4 Awesome Superhero Movie Sequels That Will Never Happen
The current philosophy when it comes to comic book movies seems to be: at the slightest sign of trouble, reboot. Superman Returns racked up "only" $391 million at the box office? Reboot. Spider-Man 3 had terrible dance scenes? Reboot. Joel Schumacher gave Batman nipples? Oh God, reboot that shit, then reboot it again just to wash out the bad taste.
However -- and this may come as a shock to you, because I am a comic book nerd on the Internet, and we never like to tell the giant corporations how to do their jobs -- I think they've got it all wrong. I think one or two crappy movies don't justify burning the entire franchise to the ground, flushing its ashes down the toilet, and then dynamiting that toilet to start over again. Not when they could have used those same crappy movies as a springboard to reinvent the franchise into something better. In fact, all the filmmakers had to do was look at the damn comics they were supposed to be adapting to find material for awesome (but by now completely improbable) sequels like ...
Green Lantern 2: Emerald Twilight
The Disappointing Movie:
Green Lantern, because you've probably forgotten it already, is that 2011 movie where Ryan Reynolds puts on green body paint like he's going to a Brazilian carnival and gains the power to shoot CGI jizz at CGI monsters while CGI aliens CGI CGI CGI.
Reynolds recorded this entire scene from the toilet. Guess how they did the machine gun sounds.
The Awesome Sequel:
Emerald Twilight was a DC Comics storyline from 1994 where Green Lantern goes crazy and murders all his friends.
We all did something embarrassing in the '90s: mullets, popper pants, genocide, etc.
Obviously, some people didn't like it. Comics fans get upset when you put pants on a superheroine; turn their favorite superhero into Space Hitler and they'll lose their shit. Every time you do a story where a beloved character with 30 years of classic stories changes his good/evil affiliation, it's gonna ruffle some feathers. But here's the thing: The Ryan Reynolds version of Green Lantern isn't a beloved character. He doesn't have 30 years of classic stories. He has one so-so movie. That's the perfect setup for a sequel that subverts superhero tropes in ways movies haven't done yet. We've never seen an established superhero with one movie already under his belt turn bad. And no, X-Men 3 doesn't count, because A) the movie's name isn't Jean Grey and B) fuck you for bringing up X-Men 3.
So here's the pitch: The sequel takes place a few years after Green Lantern. Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds) is the universally loved and appreciated champion of the city that he saved from a giant monster in the first movie, kinda like Ghostbusters 2, but in reverse. But then the city gets attacked by another monster ... and Jordan fails. The city is wiped out. His girlfriend, his family, his precious bathroom cabinet equipped with all manner of hair products -- all gone.
All that's left from the entire city are two guys, a girl, and a pizza place.
That's when Jordan goes "Wait a minute, I have a magic ring that can do anything! I can bring the city back!" In his grief he tries to do that, but his bosses, the Guardians of the Universe, tell him that it is forbidden. Jordan replies "YOUR FACE is forbidden" (this line is non-negotiable) and murders the Guardians, absorbing all their power and thus the power of every Green Lantern in the galaxy. One of the Guardians manages to escape and gives the last Green Lantern ring to a new guy: John Stewart, or the Green Lantern you actually remember from the Justice League cartoon. You know, the guy so popular that when the Green Lantern movie came out, people wondered why Ryan Reynolds was playing a black guy.
They could have at least gotten Jack Bl- wait, nope, never mind.
The rest of the movie is about the new Green Lantern going up against the power-crazy cracker who wants to destroy the universe and remake it again to save his precious hair products cabinet -- yes, the very concept of reboots is the bad guy in this movie. Oh, and put Idris Elba as John Stewart while you're at it. Tell me you wouldn't watch that.
Daredevil 2: Born Again
The Disappointing Movie:
Daredevil (2003) hovers awkwardly between the superhero movies that actually have something to say and the ones that are lots of fun, and as a result it's neither of those things. Today, it's mostly remembered for being the embarrassing story of how Ben Affleck met his wife.
They tell most people they met doing leather fetishism, which is technically correct.
The Awesome Sequel:
The movie ends with the bad guy, the Kingpin, finding out that Daredevil is actually blind lawyer Matt Murdock, but then Matt goes "What are you gonna do, admit you got beat up by a blind man?" Well, yeah. Yes, the Kingpin could absolutely do that, and then the sequel would be based on Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli's "Daredevil: Born Again" story from 1986, which starts with the character's entire life going to hell when his identity is exposed and just gets more hardcore from there.
Daredevil yelled at them for like five minutes before realizing everyone was asleep.
I was surprised to learn that, for years, Daredevil's director wanted to do a sequel based on this comic, but it makes a lot of sense: The first movie established the hero's world, and the second one blows it all to shit. The Kingpin uses his connections to methodically tear Matt Murdock's life apart -- he destroys his reputation by getting him disbarred, his finances by freezing all his assets, and his home by literally destroying his home, with explosions. Matt ends up wandering the streets of New York, alone, destitute, and paranoid. Don't think Batman. Think Taxi Driver.
Frank Miller put himself in the shoes of a crazy person to write this dialogue, then never took them off.
Eventually it dawns on the Kingpin that by taking everything away from Matt Murdock he only made the guy more dangerous, because what could you possibly do to him now? The tables turn as the Kingpin becomes the paranoid one, since he never knows when his enemy will strike. And with that, this story achieves the impossible: turning Daredevil into an actual badass. Could Ben Affleck pull that off? Probably not, but you'd have to recast the characters anyway, since Michael Clarke Duncan sadly passed away and Affleck is too busy not playing superheroes ever again (his first day on the set as Batman is gonna be awkward).
