Movie sequels that were released in other mediums

Sometimes movies are successful enough to get sequels, but aren’t successful enough to have those sequels made into movies. That’s where other media comes in handy: these are the 10 movie sequels that never troubled a cinema screen…

The original Ghostbusters reunite… for a videogame

Ghostbusters: The Video Game - Credit: Atari
Ghostbusters: The Video Game – Credit: Atari

Dan Aykroyd tried to get a ‘Ghostbusters’ threequel off the ground for decades, but before the Paul Feig she-boot officially wrote the original awesome foursome out of continuity, Venkman, Ray, Egon and Winston did get together for one last blast – it just wasn’t in cinemas. The 2009 Ghostbusters videogame featured a story worked on by Aykroyd and Harold Ramis, with voiceovers from all four principal actors – even notorious holdout Bill Murray – and full likeness rights.

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Even Max Von Sydow reprised the voice role of Vigo the Carpathian. It’s actually a pretty fun romp, but even if you’re not a button-basher, it’s probably the closest you’re ever going to get to a traditional Ghostbusters sequel.

Post-‘Return Of The Jedi’ Star Wars adventure books

Star Wars: Heir To The Empire - Credit: Bantam Spectra
Star Wars: Heir To The Empire – Credit: Bantam Spectra

True ‘Star Wars’ fans didn’t really have to wait for 16 years after ‘Return Of The Jedi’ for more intergalactic adventures in ‘The Phantom Menace’ – the real action was happening on paperback. The Star Wars Expanded Universe novels – now rebadged as ‘Star Wars Legends’ in the post-‘Force Awakens’ timeline – picked up the Skywalker saga after Jedi and wove many a wonderful tale about everyone’s favourite farmboy family. Timothy Zahn’s Thrawn trilogy, starting with ‘Heir To The Empire’, begins immediately after the Battle of Endor and introduces new characters, including Mara Jade, who would go on to marry Luke Skywalker and bear his son, Ben. Zahn’s novels were very well received and contributed to ‘Star Wars” extended lifespan in the barren cinematic years.

‘T2 3-D: Battle Across Time’, an interactive Terminator adventure

T2 3-D: Battle Across Time - Credit: Universal Studios
T2 3-D: Battle Across Time – Credit: Universal Studios

A sort of interactive mini-sequel to ‘Terminator 2: Judgement Day’ in theme park form, ‘T2 3-D’ was no cheap cash-in. James Cameron himself directed the short film, starring Arnie, Linda Hamilton and Edward Furlong, which was combined with live-action performance, real stunt actors and sensory entertainment in the form of shaking seats, heat sensors and sprinklers. The show debuted at Universal Studios in Florida in 1996 at a cost of $60 million, $24 million of which went on the mini-movie alone, making it one of the most expensive films per minute ever shot. It was finally canned in 2012 and will be replaced with ‘Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem’, very much not created by James Cameron.

The ‘Blade Runner’ ‘sidequel’ videogame

Blade Runner - Credit: Virgin Interactive
Blade Runner – Credit: Virgin Interactive

15 years after Ridley Scott’s scuzzed-out sci-fi and 20 years before the sequel is scheduled to arrive, this 1997 ‘Blade Runner’ point-and-click adventure captivated gamers who weren’t used to tie-in videogames being so… good? The game, from ‘Command & Conquer’ creators Westwood Studios, was a sidequel to the original ‘Blade Runner’, taking place in the same 2019 Los Angeles, with characters returning from the movie and Rick Deckard making more than one appearance. Untied to any movie sequel, it was free to craft its own narrative intertwined with Scott’s original, and was named Game Of The Year, selling over one million copies. Denis Villeneuve’s sequel, ‘Blade Runner 2049’, is released in 2017, but until then the game remains the best piece of extended universe media in the ‘Blade Runner’ canon.

The continuing adventures of Tony Montana in ‘Scarface: The World Is Yours’

Scarface: The World Is Yours - Credit: Sierra Entertainment
Scarface: The World Is Yours – Credit: Sierra Entertainment

One of the defining features of that spectacular ending sequence in ‘Scarface’ is that drug lord Tony Montana gets his well-deserved comeuppance. Right? Not in videogame land! 2006 ‘Grand Theft Auto’ rip-off ‘Scarface: The World Is Yours’ supposes that Tony Montana survives Sosa’s hit squad and lives to deal another day. Boasting Al Pacino’s likeness (although not his voice), the game is a semi-official follow-up that allows players to take control of Tony Montana as he exacts his revenge. One of the game’s defining mechanics is the ‘Balls Meter’, which gives Tony more power the more he gets riled up.

