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Horror Movie Sequels That Were Never Made

Horror movie sequels have been a fact of Hollywood since movies were invented. One Frankenstein is great — so how about another? And maybe some more after that? If one Halloween blows audiences away, why not churn out a few sequels? The endless conveyor belt of reboots, remakes, prequels, and sequels seems likely to churn into infinity, practically piling scary movies up to the moon.

Sequel mania climbed to new heights in the late '70s. Consider Jaws 2: While it didn't make anywhere near what the original movie made, it still garnered a nice pile of money. Sequels are seen by the industry as being much lower risk than original movies — and, with movies costing so much money to make these days, that's an especially attractive prospect. Cue endless follow-ups to A Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday the 13th, and, a few decades later, Scream, The Conjuring, and Saw.

Horror films are especially easy to greenlight sequels for, as they're easy to market and have a big built-in audience. But even so, there have been a number of horror sequels that have never quite gotten off the drawing board. We're here to explore those great horror sequels that never actually got made, from Tarantino's Friday the 13th to the Pinhead/Michael Myers mash-up that never was.

Halloween and Friday the 13th, with different stories every year

1978's Halloween was left wide open for a sequel, which came to be in Halloween II. Then, with Michael Myers seemingly dead, the plan shifted towards doing a Halloween movie every year, with a different themed horror story. This went over very badly with Halloween III: Season of the Witch, which was brutally rejected by fans. Since then, the Halloween franchise has never strayed from Michael Myers and his trademark mask and knife.

As reported in the book Crystal Lake Memories, the creators of Friday the 13th didn't see how there could be a sequel. How could Jason still be alive after he drowned? A plan very similar to Halloween's was devised, in which every year would get a different horror story. But the studio didn't want to mess with a winning formula — and they didn't need to make a flop like Season of the Witch to figure that out. Funnily enough, there was a syndicated Friday the 13th TV series, though, which had nothing to do with the original story. It lasted 72 episodes.

Jaws 3, People 0 and Orca 2

After directing Piranha, Joe Dante was offered tons of cash to make other mad sea animal stories. Two particular prospects that came his way were Orca 2 and Jaws 3, People 0.

Orca is a fairly tasteless 1977 Jaws rip-off, produced by the infamous Dino De Laurentiis (Kong '76, Flash Gordon). It's not clear why a sequel never made it to the finish line, but we can certainly imagine. The original Orca wasn't that big of a success, for one thing, and a second installment apparently never got past the script phase. Jaws 3, People 0, in contrast, was going to be a spoof. John Hughes and Tod Carroll wrote the screenplay, which offered a movie-within a movie parody of Hollywood, with a real shark attacking people while a film crew makes the next Jaws movie.

As Dante recalls in the horror history Reel Terror, the script was constantly being rewritten, and he and the studio couldn't agree on what direction they wanted the movie to go in. Eventually Dante jumped off the sinking Jaws ship, and went on to direct another indie horror hit, The Howling. Those who stuck with Jaws 3, People 0 ultimately decided the industry-satirizing film would be "fouling [their] own nest," and abandoned the project in favor of making the more conventional Jaws 3D.

Peter Jackson's Nightmare on Elm Street

Peter Jackson became an underground phenomenon with such films as Bad Taste and the insane Muppet parody, Meet the Feebles. As a strong buzz began to build around him, he was offered the chance to write and direct a Nightmare on Elm Street sequel. Jackson's take was going to be called The Dream Lover, and like Scream, it would have been a self-aware horror film. The concept was ambitious: In this movie, the kids of Springwood would know the legend of Freddy and be utterly unafraid of him, diminishing his power. But Freddy was going to manage to kill someone in a dream again, bringing the fear back. At one point, a kid was going to have to go into the dream world to save his father, trapped in a coma by the fiendish Freddy.

The mind boggles at what a wild, imaginative and blood-soaked Nightmare Jackson could have created. But the studio made Freddy's Dead, a comedy, instead. This is a bummer, but hey — this affair got Jackson' name in the air at New Line, which eventually resulted in The Lord of the Rings.

The Last House on the Left 2

One of the things that makes the original Last House on the Left a powerful film is the context of when it was made. Even today, viewers can feel the anger, horror, and disillusionment that came with the end of the '60s in every frame. Horrors of the time, like the Manson killings, seeped into the film, and remain as present within it as the day it debuted.