Another reason why a sequel would rock? Bullseye, who coincidentally was one of the reasons why the original sucked. The first movie left that guy (an assassin for the Kingpin played by Colin Farrell) in a hospital bed, which gives us the perfect opportunity to incorporate one of the most batshit insane Daredevil comics Miller ever wrote: The one where our hero plays a game of Russian roulette with a paralyzed Bullseye, who spends the entire issue just continually shitting his pants. That scene would fit beautifully into the "Daredevil turns into a crazy homeless person" sequence. I do hope they would get the same actor for that, because seeing Colin Farrell shit himself is actually on my bucket list.
Jonah Hex 2: Two-Gun Mojo
The Disappointing Movie:
2010's Jonah Hex is what happens when some Hollywood producer says, "Hey, remember Wild Wild West? The movie? Was that good or bad? Can you check if that was good or bad? You can't right now? OK, let's make another one like that anyway. Yeah, just go ahead and do it. I think there's $50 million in that hooker's butt, just grab that and do the movie. And pass me that brick of coke and a chisel."
"Forget the chisel, I'm gonna stuff the whole thing up my nose."
The Awesome Sequel:
The comic book version of Jonah Hex has been in a lot of stories over the years, some good and some bad, and it just so happens that this stupid goddamn movie sets the stage for one of the better ones. The basic concept of Jonah Hex comics is "ugly cowboy shoots stuff." Two-Gun Mojo, a "recommended for mature readers" miniseries from 1993, switches that up a little bit to "ugly cowboy shoots zombies." Like Zombie Wild Bill Hickok here:
Get Jeff Bridges to reprise him, because that guy can't play cowboys in enough movies.
In Jonah Hex, Michael Shannon plays a guy called Doc Williams, the ringleader of a freak circus, but he shows up in one scene and then the movie forgets about him. Well, in Two-Gun Mojo (and this proposed sequel), Williams turns out to be a deranged motherfucker who happens to know voodoo and reanimates Wild Bill to be his bodyguard. But why stop there? Get Billy the Kid, Jesse James, Black Bart, and every badass Old West outlaw to join Doc Williams' undead gang, and then have Jonah Hex kill them again. And, of course, this can't be PG-13 like the first one -- keep the tone and the language from the comic, because that's the best part:
How's Deadwood meets The Walking Dead sound?
Hell, since we're dealing with zombies, you might as well bring back Michael Fassbender's assassin character from the first movie. In that one, Hex kills the guy, brings him back to life, and then kills him again. Let's say that made him a special kind of zombie that can talk, and he hates Hex's ass. As for Megan Fox's prostitute love interest character, well, this suddenly happens less than halfway through Two-Gun Mojo, and I wouldn't object to keeping it:
"Hmm, should I have possum or snake for dinner tonight?"
Swamp Thing 3: The Anatomy Lesson
The Disappointing Movie:For horror movie fans, the words "Swamp Thing" bring forth two mental images: 1) Adrienne Barbeau bathing naked in a swamp (Google it, kids), and 2) a guy in a hokey 1980s rubber costume watching Adrienne Barbeau bathing naked in a swamp. I've literally run out of things to say about these movies.
The Awesome Sequel:
For comic book fans, on the other hand, the same words are synonymous with concepts like existential horror, environmental deities, and a plant monster having psychedelic sex with a lady. As you might have guessed from the mention of woman/monster boning, this comic was written by Alan Moore, who turned it from a generic horror series into one of the most psychologically fascinating pieces of postmodern fiction ever. And while the second Swamp Thing movie came after Moore's stories had already been published, they took exactly one idea from him: the woman/monster boning, naturally.
However, this means Moore's most mind-blowing ideas are still waiting to be used cinematically. The first two movies are about a scientist called Alec Holland, who, through a combination of being dosed by chemicals and falling into a swamp, transforms into a plant monster. Despite his ugly appearance, he dedicates his life to fighting bad guys while trying to find a cure for his condition. Well, a Swamp Thing sequel based on Moore's work would start off by ending that life. The good news: He's not really dead. The bad news: He's not really Alec Holland either, because that guy died in the swamp years ago, and our protagonist is just a bunch of plants that think they are a man.
This is an autobiographical touch based on the time Moore found out he's a sentient beard.
Swampy doesn't take the news well. First he goes on a bloody rampage against the men who killed him, embracing the "monster" part of his identity, and then he spends some time laying completely still, embracing the "inanimate object" one. Eventually he realizes that not being human means he's no longer bound to his lumpy cauliflower body -- he can travel through vegetation at will and even jump to the flora of other planets. As a result, he goes from fighting gangsters that want to blow up his swamp to fighting primordial demons that want to blow up all of reality.
The sequel would start off with the same general tone as the old movies, and then progressively get trippier and trippier. Couldn't they just reboot the franchise and start a new one that goes straight to the interesting part? Probably, but it wouldn't be as interesting without the stupid parts to serve as contrast. If they tell this story as one movie, it's just another comic book adaptation -- if they make it a sequel to a couple of existing '80s B-movies, it becomes a deconstruction of the horror genre.
Check out more from Maxwell in The 6 Stupidest Ways Superheroes Protected Secret Identities and The 5 Most Hilariously Misguided Comic Book Adaptations.
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