Want to feel all warm and fuzzy this Christmas? Book your ticket to the cinema because a new Mary Poppins is coming to the big screen this festive period and it looks epic! Yes, it may be a mere 54 years later, but Mary Poppins is returning in the aptly named Mary Poppins Returns. But whilst the title might not be brimming with originality, the film surely will be as imaginative and inventive as the first. Which got us thinking about some other movie follow-ups that got a second-wind and came back to the party a little late – here are some of our favourite late movie sequels.
Blade Runner 2049 (2017) – Blade Runner (1982) – 35 years
Perhaps due to the fact that the original Blade Runner proved a slow-burner in terms of success, we had to wait a whopping 35 years for the sequel – Blade Runner 2049. With the first film gaining cult status over the years for its unique style and underlying themes that have kept film students busy since. And just as everyone has an opinion on the original Blade Runner, everyone equally had something to say when the sequel was announced with many thinking the film and its cult status should be left alone.
However, Blade Runner 2049 was generally a hit with critics and audiences alike gathering a number of awards and regarded as one of the best films of the year. The return of Harrison Ford, a plot that intertwined with the previous one and various other motions to the original film ensured the presence of the first film was consistent throughout. Yet progress in cinematic technology meant the unique and imaginative world of the first installment was even more visually stunning and awe-inspiring than the first film. Still begging questions about identity and self-awareness – Blade runner 2049 was worth the wait.
T2 Trainspotting (2017) – Trainspotting (1996) – 21 years
Regarded as one of the best British films in cinema and perhaps the best Scottish film of all time, it is a surprise it took so long for there to be a sequel to Danny Boyle’s iconic dark comedy, Trainspotting. 21 years later, T2 Trainspotting arrived promising to be a fitting tribute to the much-loved original – with the same director, writer and original cast and characters.
Perhaps fittingly, the lives of the characters of Trainspotting has moved on in real-time 20 years since the end of the first installment for T2. However, the power behind the film picking up the storyline two decades later lies in the way in which the same problems that troubled the characters in the first film still prove prevalent. Whilst culture has evolved, T2 serves as a testimony to how 20 years hasn’t changed Edinburgh substantially and the issues of deprivation and addiction that were central to the last film are still going strong. So unlike many long-awaited sequels, T2 is not about the way in which cinema can modernize a movie, but more about how on a human level, we make very little progress at all.
Tron: Legacy (2010) – Tron (1982) – 28 years
When Disney’s Tron was first released in 1982 computer generated imagery was in its infancy and so for a feature film to consist mainly of digital effects was something of a spectacle during that time. With its lightcycles and disc battles audiences were mesmerised by the unique visual style and intriguing, if bizarre, story of gamer Flynn (Jeff Bridges) after he’s sucked into a computer.
As cgi has advanced over time and more realistic effects can be achieved it seemed like it was only a matter of time before a Tron sequel took advantage of this, however it took a staggering 28 years before a sequel was finally released. As expected the visuals were sharper and Bridges even returned as Flynn, both old and young. The first film presented an advancing artificial intelligence posing a growing threat to mankind, something that has become ever more prevalent in our everyday lives and explored in various films between Tron’s release and its sequel.
Independence Day: Resurgence (2016) – Independence Day (1996) – 20 years
Back in the mid 90s when visual effects were coming into their own, director Roland Emmerich blew audiences away with his effects laden sci-fi actioner Independence Day. Fighter pilot Will Smith and scientist Jeff Goldblum teamed up to take on the threat of an invading alien race and President Bill Pullman gave one of the most inspiring speeches ever committed to film.
Most films of this ilk are a shoo-in for a long running franchise, but it wasn’t until 20 years later the aliens returned, keen on a rematch, along with Emmerich and the original cast, bar Will Smith. The first film ended with the entire human race putting aside their differences and coming together to defeat the aliens and the sequel continues this unity under the United Nations Earth Space Defence. The human race has used alien technology from their first visit to develop more advanced defences and so this time we’re ready for them.
Dumb and Dumber To (2014) – Dumb and Dumber (1994) – 20 years
Brothers Bobby and Peter Farrelly are not ones to foray into sequel territory however the fans of one of their biggest critical and financial hits Dumb and Dumber were keen to see a return of the immensely stupid buddies Harry and Lloyd, played by Jeff Daniels and Jim Carrey, respectively.
It took 20 years for the fans to get what they were hoping for and funnily enough the film picked up the story 20 years later as the moronic couple are reunited and Harry reveals he needs a donated kidney. What begins is a chaotic road trip of comical proportions as they try to track down Harry’s estranged daughter in the hope she can donate hers. Dumb and Dumber was ultimately about enduring friendship and how these two like-minded (or should that be absent-minded) individuals find comfort in each others company and so in turn it’s comforting for the audience to know their friendship has lasted all these years.
Are there any late movie sequels you think we missed? Or are there any sequels you’re still hoping will happen? Let us know in the comments below.