Bruce Almighty was remarkable for only two reasons: One, despite sucking for the most part, it racked up $242 million domestic at the box office; and, two, a mostly unknown actor named Steve Carell stole every scene he was in.
Based on the ridiculous amount of money it made, we weren't surprised when Hollywood decided to make a sequel, Evan Almighty. What did surprise us was that they were actually centering the film on Carell. Could it be that Hollywood producers had actually gotten something right?! Well, no, of course not. As if to slap those hopeful few among us directly in our naïve mouths, director Tom Shadyac made a bloated, big budget stinker that ignored the talents of its human cast in favor of special effects and animals that specialize in slapstick.
Nonetheless, the premise got us thinking: What if Hollywood started spinning sequels off of the best character in the original film, rather than offering up paired down versions of the first iteration? Below, we present nine characters that must have their own movie.
#9. Sequel to: Office Space
Character: Milton Waddams (Stephen Root)
Why: The vastly underrated Stephen Root and the Milton character that he brought to such vivid life in the first film finally get their chance to shine. Office Space was inspired by a bunch of animated shorts Mike Judge did in the early '90s that focused on Milton, so a spin-off would actually be coming full circle.
Pitch: After being fired for arson, Milton waddles over to Chotchkies and starts bussing tables without being noticed by the restaurant's manager. If you thought he was out of place in the Initech cube farm, wait until you see him try to cope with his new "Christmas every day" work environment.
Points of Reference: No Reservations meets Falling Down meets First Season of Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place
#8. Sequel to: The Big Lebowski
Character: Jesus Quintana (John Turturro)
Why: Because pretty much every single scene that Turturro' Jesus appears in is a classic. Whether it' the dance he does to the Gypsy Kings' version of "Hotel California," the point he gives partner Liam O'Brien after rolling a strike or the trash talking he heaps on Walter and The Dude, if you only have five minutes to get your Lebowski fix in, Jesus' are the scenes you're fast-forwarding to. So why not spread his over-the-top shit-talking across an entire 90-minute film?
Pitch: Jesus goes on a cross-country adventure to Bangor, Maine, to compete in a bowling tourney with Liam' twin brother, Opie. (Liam' long dead.)
Points of Reference: Kingpin meets City Slickers II meets the funnier parts of Sleepers
#7. Sequel to: Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle
Character: Neil Patrick Harris (Neil Patrick Harris)
Why: Around Oscar time, everyone starts talking about how "brave" certain performances are. Last year, for instance, we kept hearing how courageous Helen Mirren was for playing the Queen of England. But what's so brave about pretending to be English royalty, a move that is pretty much a guaranteed Oscar? Playing yourself as a hooker-biting coke fiend on the other hand-now that is some brave shit.
Pitch: In hopes of getting free hamburgers for life, Doogie and Kumar open a White Castle restaurant together-in Maui! But the stacks of boring franchisee paperwork and 80-hour work weeks force the two fuckabouts to renege on their contract halfway through their "burger summer," as they call it. The White Castle Corporation sues over all the missing food.
Points of Reference: Cocktail meets Goodburger meets The Insider
#6. Sequel to: Austin Powers
Character: Mini-Me (Verne Troyer)
Why: Because this one should have been in the works long before Verne urinated on the floor of the Surreal Life house while naked on a scooter in front of Peter Brady. Oh, also, because midget movies never disappoint.
Pitch: Tired of being in Dr. Evil' shadow (mostly because it' freezing there for a little guy), Mini-Me heads out on his own adventure, to the relief of Mike Meyers, who was clearly hating every moment of the series' third installment. He befriends a mute Asian streetcorner newspaper peddler and a stripper with a heart of gold. Literally-it' made of gold and, as such, her pimp, played by Dave Chappelle, is stone cold after the bitch. A Christmas Day release.
Points of Reference: Pretty Woman meets Milk Money meets The Miracle Worker
#5. Sequel to: Rain Man
Character: Rain Man (Dustin Hoffman)
Why: Okay, so maybe it doesn't necessarily qualify as a spin-off if the titular character from the first one is the star of the second. However, the problem with the first Rain Man was that, despite the fact that Hoffman' performance was clearly the backbone of the film, the studio decided to focus more on the bankable Hollywood star. Lose Cruise, lose that foreign chick who disappeared after Hot Shots: Part Deux and let Hoffman take over.
Pitch: Rain Man wakes up one morning with the irrational urge to sell men' hats for a living, so he hires a spunky CFO (That' So Raven' Raven Symone) and moves to the big city to chase his dream. The two entrepreneurs waste a lot of valuable hat-selling time exploring each other' bodies in the stock room.
Points of Reference: The Cooler meets That's So Raven meets Good Will Hunting