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Why These Tom Cruise Movies Never Got A Sequel

Despite starring in countless box office hits, Tom Cruise has often eschewed sequels in his lengthy career as a leading man. While the original "Mission: Impossible" has spawned multiple follow-ups, the only other Tom Cruise movies to inspire sequels are "Jack Reacher" and "Top Gun." Otherwise, his star vehicles often function as one-and-done entities. This makes sense considering how many Cruise features aren't exactly the kind of titles that can spawn cinematic universes. Would sequels to movies like "Rain Man" or "Eyes Wide Shut," for example, register as anything but bizarre cash grabs?

However, that doesn't mean there haven't been attempts over the years to extend the lifespan of certain Cruise movies with sequels that never got off the ground. But for a wide variety of reasons, a slew of sequels, prequels, or assorted spinoffs to various Cruise features have failed to come to fruition. The factors that ensured these follow-ups would only remain ideas rather than finished films range heavily, from Cruise's busy schedule to subpar box office results of the original movie dampening enthusiasm for sequels, among many other elements. While there aren't a ton of completed part twos in Cruise's filmography, there are a gigantic amount of Tom Cruise sequels that never saw the light of day. Warning — there are spoilers below.

Edge of Tomorrow

Ever since "Edge of Tomorrow" hit theaters in June 2014, there's been constant talk about a sci-fi sequel. While the movie bombed domestically, it did okay at the worldwide box office, and those who saw the movie really seemed to enjoy it. Its reputation has only grown since then, so it seems like there would be a sizable segment of the population willing to watch more time-travel shenanigans involving Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt. However, this sequel has faced constant uphill battles towards getting completed. For starters, "Tomorrow" director Doug Liman and Cruise both got immediately busy with the 2017 film "American Made." That filled up their schedules right when the iron was hottest for "Edge of Tomorrow 2."

The prospective sequel seemed closer than ever in January 2018, when Liman said the project was close to happening. But this follow-up, which would've been titled "Live Die Repeat and Repeat," suffered further setbacks throughout 2019 when its screenplay went through a rewriting process. By 2021, Emily Blunt was highly doubtful that a sequel would ever make sense to financiers, while a report in 2022 revealed that Warner Bros. was more interested in developing an "Edge of Tomorrow" TV show for HBO Max rather than a traditional sequel. Even with its key creative participants gung-ho about a part two, an "Edge of Tomorrow" follow-up failed to become a movie audiences could even experience once, let alone over and over again.

Jerry Maguire

Even though everyone and their grandmother knows about "Jerry Maguire," as reflected in the film's gargantuan box office, the film has never received a sequel. It's not hard to see why since it's an intimate dramedy — not the kind of motion picture that spawns a slew of spinoffs. Plus, writer/director Cameron Crowe got extremely busy after the glorious success of "Jerry Maguire," and Tom Cruise was even busier in the late 1990s. But believe it or not, Crowe actually had an idea for a follow-up, despite not being the kind of guy who's ever done a sequel in his long and storied career.

Talking to Collider, Crowe noted that whenever he thought about doing more adventures in the world of "Jerry Maguire," it wouldn't focus on Cruise's protagonist. Instead, he "always thought it should be about the Tidwells [Cuba Gooding Jr. and Regina King]. I always thought it should be Marcy and Rod." Crowe even noted that he was often contacted about the idea of doing a TV show follow-up to "Jerry Maguire," only for him to suggest that the Tidwell's should be the focus and then have nobody follow up with him on the concept. Given how Crowe has largely focused on original films in his career, nobody should expect "Jerry Maguire 2" anytime soon, though at least this filmmaker knows exactly where he would've taken such a production.

Rock of Ages

For years after its release, there was constant buzz over the possibility of a sequel to "Hairspray." This 2007 musical remake was helmed by Adam Shankman and became a major box office hit. Thanks to all that cash, studio executives saw the potential to turn this project into a franchise. Despite having John Waters secured to write a script and a prospective July 2010 release date, the proposed "Hairspray 2" eventually fizzled out.

At least that Adam Shankman musical had years of discussion surrounding a potential sequel. The same can't be said for the director's 2012 musical "Rock of Ages," which starred Tom Cruise as Stacee Jaxx. Despite featuring Cruise as a washed-up rocker — among many other movie stars inhabiting similarly distinctive roles — "Rock of Ages" was a box office failure in its theatrical run. Thanks to it losing so much money, there was never so much as a whisper surrounding the prospect of a "Rock of Ages 2." While there was constant movement on "Hairspray 2" before it was canned, there was never any hope for Jaxx getting to come back out to moviegoers to deliver an encore performance.