It's hard to imagine there being a sequel, then, to Last House on the Left – it's just so entirely of its era. Plus, the gang of scum that assault and murder two hitchhiking girls are all killed off at the end of the movie by the girls' parents. But wherever there's potentially more money to be made, producers will still keep trying. At one point, director Wes Craven was considering having two of the killers come back from Hell to kill again, but that idea was nixed. Another script was supposedly written, but stymied by a tiny oversight: The producers didn't secure the rights to make a sequel in the first place. That was that. Craven clearly had much better luck making sequels to the Elm Street and Scream movies.

The 13th Friday the 13th, directed by Quentin Tarantino

It's hard to keep track of how many Friday the 13th movies there are, but one thing is certain: A 13th installment feels inevitable. The synergy between title and superstition is just too good to deny, right? Hollywood agrees — but the prospective 13th film is frustratingly stalled. Right now, the rights to the series are tied up in a lawsuit with the original film's writer, Victor Miller. This could halt any future Jason movies for quite some time.

Funnily enough, there was talk at some point that Quentin Tarantino was going to make the 13th Friday the 13th movie. But like a lot of other projects he's been rumored to be attached to, like a Star Trek sequel and a Vega brothers movie, it was apparently all talk. As Tarantino himself said, "It's a complete lie. I like Jason and everything, but I've no intention of directing a [Friday] movie. New Line talked to me about it, but it was a complete fabrication ... I would love to do a horror film. I'm just saying it's not going to be Friday the 13th."

Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash

There are many horror characters fans would love to see duel to the death. A Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash movie in this mold would be utterly irresistible. Fans saw Freddy and Jason duke it out, after all — adding in a blood-soaked Ash Williams, complete with chainsaw, would really make for a wild time. This prospect was seriously considered at some point, but sadly, it did not come to pass.

Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash was going to be the sequel to Freddy vs. Jason, but it never got out of the development phase. Why, you ask? Well, it turns out Bruce Campbell didn't want it to happen, and the main reason was creative differences. As he recalled, "We couldn't control any other character other than Ash. That felt like a creatively bankrupt way to go. Not to mention, you're splitting the proceeds three ways with partners you might not want." The project didn't totally die, at least: It was eventually turned into a comic book miniseries.

Bubba Ho-Tep 2: Bubba Nosferatu

Bubba Ho-Tep was written and directed by Don Coscarelli, who also created the legendary Phantasm series and the sword-and-sorcery classic, The Beastmaster. Bubba Ho-Tep, being a horror comedy, is quite a bit different from those films, but very much beloved in its own right. Fans have been clamoring for a sequel for years, and for a while, they came close to getting one. The title was going to be Bubba Nosferatu: Curse of the She-Vampires. Yet it didn't come to pass, because Campbell simply didn't want to reprise his role.

As Campbell told Entertainment Weekly, "I killed it. I killed it for me. I told the creators that I didn't want to dance around it anymore. I feel that the first one was a nice little gem and you don't have to make a sequel for everything." Hard to argue with that kind of honesty. Campbell went on: "Don Coscarelli, god bless him, go make it. You know, get somebody else ... I don't want to stop you from making this, but I don't want to [do it]. So, that one I'm just going to let go."

Campbell did drop an interesting bombshell in this interview: Ron Perlman apparently almost took over the role. Most fans would agree, he would indeed make a fine replacement. Amazingly, Paul Giamatti has also been attached to this possible sequel. With that sort of talent on board, She-Vampires could more than live up to its predecessor.

A Phantasm reboot

With so many classic horror films being remade and rebooted nowadays, it's hard for a fan not to wonder why this hasn't happened with Phantasm. Well, as reported in the horror history Reel Terror, director Don Coscarelli is in control of the rights, and out of respect to the fans, he won't allow it to be remade.

"Out of respect to the fans, it's off the table," Coscarelli confirmed. "I get a phone call every week it seems from somebody who wants to do it. It's something I've been resisting for a while." Reggie Bannister, who starred in the film, added, "We don't need no stinkin' remake. That movie stands."

While the movie could still be sequel-ized, another major obstacle exists: Angus Scrimm, who played the movie's villainous Tall Man, passed away in 2016. While some Hollywood producer or another may try to make another Phantasm with a new Tall Man, it's hard to imagine the franchise without Scrimm.

