Sequels are a staple of entertainment. If a film gets fans excited enough to spend tons of money seeing it, it only makes sense for Hollywood to expect them to fork over more money on another one. But every so often, a sequel misses out on an opportunity to tie itself back to the previous film(s) by overlooking a character that easily could've been brought back as the next big baddie.

Not to say that any of the following sequels are necessarily bad as they currently exist, we're just taking a cue from Marvel and tossing up a few hypothetical what-ifs.

The Dark Knight Rises

Who We Got:

John Daggett (played by Ben Mendelsohn), millionaire construction magnate, corporate raider, and man who really sucks at outsourcing his dirty work.

John Daggett's plan to take over Wayne Enterprises was a wee bit flawed. First, he hires Selina Kyle to steal copies of Bruce Wayne's fingerprints in exchange for the Clean Slate, a computer program that would allow Selina to erase her identity from every computer database on the planet. Only the program turned out to be a myth, so Daggett nearly ended up on the pointy end of Catwoman's stilettos.

Daggett hired Bane and his henchmen to stage an attack on the Gotham Stock Exchange, where they would use the stolen fingerprints to execute a number of doomed-to-fail investments in Bruce Wayne's name in order to bankrupt him and plummet the value of shares in Wayne Enterprises. This whole idea may have seemed unnecessarily complicated back in the good ol' days when GameStop was still trading at $10/share, but now that Redditors have found the cheat codes to the global trading market it really doesn't seem that far-fetched.

4 Movie Characters Who Deserved To Return As The Villain In The Sequel Bane in the Dark Knight Rises

Warner Bros. Pictures

Suddenly, terrorism in a CPAP mask seems like the stupid way of doing this.

Phase three of the plan was for Daggett to use Wayne's bad fortune to make a power play to take over the company. He stumbled at the finish line though, when Bruce and Lucius Fox got wise to his scheme and managed to get the board of directors to put Miranda Tate in charge instead. Later, when Daggett tried to blame Bane for the plan's failure, Bane responded by killing him. The film implies that Bane crushes his skull with his bare hands, but it's equally possible the guy crapped himself to death out of sheer terror.

But Instead, What If That Character Was:

William Earle (played by Rutger Hauer), former CEO of Wayne Enterprises, whom Bruce Wayne fired at the end of Batman Begins.

How They Could've Done It:

With Earle's character in the film instead, it could've played out almost exactly as it did with John Daggett, but with the added benefit of him being motivated by revenge for what happened to him in Batman Begins. Daggett only wanted Bruce Wayne out of the way, but Earle would've made it feel more personal. It would've been a nice tie-in to the first movie, allowing a narrative bookend to the trilogy as a whole.

4 Movie Characters Who Deserved To Return As The Villain In The Sequel Rutger Hauer as William Earle In Batman Begins

Warner Bros. Pictures

Hell, you could even reuse some lines.

Plus, we had already seen the lengths Earle was willing to go to in order to stay in charge when he fired Lucius Fox in the first film. Two films later, he could've continued that shrewdness by exploiting Bruce's loss of majority control and his seat on the board of directors to try to weasel his way back into the role of CEO, and allow him to fire Lucius again out of spite. Not to mention, we'd be watching Rutger Hauer absolutely chew the scenery in every scene he's in. 

The character's death scene would have a slightly different tone. Daggett was a schemer, but he was also kind of a weasel. With Earle in his place, this final encounter would be much more tense of a staredown. And since Christopher Nolan drew inspiration from Blade Runner when he was making Batman Begins, it would've been a nice easter egg to see Hauer's character meet the same end as Roy Batty's most famous kill.

Live Free or Die Hard

Who We Got:

Thomas Gabriel (played by Timothy Olyphant), former analyst for the Department of Defense turned cyberterrorist.

4 Movie Characters Who Deserved To Return As The Villain In The Sequel Timothy Olyphant as Thomas Gabriell in Live Free or Die Hard

20th Century Fox

Finally giving the violent shoot-em-up series the internet themed plot absolutely no one was asking for.

In the fourth installment of the franchise, our villain is Thomas Gabriel, who leads a team of black hat hackers who initiate a "fire sale" cyberattack to disable America's infrastructure (stock market, transportation, power grid, gas lines, etc.). Gabriel claims to be doing all of this to get back at the government after they fired him for pointing out how vulnerable the system is to cyberattacks. He knows his way into these systems because he helped design them.