Minority Report

"Minority Report" wasn't the biggest Tom Cruise movie ever when it opened in theaters in 2002. However, it still grossed over $350 million worldwide on a $102 million budget, rendering it a profitable enterprise. Combine that with the positive reviews it garnered, and it would have made sense if all involved opted to go make a sequel. However, rather than dive into a prospective "Minority Report 2," Cruise and director Steven Spielberg put their time and energy into another summer blockbuster. "War of the Worlds" would arrive three years after "Minority Report," serving as a reunion between the two popular artists.

While it could've been possible for a "Minority Report 2" to emerge after "War of the Worlds," Cruise and Spielberg proceeded to focus on a wide assortment of other, separate projects. With each passing year, the relevancy of "Minority Report" got more and more miniscule, and the chances of ever seeing a sequel were similarly small. While audiences would eventually get to return to the world of "Minority Report," it would be in the form of a 2014 TV show airing on Fox. This program would only last a season, providing a short return to this familiar universe for fans of the original property. Aside from this program, no momentum has occurred or appears to be on the horizon for a traditional big-screen "Minority Report" follow-up.

Jack Reacher: Never Go Back

Unlike many Tom Cruise vehicles that aren't "Mission: Impossible" and "Top Gun," the 2012 film "Jack Reacher" actually did manage to receive a sequel. This follow-up dropped into movie theaters in October 2016 in the form of "Jack Reacher: Never Go Back." The project was a box office dud and didn't inspire much passion from critics. With these developments, the "Jack Reacher" franchise was over before it even began, with this property getting rebooted with the 2022 TV show "Reacher."

But before that Amazon program began airing, "Reacher" writer/director Christopher McQuarrie revealed to Empire Magazine that he and Cruise had originally planned to continue the "Jack Reacher" saga. The duo had been developing a follow-up to "Never Going Back" that would take the character in a decidedly R-rated direction with much darker stories compared to the first two "Reacher" films. Unfortunately for McQuarrie and Cruise, Paramount Pictures wasn't interested in continuing the franchise in movie form. While McQuarrie concluded the interview by saying that he and Cruise maintained a passion for exploring the character in further films, the existence of the "Reacher" show makes it apparent that "Never Going Back" will never get a sequel.

Knight and Day

At the end of "Knight and Day," Roy Miller (Tom Cruise) and June Havens (Cameron Diaz), after having to deal with so much deception and danger, finally get to relax. The duo, once strained and unable to stand each other, are shown getting away from the clutches of the CIA and riding away to paradise in Cape Horn. Though they're off to a tropical vacation, the fact that they're both alive — not to mention the bubbly episodic nature of "Knight and Day" itself — would seem to suggest there's a high possibility that this movie could spawn multiple sequels. Now that Miller and Havens have learned to live with each other, perhaps they can save the world again.

Unfortunately, unlike other Cruise action vehicles like "Mission: Impossible," "Knight and Day" would never get a sequel, and it's no surprise why. The movie came up short at the box office, grossing just $258.7 million on a $117 million budget. Failing to be a profitable enterprise and making considerably less than other Cruise action vehicles, it's difficult to imagine 20th Century Fox ever being interested in a sequel. Even if its ending suggested at least the tiniest possibility of there being more adventures on the horizon, "Knight and Day" never came close to justifying a follow-up at the box office.


On paper, "Oblivion" seems like the rare Tom Cruise action vehicle that could never warrant a sequel. That's because the film's lead character, Jack Harper, ends up perishing in the finale, sacrificing himself to ensure the destruction of an alien force that's taken over Earth. With that, the planet is saved, but the prospects of "Oblivion" becoming a franchise were seemingly destroyed. But never count out a big-budget Hollywood production to cook up a way to extend the lifespan of the most unexpected projects.

While promoting "Oblivion" in 2013, director Joseph Kosinski noted that he and Cruise were passionate about the idea of doing more in this fictional universe. Specifically, the two were fixated on the concept of doing a prequel to "Oblivion," which would follow the adventures of Harper before he found out the truth about what was going on in the dystopian version of Earth. While Kosinski was hopeful the project would eventually see the light of day, "Oblivion's" decent but not extraordinary box office made the idea of doing follow-ups questionable. The constantly busy schedule of Cruise in the years after "Oblivion" sealed the deal that this prequel would never come to fruition.