Hellraiser: Hellfire and Pinhead vs. Michael Myers

It's been a long time since there was a new Hellraiser movie that didn't go straight to video, and you may be wondering why Pinhead and the Cenobites have up and disappeared. There have, in fact, been several attempts to bring the Hellraiser gang back to the multiplex, including a sequel called Hellfire. Even more tantalizingly, another sequel involving a Pinhead/Michael Myers match-up has been considered.

Neither prospect has come to pass, unfortunately. Hellfire didn't take off because the screenplay was too big and ambitious — meaning, way too expensive. Demand for a new Hellraiser simply isn't big enough to get Hollywood on board for a full-fledged return to theaters. As for the Michael Myers match-up, it didn't happen because the Akkad brothers, who were in control of the Halloween franchise, didn't want the movie to go forward. As Doug Bradley quipped, "I guess they didn't want Michael Myers hanging around with the likes of Pinhead."

World War Z 2, directed by David Fincher

David Fincher, a famously exacting director, has been attached to a whole lot of projects that have never come to pass. One of them was a sequel to World War Z.

While the production of World War Z was a troubled mess, it was a hit, making $540 million worldwide. Fincher had a strong working relationship with Brad Pitt, the pair having previously worked together on Se7en, Fight Club, and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. With the first film a success, a sequel was greenlit. But this prospective follow-up finally got canceled in early 2019 after months of pre-production over budget concerns. Essentially, the studio wanted to make the sequel for less than the original movie's cost, which Fincher held firm against. "We had a really good story, which [Fincher] shepherded, really strong story. The things he had planned for it just hadn't been seen yet," Pitt remarked.

Cabin in the Woods 2

For fans who were sick and tired of horror remakes, Cabin in the Woods was a breath of fresh air. A bonafide original horror film, it's scary, exhilarating, clever, and outright hilarious. Unsurprisingly, it has a strong fanbase, who have been clamoring for a sequel for years.

Though the movie wasn't a blockbuster smash, a sequel has never been out of the question. In fact, sometimes a sequel can revive a franchise that needs a boost, like Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. Yet sadly, there won't be a Cabin sequel, despite some initial brainstorming between the movie's creators Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard. As Goddard stated in 2018, "We had some crazy ideas but Joss and I both felt strongly that we didn't want to do it just to do it. I'm very lucky that I get to keep making movies, I don't need to just go make a sequel for the sake of making a sequel. The only way we could do it is if we could do it justice, and the truth is, it's a hard one to do justice to."

The many planned Leprechaun sequels

Okay, so Leprechaun is not up there with any truly classic horror movies. Still, the film has its fans, earning it a number of sequels. But there are a number of Leprechaun sequels that never saw the light of day at all — at least seven of them, in fact. Some of these never-made films include Leprechaun in the White House, Candyman vs. Leprechaun, Leprechaun in the Old West, and Leprechaun vs. Wishmaster. Now that's a collection of titles you don't see every day.

What's important to remember here is that reportage on movies can be very exaggerated. Sometimes a simple meeting or even something said in jest can grow into something ridiculous and "confirmed" on the internet. That's the case for some of these films, but not all: Candyman vs. Leprechaun actually came close to getting made after the success of Freddy vs. Jason. It was the Candyman himself, Tony Todd, who turned it down. He loved his character too much to make him battle a little green munchkin.

Ei8ht, the sequel to Se7en

Se7en wraps its story up with a devastating conclusion, seemingly leaving no room for a sequel. But there was indeed a planned sequel, called, you guessed it, Ei8ht. Plans for Ei8ht didn't start rolling right after the tremendous box office success of Se7en, though: The follow-up actually went into development in 2002, seven years after the first film's debut.

A script initially titled Solace, written by Ted Griffin, was purchased by New Line. Though it wasn't actually a sequel to Se7en, the powers that be believed it could be retooled into one. They wanted Morgan Freeman to come back, but Brad Pitt's character wasn't going to be in the film. Fincher made it clear that he wanted nothing to do with it, and indeed, that he never wants to do a sequel to the smash hit at all. "I would be less interested in that than I would in having cigarettes put out in my eyes," he stated in 2009, "I keep trying to get out from under my own shadow. I don't want to do the same [thing] over and over."

Eventually, Solace did get made as the standalone movie it was always intended to be. Sadly, it was an epic flop.