But Gabriel's true intent is to download financial data from a failsafe program designed to back up all personal banking information in the event of the exact kind of cyberattack he's unleashing on the country. John McClane is tasked (solely because he happened to be in the neighborhood at the time) to retrieve Matt Farrell, the hacker who designed an algorithm that would help Gabriel crack the encryption on the failsafe and steal billions of dollars without detection, and bring him to D.C.. 

Car chases, explosions, and physics-defying acts of plot convenience ensue, and McClane eventually manages to thwart the evil plan, kill the bad guy, and give his classic catchphrase a PG-13 remix, all with one bullet.

But Instead, What If That Character Was:

Theo (played by Clarence Gilyard, Jr.), Hans Gruber's tech specialist from the original Die Hard.

How They Could've Done It: 

The real question is, why didn't they? Why did they have to introduce a new master hacker character to be the villain of the fourth movie, when one of the only bad guys who survived the first movie just happened to be a hacker?!?

4 Movie Characters Who Deserved To Return As The Villain In The Sequel Theo from the Die Hard Movies

20th Century Fox

The original actor is still alive and working, too. Sorry Clarence; we know you would've killed it.

Only two members of Hans Gruber's crew made it out of the first movie alive: Theo, and the guy John McClane knocked out just outside the vault right before his final showdown with Hans. These two men would've been on the hook for all of the carnage that took place during the raid on Nakatomi Plaza. Seeing as the second guy's role in the plan appeared to be limited to (checks notes) carrying stuff, he most likely would've rolled over on Theo in a heartbeat.

So, what would Theo do to try to save his own skin? He'd cut a deal with the feds in exchange for his services, using his hacker skills to help the government strengthen their arsenal against cyberterrorism. He would work with the Department of Defense to beef up their security measures, and with all of his hard work combined with good behavior, his sentence would be greatly reduced. But it turns out Theo had been playing the long con this whole time. Once he played nice long enough to secure an early release, his first act as a free man would be to launch a massive cyberattack on the systems he helped create.

Bringing Theo back as the bad guy would give a more concrete reason why McClane was brought into the story in the first place: who better to bring in the one hacker who could help stop the attack, than the cop who put the villain away the last time? 

Toy Story 3

Who We Got: 

Lots-O'-Huggin' Bear (voiced by Ned Beatty), strawberry-scented warden of the maximum security toy gulag also known as Sunnyside Daycare.

When Andy's toys decide they'd rather be donated than spend the rest of their lives in a box in the attic, Sunnyside Daycare seemed like a paradise ... for about ten minutes. After their first playdate with the rough-and-tumble toddler group, Andy's toys demanded to speak to the manager. They soon found out that Lots-O'-Huggin Bear, or Lotso for short, ran that daycare with an iron fist.

Lotso was accidentally abandoned by his original owner, Daisy, and when he made his way back to her, he found out her parents had replaced him with a brand-new Lots-O'-Huggin Bear. This betrayal left Losto extremely bitter, so much so that when he landed on Sunnyside's doorstep, Lotso seized on the opportunity to fill that Daisy-sized void in his soul with authoritarianism. Since he couldn't be loved, he settled for being feared, and he wasn't gonna let anyone abandon him again, so he made it impossible for any toys to escape.

4 Movie Characters Who Deserved To Return As The Villain In The Sequel Lotso from Toy Story 3

Walt Disney Pictures

Luckily, this is Pixar, so it came off as moving instead of the stupidest plot ever written down.

Andy's toys hatch a plan to bust out of Sunnyside, and Lotso did everything he could to stop them. Even when given the opportunity for moral redemption by stopping the conveyor belt that threatened to send Woody and the gang into a garbage incinerator, he decided to save his own ass and leave them to burn. He did receive his comeuppance in the form of being zip-tied to the front of a garbage truck for the rest of his life. This movie was rated G, by the way.

But Instead, What If That Character Was: 

Stinky Pete (voiced by Kelsey Grammer), corpulent prospector, former collector's item, and Woody's nemesis from Toy Story 2. (Our analysis assumes he can still find villian work post-MeToo.)

How They Could've Done It: 

While Lotso's cruelty and bitterness stemmed from his abandonment issues, if Stinky Pete was in charge of Sunnyside, he would've been driven by something far more sinister: disillusionment. Pete hated kids because for decades he sat on a dusty shelf watching them play with every toy but him, but he now hated the toys even more, especially since Woody robbed him of his chance of finally being loved and admired as part of a museum exhibit.