War of the Worlds

Until "Top Gun: Maverick" arrived, "War of the Worlds" was the biggest film ever for Cruise at the domestic box office. The massive worldwide haul of a blockbuster like "War of the Worlds" would normally mean that a sequel would be inevitable. However, the definitive ending of the original title, which saw the aliens wiped out by earthly bacteria, already made it difficult to imagine what a sequel could look like. Still, other blockbuster sequels have been made to movies with much more impenetrable endings.

What really ensured that a "War of the Worlds" sequel would never see the light of day, though, was the deteriorating relationship between the film's star and director, Tom Cruise and Steven Spielberg. Vanity Fair would later report that Spielberg grew frustrated with all the antics Cruise engaged in while promoting "War of the Worlds" (like his infamous "Oprah Winfrey Show" appearance). While the pair had collaborated just three years earlier with "Minority Report," they would never work together after their alien invasion flick. Their lack of further joint projects has doubtlessly ensured the demise of countless prospective films, including a potential sequel to the highly lucrative "War of the Worlds."

Days of Thunder

In this day and age, it can feel like every movie with a remotely recognizable brand name is getting turned into a streaming TV show. This is especially true for various titles from Paramount Pictures, which are being translated into small-screen programs to bolster the Paramount+ streaming service, such as "Fatal Attraction," "The Parallax View," and "Footloose." The most lucrative big-screen releases of yesteryear are today's fodder for streaming royalty.

One Paramount project that won't be getting that treatment, though, is "Days of Thunder." This 1990 Tom Cruise title did only okay back in the day, but it's a recognizable name, and a follow-up or remake in the form of a TV show could've driven more eyeballs to Paramount+. However, in March 2022, The Hollywood Reporter reported that Cruise vetoed the idea of translating the property into a TV show. This star loves the big screen and doesn't want any of his properties associated with streaming or bypassing theatrical exhibition. This concept was snuffed out so quickly that no details were ever released on what a "Days of Thunder" show could even look like. The age of streaming television is bringing many movies to the small screen, but don't count on "Days of Thunder" or any Cruise vehicle becoming a part of that trend.

Tropic Thunder

There were a lot of big-name movie stars running around in 2008's "Tropic Thunder," but the performance that people couldn't stop talking about came from a mostly unrecognizable actor. Buried under lots and lots of makeup and prosthetics, Tom Cruise as foul-mouthed studio executive Les Grossman stole the show. Even better, the role provided a welcome reprieve from the actor largely choosing grim projects in the 2000s like "Lions for Lambs" or "The Last Samurai." Cruise was shedding those somber parts in favor of a character who was much goofier and more prone to dancing to Ludacris tunes.

Grossman proved to be such an enjoyable scene-stealer that a spinoff of "Tropic Thunder" was commissioned that would focus exclusively on this character. By 2012, screenwriter Michael Bacall told The Hollywood Reporter that he was working on the script for the project at that time. The plan was for this feature to not only have Cruise reprise the Grossman role but also delve into the origins of this character and his temper. No further news ever came out about this spinoff, and it's not clear why it never came to fruition. Part of it may have just been Cruise's busy schedule, but it also could have had something to do with how long it had been since the first "Tropic Thunder" came out. Even a scene-stealer like Grossman can't linger on the minds of moviegoers forever.

The Mummy

"The Mummy" wasn't just supposed to spawn a sequel. It was supposed to be the "Iron Man" for Universal's Dark Universe, a cinematic franchise dedicated to the classic Universal Monsters. Before "The Mummy" dropped, plans were already underway for new visions of "Bride of Frankenstein" and "The Invisible Man" to emerge in a shared universe. "The Mummy" went to great lengths to establish the idea that this film occupied the same world as other movie monsters, particularly through the presence of the secret organization of Prodigium and an appearance from Russell Crowe as Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde.

All those plans got thrown a loop once "The Mummy" opened in theaters and failed to take off with audiences. While it wasn't an absolute disaster financially, it only grossed $409 million worldwide on a massive $195 million budget. Just as bad was the fact that "The Mummy" was savaged by critics, and audiences didn't seem to muster much enthusiasm for it either. This wasn't the kind of response you would want for a movie that was serving as a launchpad for an entire cinematic universe. Further projects in the Dark Universe, particularly "Bride of Frankenstein," began to get shelved throughout the end of 2017 and 2018. By early 2019, Universal officially moved on from its Dark Universe ambitions, thus cementing that audiences would never see Tom Cruise's Nick Morton character ever again.