Legacy sequels are all the rage. Reviving old, beloved movies with follow-ups has become one of the hottest subjects of the cinema in recent years, with everything from family animations, cult horrors and classic action flicks getting the nostalgic sequel treatment, each with varying results.
The concept of a legacy sequel is simple: A movie comes out, and years or even decades later - often having acquired cult or classic status since its release - gets a sequel with the original cast, a handful of new faces, and a new obstacle to conquer.
Not all of these legacy sequels work. Films like Tron: Legacy, Independence Day: Resurgence, and Glass all failed because they were too interested in making money off people's nostalgia, rather than creating a good movie to back up their efforts. The films on this list all worked because they put the story first.
With new sequels being released with increasing frequency of late, this list will take a trip down memory lane and pinpoint the best the legacy sequel genre has to offer, whether it's a follow-up to a popular 80s actioner, or an initially unwanted addition to a seemingly perfect franchise.
Here, then, are the 10 best legacy movie sequels ever made.
10. Toy Story 4 (2019)
It's easy to see why the announcement of Toy Story 4 was met with a mixed reception: Toy Story 3, released just nine years earlier, had ended the adventures of Woody, Buzz, Jessie et al so beautifully, the idea of brushing it under the rug felt like a recipe for disaster.
Luckily for fans, though, Toy Story 4 proved to an even better send-off for the toys than its predecessor, allowing Woody in particular chance to confront the possibility of life beyond his original purpose.
What follows is a fun, star-studded affair that brilliantly builds on the previous three films to create a surprising, profound farewell for its central characters. Not only does it find clever ways to build on the franchise's imaginative premise, but it ties everyone's stories up in a nice, neat bow.
Toy Story 4 - like many legacy sequels - was not one anyone was exactly pining for, but it proved to be worth the risk.