It was announced earlier this week that a sequel to British classic Chariots of Fire starring Joseph Fiennes (Shakespeare in Love) as Scottish runner Eric Liddell is in the works. The film, titled The Last Race, will depict the athlete's life after the events shown in the historical Best Picture Oscar winner.
Considering the original was released in 1981 – a hefty 36 years ago – we've decided to look at the other sequels that arrived long after their originals.
1 | Tron (1982) / Tron: Legacy (2010) – 28 years
A 1982 film about a computer hacker named Flynn (Jeff Bridges) who finds himself abducted into an effect-heavy digital world was always likely to pick up a cult following. The belated sequel follows Flynn’s son (Garrett Hedlund) who is transported into a virtual reality world following a message from his long-lost father (Bridges, again) who never escaped.
Worth the wait? Tron: Legacy presented that rarity: a film that actually warranted the use of 3D backed up by impressive visual effects and a Daft Punk soundtrack. Despite Disney promoting it to the hilt, the resulting drama fell a little bit flat. Still, audiences came in droves making it the year's 11th biggest film. If you ask us, that's down to Derezzed.
2 | The Hustler (1961)/The Color of Money (1986) – 25 years
The original remains a bona fide classic thanks to Paul Newman's role of pool hustler “Fast Eddie” Felson. The Martin Scorsese-directed sequel picks up with him a quarter of a century later, now retired from the pool circuit. It's when player Vincent Lauria (Tom Cruise) comes along that Felson takes the young protégé under his wing.
Was it needed? As you'd expect to be the case when following an all-time great, this follow-up had a lot to live up to and some critics were harsh, citing it as one of Scorsese's weaker films. However, the interplay between Cruise and Newman alone is worth the trouble, as justified by Newman winning the Oscar he should have bagged for the same role 25 years previous.
3 | Wall Street (1987) / Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (2010) – 23 years
The collision of fresh-faced stockbroker Bud Fox (Charlie Sheen) with unscrupulous corporate raider Gordon Gekko (an Oscar-winning Michael Douglas) led to a thrilling financial drama, made by Oliver Stone as a tribute to his father who was a stockbroker during the Great Depression. Two decades later, Stone released a sequel pitting Douglas' character as a reformed antihero trying to do right after a stint behind bars.
Worth the wait? With the focus on the 2008 financial crisis, you can't fault Stone's attempts to add an update to the mood of the times. A shame then that the majority of both critics and audiences didn't buy it, deeming the whole thing a bloated waste: the film's awful subtitle was the least of its problems.
4 | Dumb and Dumber (1994) / Dumb and Dumber To (2014) – 20 years
Depending on your age, Dumb and Dumber is either a laugh-a-minute crowdpleaser or a ludicrous excuse for a film featuring not so much an inspired plot as a series of cringeworthy scenes in which Jeff Daniels and Jim Carrey's Harry and Lloyd make buffoons of themselves (we're with the former). Dumb and Dumber To sees the two return for a cross-country trip to find Harry's daughter. Hilarity (kind of) ensues.
Worth the wait? In the grand scheme of cinema, no. But there's something brilliant about Jeff Daniels following his Emmy win for The Newsroom with this. And it is funny in parts. Oh what the hell, yes it was.
5 | Independence Day (1996) / Independence Day: Resurgence (2016) – 20 years
Disaster film Independence Day was a sleeper hit which put German director Roland Emmerich on the map as a kind of poor-man's Irwin Allen (The Day After Tomorrow and 2012 followed). The film follows Will Smith's Captain who leads a counterattack on earth-invading alien forces. The sequel, with cast additions Liam Hemsworth and Maika Monroe, basically sees the aliens, well, resurge. If it ain't broke...
Worth the wait? As it won't land until 24 June 2016, the jury's still out but considering Will Smith abandoned ship before filming began, we're none too hopeful. Still, if the visual effects won an Oscar back then, imagine how mind-boggling they could be two decades later.
6 | Blues Brothers (1980) / Blues Brothers 2000 (1998) – 18 years
The big screen outing of John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd's musical duo The Blues Brothers – originating from a Saturday Night Live sketch – is a fun, cameo-laden cult classic following siblings Jake and Ellwood on a "Mission from God" to save the Catholic home they were raised in. The sequel (minus the late Belushi; plus John Goodman) sees Ellwood take on another, admittedly more banal, mission.
Worth the wait? However undeniably fun Blues Brothers 2000 might be to some, it just can't escape the feeling that everyone involved – including Aretha Franklin – is desperately scraping for the original's magic. God bless 'em for trying.
7 | Basic Instinct (1992) / Basic Instinct 2: Risk Addiction (2006) – 16 years
While Basic Instinct – the film about a detective (Michael Douglas) who becomes embroiled in an intense relationship with Catherine Tramell (Sharon Stone), the prime suspect of a murder he's investigating – is as decent a schlocky erotic thriller you can get, the sequel, Risk Addiction, is a downright stinker. It bears an identical plot, only this time Sharon Stone seduces a psychiatrist played by David Morrissey.
Worth the wait? In no way. Zero risk of addiction here.
8 | Clerks (1994) / Clerks II (2006) – 12 years
Together with Pulp Fiction, this black-and-white film – set over a single day in the lives of Dante and Randal, two convenience store employees – spawned something of a nineties zeitgeist which saw shoestring-budgeted films go toe-to-toe with studio heavyweights. The sequel, shot in colour, arrived over a decade later with the two characters searching for new horizons, but ultimately ending up in the same place.
Worth the wait? Save for a few high-profile sniffy critics, Clerks II is considered a worthy follow-up to the original – and proof that Kevin Smith still has a decent film in him. Any sequel that receives an eight-minute standing ovation after its Cannes premiere is justified in our eyes.