Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy 2 - Will It Ever Happen?

The brainchild of satirist and author Douglas Adams, "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" series is absolutely beloved by science fiction fans. Originally conceived as radio plays in the late 1970s, it made its way to prose and eventually totaled five volumes by 1992. It was also adapted into a 1980s TV series in its native England, but Adams always had big dreams of turning it into a sprawling sci-fi epic on the big screen, and after decades of attempts, it finally arrived in 2005.

Starring Martin Freeman, Zooey Deschanel, Mos Def, and Sam Rockwell, "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" was produced from a screenplay co-written by Adams himself. Adapting the first book in the series, there were clearly hopes of turning the film into an ongoing franchise, with sequels and perhaps even spin-offs. But in the nearly 20 years since it's release, nothing has come of it. There's been no sequel, and in fact, there's barely been any word since its release of any attempts to get a follow-up off the ground.

So what happened? Is the film not worthy of a sequel, or is there some other mystifying cosmic force holding it back? Well, we're here to look into just that and find out if a sequel to "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" will ever happen.

Why hasn't The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy 2 happened yet?

Long stuck in development hell, "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" went through several different versions on its way to the screen, worked on by a number of different filmmakers, including "Ghostbusters" helmer Ivan Reitman. But with a new script by creator Douglas Adams, drafted before his death in 2001, the film finally came to theaters in 2005 from Walt Disney Pictures, who were likely pinning hopes on it becoming the next big sci-fi franchise. Based on a series of celebrated stories that had stood the test of time, it certainly had the potential to be a long-running movie series.

Released as a tentpole summer blockbuster in late April, though, it was quickly swallowed up by subsequent franchise releases like "Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith" and "Batman Begins," which were released over the next six weeks. Unable to keep pace without the huge brand awareness of its competition, the film limped to a $102 million dollar cume. Though this was enough to be profitable thanks to its modest budget, it just wasn't enough to convince the suits at Disney that sequels were in order, and within just two years, all hopes of the second novel, "The Restaurant at the End of the Universe," being adapted were moot.

"There isn't [any possibility of a sequel] at this point," Martin Freeman told MTV News in 2007. "I found that out from the horse's mouth, [director] Garth Jennings. I had dinner with him, and he said [the first one] just didn't do well enough."

What have the cast and crew said about The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy 2?

When "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" held its premiere in 2005, as documented in "Don't Crash: The Making of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Movie," spirits were high, and everyone had reason to believe it would be a big success. Audiences cheered, the crowds were impressive, and early word was they had a hit on their hands. But while most of the reviews were generally favorable, it simply didn't translate to dollars, the sequel was scrapped, and everyone was left wondering why. If you ask Stephen Fry (who narrated the film), it may have been a little too far ahead of its time.

While commenting at a press event for the long-gestating "Sandman" series that debuted in 2019 (via /Film), the actor commented on the show's long journey getting to Netflix, saying, "It reminded me of how my friend Douglas Adams, with his 'Hitchhiker's Guide.' If only [Adams] lived another 10 years, they really could have done it properly. The technology, but not just the technology, the budget and the will to make things properly and give them due care and attention, is at a high pitch at the moment. And so it's a kind of easy call I found."

Still, the lack of success didn't bother everyone, and star Martin Freeman seemed almost relieved to not have to deal with the potential of a long-running Hollywood movie series. "It's kind of cool with me because I just got out of being Tim from 'The Office," he told MTV in 2007. "To go straight from that to being Arthur Dent for the next 12 years of my life wouldn't have been too cool."

Static Media owns and operates /Film and Looper.

Who would star in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy 2?

Perhaps if "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" had been the blockbuster they were hoping for and a sequel had been greenlit back in 2006, it's possible the entire cast would have returned. The first film featured Martin Freeman as Arthur Dent, Mos Def as Ford Prefect, Zooey Deschanel as Trillian, Sam Rockwell as Zaphod Beeblebrox, and Bill Nighy as Slartibartfast. Even voiceover actor Alan Rickman could've returned, alongside possible reprisals from supporting actors like John Malkovich, who played the newly created character of Humma Kavula.