The horror of the ‘Star Wars Holiday Special’

Chewbacca, Lumpy, and Han Solo - Credit: YouTube
Chewbacca, Lumpy, and Han Solo – Credit: YouTube

Now we’re in the age of YouTube, the full folly of the ‘Star Wars Holiday Special’ is out there for the universe to see, perhaps to warn us that there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. Hardcore fans back in the day, however, would hunt high and low for illegal VHS copies of the much-mocked TV special, hurriedly tacked together and broadcast in 1978 after the success of ‘A New Hope’. The special revolved around Chewbacca’s son, Lumpy, and their family’s efforts to enjoy ‘Life Day’, but also featured Harrison Ford and Mark Hamill in character, music from Jefferson Starship as a Holoband, and an animated adventure for Boba Fett, technically the character’s debut. Lucasfilm, appalled by its horrendous reception, set about scrubbing the ‘Holiday Special’ from history. Nice try.

‘Back To The Future: The Ride’

Back to the Future: The Ride - Credit: Universal Studios
Back to the Future: The Ride – Credit: Universal Studios

Steven Spielberg was the creative consultant for this sort-of sequel to the ‘Back To The Future’ trilogy, starring Christopher Lloyd as Doc Emmett Brown but with Marty McFly conspicuous by his absence. The plot sees Doc take eight passengers on his new DeLorean time machine and eventually has the group chasing Biff throughout the space-time continuum, visiting the Ice Age, the Jurassic period and the far-flung future of 2015. Launched in 1991 at Universal Studios in Florida, the ride had no strict involvement from Bob Gale or Robert Zemeckis, but they gave it their blessing. ‘Back To The Future: The Ride’ closed in 2007, and was eventually replaced with ‘The Simpsons Ride’.

‘The Karate Kid’ ditches the dojo for the small screen

The Karate Kid (TV series) - Credit: Saban Entertainment
The Karate Kid (TV series) – Credit: Saban Entertainment

Now, you and I both know ‘The Karate Kid’ got more than its fair share of movie sequels and spin-offs, including that one with Hilary Swank and the Jaden Smith remake that didn’t actually feature any karate. But did you know that the adventures of Daniel Larusso and Mr Miyagi continued on the small screen? ‘The Karate Kid: The Animated Series’ was broadcast on NBC in 1989 and only ran for 13 episodes. The show abandoned the karate tournament aspect of the movies and instead saw Daniel san, new girl chum Taki and his mentor Miyagi embark on a series of adventures to try and recover a miniature shrine that had been taken from its resting place in Okinawa, Japan. One of the episode synopses starts “The trio get a job aboard a whaling vessel in Norway” so you know it was amazing.

Riddick goes digital in ‘Escape From Butcher Bay’

The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay - Credit: Vivendi Games
The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay – Credit: Vivendi Games

Taking the form of a flashback and set before ‘The Chronicles Of Riddick’ and ‘Pitch Black’, this videogame casts the player as Richard B Riddick as he attempts to escape the prison of Butcher Bay via the medium of screwdriver stabbing and stealth. Diesel lent his voice and his likeness to the game, but his involvement went far beyond his character – Diesel’s own videogame company Tigon Studios published the Xbox title, with Diesel himself heavily involved in the game’s creation. Not only was it incredibly faithful to the look and feel of the Riddick movies, it was a total blast too, winning the coveted Golden Joystick Award. You could argue it’s better than all three Riddick movies.

‘Casablanca’: the television show you never knew existed

Scatman Crothers and David Soul in the short-lived Casablanca TV show - Credit: Warner Bros. Television
Scatman Crothers and David Soul in the short-lived Casablanca TV show – Credit: Warner Bros. Television

It’s one of the most celebrated and revered movie classics of all time and one of the few sacred movies to which no one would dare attempt make a sequel. A ‘Casablanca’ prequel, on the other hand? Fair game! It happened not once but twice, and in televisual form. The first ‘Casablanca’ TV series ran on ABC between 1955 and 1956, set in the days before Rick and Ilsa. The second, more recent TV prequel series took the form of five hour-long episodes in 1983, with David Soul (!) playing Rick, Ray Liotta (!!) playing Sacha and Scatman Crothers (!!!) playing Sam. Even if you were able to find this long-lost spin-off on DVD and played it, something tells us you wouldn’t be playing it again.

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