Hollywood loves sequels, especially when they’re for lucrative movies that could be squeezed and squeezed until something awful, but still marketable pops out and flops straight into cinemas. Sequelizing isn’t always done with the integrity of the property or its fans in mind, which is why last year we got a completely unnecessary Taken 2, and sometimes it’s completely without reason or justification – as with the forthcoming Grown-Ups sequel.
But just occasionally, Hollywood can surprise us all, and events conspire to turn down some of the most ludicrous sequel pitches ever heard. Because, believe it or not, Hollywood sometimes does have a finger on the creative pulse, and the powers that be can occasionally recognise when something is even too much of a bad idea to be a cynical exercise in churning out money.
There is a special classification of ridiculousness that fits these special films, and we’re celebrating the very worst sequel ideas that almost came out and completely ruined great films and film franchises…
12. Indiana Jones & The Monkey King
Before Last Crusade was set in stone, a young Chris Columbus decided to turn his hand to the famous archeology adventure franchise, imagining a world in which Indy is approached by a zoologist and a 200-year-old pygmy who owes his long life to a magic peach pit to find the lost city of Sun Wu-Kung, the Monkey King.
The plot also had Nazis, a besotted stowaway called Betsy (in the Short Round role, but with a crush on Indy), a native called Scraggy Brier and a troop of Gorilla soldiers. Oh and it opens with Indy in a battle of wits with a Scottish ghost – what’s not to love?
Spielberg ultimately rejected the idea based on his dislike of the supernatural element, and George Lucas went back to trying to make a Holy Grail Indy film, which would eventually become by far the poorest of the three original movies.
It could be worse of course – we could have had Indiana Jones Vs The Saucer Men From Mars, the early attempts at having the archeologist face off against some extra-terrestrials – like Frank Darabont’s Indiana Jones and the City Of God, which featured someone getting turned into a tree frog.
Instead, happily we got Indiana Jones & The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, which was definitely better. No, wait, that’s not right at all…
This article was first posted on January 17, 2013