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Sequels That Will Never Be Completed

Hollywood is so sequel-crazed and franchise-focused that it seems like every movie gets a sequel these days. Yet sometimes, franchise follow-ups—even for movies that were massive hits, critical darlings, or fan favorites—fall apart. In fact, there are plenty of would-be sequels that were never committed to celluloid...because the circumstances behind their productions went very, very wrong. These sequels were almost made—or have been rumored for years—but we should all just accept that we're never going to see them.

Forrest Gump 2: Gump and Co.

After the enormous if somewhat inexplicable success of Forrest Gump (movies generally don't earn more than $300 million at the box office and also win the Oscar for Best Picture), source novel author Winston Groom got to work on a sequel called Gump and Co. Screenwriter Eric Roth adapted that one, too, once more turning Groom's satire into sentimental, patriotic light comedy.

Gump and Co. the movie was going to be more of Forrest Gump, a continuation starting right where the first movie left off: in the early '80s, with Forrest (Tom Hanks) stumbling and fumbling his way through historical events. In the sequel, Forrest was all set to help invent New Coke, crash the Exxon Valdez, topple the Berlin Wall, and meet Tom Hanks on the set of Big. Unfortunately, Roth handed his screenplay into Paramount Pictures on Sept. 10, 2001—the night before 9/11. Sometime later, Roth got together with Hanks and Gump director Robert Zemeckis, and they thought that the movie was no longer relevant, as it took viewers through an America that no longer existed.

The Bodyguard 2

The Bodyguard was a definitive smash hit in 1992, with a soundtrack that ended up being the best-selling of all time and grosses of more than $120 million at the American box office. That, coupled with the film's unresolved, kind of sad ending (spoiler: Whitney Houston's character and her bodyguard, played by Kevin Costner, go their separate ways) meant it was a viable candidate for a follow-up.

Costner not only starred in The Bodyguard but produced it, and was part of the team responsible for getting another installment off the ground. He's said that the The Bodyguard 2 would also involve his character becoming romantically involved with one of his charges...to be played by Princess Diana. Costner says that he and the People's Princess were in talks about the movie in 1997 and he'd even promised to "tailor" the screenplay to fit her needs and talents. Sadly, DIana's tragic death in a car accident later that year likely precluded a Bodyguard sequel from ever being made.

Battlefield Earth 2

Bringing the sprawling intergalactic saga of Battlefield Earth to the big screen had been a passion project for John Travolta for more than 20 years—so long that by the time it did get made, Travolta was too old to play the story's hero, human Jonnie Goodboy Tyler, and had to instead play the evil alien villain Terl. Released in 2000, Battlefield Earth was a commercial and critical flop. Made on a budget of $73 million, the film took in $21 million at the box office. Even worse, it was savaged by critics and it actually swept the Razzies, the "awards" for the worst films of the year. All of this meant the planned sequels were off the table—the first movie only covered about half of the 1,000-plus page novel it was based on.

Gladiator 2

Some sequels don't get made because the story isn't good, or the lead actor isn't interested, or the original movie didn't make enough money. This sequel, on the other hand, will probably never get made simply because it's absolutely baffling.

Russell Crowe won an Oscar for starring in the original Gladiator, a historical epic that left pretty much every character dead by the end of the movie. No matter, thought Crowe, who approached—of all people—Australian cult rock icon Nick Cave to write a sequel. As Cave told Marc Maron on his WTF podcast in 2013, his script kept Crowe's gladiator dead; he's sent to purgatory, where he makes a deal with the pantheon of Greek gods...to return to Earth and kill Jesus Christ. Cave wanted to call the movie Christ Killer. While he accurately acknowledged that he "knew on every level that it was never going to get made," Gladiator director Ridley Scott actually tried to make it work.