10 Best Movie Sequels That Took Decades To Arrive - Ranked

When patience pays off.

Star Wars The Force Awakens BB-8

Given how quickly movie sequels are churned out today, it's a genuine anomaly when we're presented with an entry in a series that hasn't been seen for quite some time.

This isn't a common occurrence for several reasons. Sequels are usually made with the intent of capitalising on the success of the original, so a time gap of two to three years is right around the sweet spot for studios. But sometimes - due to several factors including nostalgia and brand value - this gap can extend to a momentum-killing two or more decades.

Unfortunately, it's generally quite hard for movies to recapture some of that original magic after such a long period of time, and as a result, it's very rare for these belated sequels to actually be any good.

But there are a handful of diamonds in the rough; good, great or awesome sequels that landed years after their previous instalments. They're not always the best in their franchises, but when you've waited so long to see a particular character or universe grace your screen once again, a solid movie is all you could ask for.

10. Superman Returns (2006)

Star Wars The Force Awakens BB-8
Warner Bros.

The Previous Film: Superman II (1980)

While Superman Returns could be considered a sequel to 1987's Superman IV: The Quest For Peace, the fact that it ignores the events of that film - as well as Superman III - means that it's only a proper sequel to 1980's Superman II.

Though it seems like everyone hates it nowadays, Returns was generally well-liked when it first came out. The movie boasts a 75-percent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and for all its flaws, its efforts to deepen and add complexity to a potentially one-note character should be commended, as should its stunning visuals.

Yes, it is about 20 minutes too long, the suit looks a little hokey by modern standards, and Spacey's Lex Luthor is cartoonish to the point of being laughable, but Superman Returns has a big, beating heart, and it nails the feeling of hope that Superman - and his "S" - stands for.


Writer and video editor WhatCulture/WhoCulture. Bought a 4K copy of The Martian in 2016 and still haven't watched it.