We live in sequel rich times, when just about everything that’s ever existed is getting a follow-up; they even made a sequel to Ouija, for crying out loud. Nostalgia is a large driving force in the film business now, where even remakes have gradually morphed into sequels, like Jurassic World.
There still exist some fan favourites that are crying out for a sequel, but no matter how long they spend in development the odds of them happening are depressingly low. In the end, it always comes down to money. Even if a film is a cult classic, if it didn’t hit the numbers the studio wants then a follow-up won't happen.
Development Hell is the place these phantom sequels linger, where a change of management or the success of a similar movie might convince execs to move ahead with them, but most likely they'll stay there. A few movies - like Mad Max: Fury Road or Independence Day: Resurgence - escape, but they're the rare exception.
It's a pity, since a few of these follow-ups sound awesome, while the rest should probably remain trapped where they are.
Once Arnold left The Governor’s office he launched his big-screen comeback, but sadly most of his projects landed with a wet thud. The Last Stand and Escape Plan were fun but forgettable, The Expendables were mostly embarrassing and Sabotage was a mess. He wasn’t the draw he used to be but fans got excited when he talked about sequels to his biggest hits, including a Twins sequel.
Triplets would have found Arnie and Danny DeVito tracking down their long lost third brother, with Eddie Murphy lined up to play the role. Apparently they all found the idea hilarious (?), and a script was written by comedian Josh Gad. Triplets always comes up whenever Arnie is interviewed, and his reply is always the same: they’re just waiting for the right time.
The reality is the studio has no confidence in it since none of the stars are bankable names anymore, a stance that was only reinforced by the disappointment of Terminator Genisys. Universal probably also realised the one joke premise isn’t that strong, and the world doesn’t need another mediocre family comedy with Eddie Murphy.
For now, it sits comfortably in the Development Hell waiting room.