Sadly, nearly 20 years later, not every actor from the first film is still with us. Both Alan Rickman (the voice of Marvin the Paranoid Android) and Richard Griffiths (who voiced the villainous Vogon named Jeltz) have passed away in the intervening years. Still, at least one of the main on-screen cast has expressed a desire to return for a sequel even though almost two decades have gone by. Notably, Zooey Deschanel, who has since gone on to fame as Jessica Day on the Fox sitcom "New Girl," said there was always a desire for additional adventures.

"I loved the movie and the people," she told The Guardian. "I would have loved to have made more." And while Martin Freeman had previously admitted to being at peace with not having to play Arthur Dent for a series of sequels, perhaps the years since have been enough to get him to change his mind.

What would be explored in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy 2?

In "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy," ordinary Englishman Arthur Dent is whisked away from his home on Earth just before a race of aliens called Vogons destroy the entire planet to make way for a hyperspace bypass. He learns his best friend Ford Prefect is actually an alien from outer space, joins the crew of a starship called the Heart of Gold, is reacquainted with a young woman he'd met years before, and together with the President of the Galaxy tries to figure out the meaning of all existence. 

A sequel to the film might seem like it could have gone in any direction the writers could have dreamed up, but the truth is, there's only one place it could have gone: to the restaurant at the end of the universe. That is, a sequel would surely have been adapted from the 1980 novel "The Restaurant at the End of the Universe," by series creator Douglas Adams. In that story the crew of the Heart of Gold do indeed seek out the Restaurant at the End of the Universe — a famous fine-dining establishment at the end of time — but they get into plenty of trouble along the way.

Of course, any adaptation would likely have to take into account some notable changes made to the first movie. This includes the addition of the villain Humma Kavula and the Point of View Gun, both new additions created by Douglas Adams before his passing.

Does a reboot signal the end to The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy 2?

As the years have passed and a sequel to Garth Jennings' "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" — starring returning cast members like Martin Freeman, Zooey Deschanel, Mos Def, and Sam Rockwell — has become less and less likely, talks of a reboot have surfaced here and there. In 2019, Deadline announced that a new streaming TV series based on Douglas Adams' series of radio plays and novels would make their way to Hulu. It was reported that "Lost" producer Carlton Cuse and screenwriter Jason Fuchs had signed on to develop the series.

Though likely delayed thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic that struck shortly thereafter, it was said in 2021 — via a somewhat vague online report – that the series had finally entered production. But with no cast ever announced and nothing revealed as of May 2023, that report seems sketchy at best. Long-delayed, it's anyone's guess whether this proposed Hulu series will ever get off the ground and see the light of day. But if it does, it likely signals the end of any last remaining hopes of a sequel to the 2005 "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" film.

That said, if the Hulu series doesn't wind up materializing, it does keep the door open just a crack for the cast of the 2005 film to make the much-desired sequel. And if we're honest, it could be that now is just the right time to make it happen.

Why there's no better time than now for The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy 2

If there's ever going to be a sequel to "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy," now might be the perfect time for it to finally arrive. While there are many reasons why the first film didn't find success at the box office, some of its challenges have since been overcome. First, light-hearted sci-fi action is more popular than ever — with the "Guardians of the Galaxy" trilogy raking in billions — while absurdist humor is likewise more widely accepted too. Even British comedy, which was still more of a niche genre stateside in the early 2000s, has gained much broader acceptance these days.

Also consider that the stars of the original film, who were all mostly unknown at the time, have gone on to become big-deal stars. Martin Freeman has played in the acclaimed BBC series "Sherlock" and is a part of the MCU as government agent Everett Ross, while Zooey Deschanel is now a household name thanks to seven seasons of "New Girl." Even Sam Rockwell has become well-known, with his own Marvel role and an Oscar win in 2018 for "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri." 

If you think the long lapse in time would make it hard for the actors to slip back into their roles, don't forget about the Heart of Gold and its Infinite Improbability Drive. It would be simple enough for the ship to make its first stop after flying off at the end of the first film and simply age everyone aboard 20 years.