Pete would have assumed control over the toys at Sunnyside mainly because he wanted to avoid being played with, but he would also have taken a perverse joy in sending toys to be tortured by the infant group. But when Andy's toys arrive at Sunnyside and see that their old nemesis Stinky Pete is the leader, they would be an immediate threat to his control. They had already beaten him once before, and they would be able to inspire the other toys to revolt. Having Stinky Pete return as the bad guy instead of Lotso would've made Toy Story 3 play out less like The Great Escape, and more like a Fisher-Price version of The Wild Bunch

Back to the Future Part II

Who We Got: 

Alternate timeline Biff Tannen (played by Thomas F. Wilson), corrupt casino magnate and thinly-veiled parody/widely ignored warning of the rise of Donald Trump.

After Doc Brown and Marty McFly return from their adventure in the far-off future of 2015, the pair returns to what they thought would be the 1985 Hill Valley they knew as home. But instead find a dystopian hellscape and at its center is Biff's Pleasure Paradise. It doesn't take long for the time traveling pair to deduce what happened.

While they were in 2015, old Biff Tannen had overheard Doc chastise Marty for attempting to sneak a souvenir from the future: a sports almanac that contained all of the final scores from every sporting event from 1950 to 2000. Well, maybe not all the scores, seeing as it's a paperback book that's only 1/4 inch thick.

4 Movie Characters Who Deserved To Return As The Villain In The Sequel Marty and Doc with the sports almanac in back to the future part 2

Universal Pictures

They must use a really small font to have space to include polo, rodeo, and ... Slamball?

Biff swipes the almanac after Doc threw it in the garbage, follows the pair to old Marty's house, steals the DeLorean and goes back in time to 1955 to give the almanac to his younger self, creating an alternate timeline. Young Biff then uses the information in the almanac to bet on sporting events, uses that money to invest in the oil industry, uses that money to buy political influence, uses that influence to get gambling legalized ... pretty impressive for a dunce who didn't know how to use metaphors correctly.

Oh, and in this new timeline, Biff also murders Marty's dad, marries Marty's mom, and wears a bathrobe that, despite going down to his knees, still feels like it's way too short for a man of his body type. So, Doc and Marty have to go back to 1955 and destroy the almanac before young Biff could start the chain of events that led to, among other things, that deeply upsetting bathrobe.

4 Movie Characters Who Deserved To Return As The Villain In The Sequel Biff and Marty in 1985 in Back to the Future Part 2

Universal Pictures

Eughhh that's heavy.

But Instead, What If That Character Was:

Alternate-alternate timeline George McFly (played by Crispin Glover, or Jeffrey Weissman if salary negotiations fell through again)

How They Could've Done It: 

So, what if, when Doc and Marty return from 2015 they find the entire town of Hill Valley looks nicer than when they left? Suspiciously nicer, as if the entire town is one big gated community with an absolutely ruthless HOA. Then, the time-traveling duo notice a familiar face on every billboard: George McFly, our lord and savior.

In this timeline, George McFly didn't just become a successful sci-fi author, he went full L. Ron Hubbard, creating his own like-Scientology-but-just-different-enough-to-avoid-lawsuits self empowerment cult. The entire town of Hill Valley is their compound. Their motto? "If you put your mind to it, you can accomplish anything."

Doc finds Old Biff's cane and the receipt for the almanac in the DeLorean, and he and Marty do some research into the origins of the cult and find that one of George's many self-proclaimed talents is the gift of prophecy, which he regularly demonstrates using, you guessed it, sporting events. George somehow got his hands on the almanac in the past, and it has something to do with Biff.

How did this happen? 2015 Biff did go back in time and give his 1955 self the almanac, and that almanac was in his Biff's pocket when George punched him out. Biff spun around from the punch, the almanac fell out of his pocket, and slid under the car. George had punched him so hard that when he came to, he couldn't remember anything that had happened to him that day, including Old Biff giving him the almanac. Marty later drives away with the car, and George finds the book laying on the ground when he and Lorraine leave the dance.

In this George-run alternate 1985, Doc and Marty have to infiltrate the temple to question George about the almanac, avoiding the cult's security team, as well as their alternate selves in the process. Maybe they strike out getting to George, track down this timeline's Biff, and the mention of the almanac triggers his memory, along with 30 years of pent-up bully rage and a mad case of IT SHOULD'VE BEEN ME!

Doc and Marty return to 1955 to recover the almanac, and the rest of the film could play out nearly the same way as the version we know and love. The biggest tonal change is Marty's motivation. In the version that got made, Marty had to correct the timeline to prevent Biff from killing George and ruining his family. This version would've motivated Marty to, once again, save George from himself. Plot symmetry!

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