexpected than its success was the franchise it launched; two sequels, released in 2015 and 2017, reassembled the ensemble of college students-turned-acapella stars for further adventures.

While the sequels didn't receive reviews as glowing as the original, they were both profitable at the box office. However, the film franchise has remained in limbo since the release of "Pitch Perfect 3." Director Trish Sie has suggested that if a sequel were to happen, it would likely focus on a new group of girls, telling The Hollywood Reporter, "If you were to do a reboot, you'd have to spend a lot of time making the chemistry right."

Nevertheless, the franchise has continued on with the Peacock series "Pitch Perfect: Bumper in Berlin," centered on Adam DeVine's character from the films, and was renewed for a second season in 2023. Other than that, it doesn't seem like another chapter following the Bellas will be likely without the same cast. In an interview with MTV, Kendrick claimed she was down for a sequel but isn't interested in seeing a reboot where they "do the Spider-Man thing and bring in a whole new cast and be like, 'And now this girl's Beca!'"

Indiana Jones

It's hard to remember a time when Harrison Ford wasn't one of the biggest movie stars in the world. From his breakout role in George Lucas' original "Star Wars" films, to his turn as the President of the United States in "Air Force One" to his more recent work in the Apple TV+ series "Shrinking," Ford has been a Hollywood mainstay for decades. However, one of the actor's greatest achievements is the iconic role of Indiana Jones, debuting in Steven Spielberg's "Raiders of the Lost Ark" in 1981 and recurring through "Dial of Destiny" in 2023, the fifth film in the franchise, which firmly ends the character's story.

Interestingly, 2008's "Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" was meant to be a swan song for Indiana Jones, but rather than a triumphant farewell, the film's story was criticized immensely. While reviews for "Dial of Destiny" have been more positive, the actor insists "Dial of Destiny" is his last time cracking that iconic whip.

While promoting "Dial of Destiny," Disney also confirmed the fifth film is intended to be the end of the franchise. And it's probably for the best, because no actor could fill Indiana Jones' shoes, much less his fedora, quite like Harrison Ford.