December 2022 will mark the release of the long a-awaited Avatar sequel, The Way of Water. It will continue the story of the Na’vi, and the amazing world of Pandora. Shot back-to-back with that as-yet-untitled Avatar 3, this movie has been eagerly anticipated for over a decade.

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Gaps between sequels have become rather common in Hollywood of late, with long-dead franchises being reawakened and dusted off for a nostalgic victory lap. Sometimes, these films languish in development hell for years before finally making it to the screen. Here are some sequels that came out long after the original.


10 Hocus Pocus 2

One of the most anticipated sequels of recent years, fans and the movie’s cast alike had been campaigning for Hocus Pocus 2 for decades. Finally though, the Sanderson sisters made their return a startling 29 years after their debut.

Hocus Pocuswas deemed a flop at the time of its release, but it quickly gained a devoted fanbase and eventually ascended to the heady heights of ‘cult classic’. It might have taken ages to finally revive the most vicious witches of all, but it was worth the wait.

9 The Godfather: Part 3

The Godfather: Part III will never rank highly in the hearts of moviegoers, especially considering the esteem the previous two movies are held in. It did provide an epilogue to one of cinema’s most iconic characters.

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The film took 16 years to be made because director Francis Ford Coppola wasn’t interested in doing anymore. He eventually relented, although he was hesitant to title the movie “Part III”. Despite critical disappointment, The Godfather: Part III did receive some Oscar nominations, and provides a full stop to the character of Michael Corleone.

8 Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull

19 years after The Last Crusade, Indiana Jones returned to the big screen to do battle against aliens, in a homage to 1950’s B-Movies.

After the third Indi movie, George Lucas took the character to the small screen. After a while though, he began to plan ideas for a fourth big screen outing for the archeologist and adventurer. The result, The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is hardly a classic, but it’s paved the way for the anticipated final outing of Dr Jones.

7 Psycho 2

Alfred Hitchcock famously never directed a sequel, but when the slasher subgenre grew in notoriety in the 1980’s, film studios were keen to revive one of horror’s most iconic villains.

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It took 22 years for Psycho 2 to get made, but the original was so ground-breaking that contemporary audiences were more than aware of Norman Bates and his nefarious deeds. Perhaps the most surprising of all, Psycho 2 was actually a very good movie, even earning some praise from the critics.

6 Tron 2

Another commercial flop for Disney that later became a cult classic, Tron was perhaps a little ahead of its time. Love for the movie grew to such an extent that a sequel was finally commissioned – 28 years later.

Bruce Boxleitner and Jeff Bridges returned for the sequel, which made the most of technical advances to create some amazing set-pieces and impressive de-aging processes. The movie spawned videogames, rides and an animated series.

5 Ghostbusters: Afterlife

32 years after Ghostbusters 2, director Jason Reitman brought the proton packs back in a loving tribute to his father’s legacy, and the memory of Harold Ramis.

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Aside from the animated series and the frankly-underrated 2016 reboot, there had been no new Ghostbusters adventures for over three decades. There had been numerous attempts to bring a third film to life, all to no avail. It finally took Jason Reitman to follow in the footsteps of his dad (Ivan Reitman, director of the first two), bringing the Busters to a whole new generation.

4 Mary Poppins Returns

Famously not a fan of the live-action adaptation of her novels, P.L. Travers was against Disney producing any more sequels to 1964’s Mary Poppins. She did approve of Julie Andrews casting though, and posited ideas for her own sequel during the 80’s and 90’s. Ultimately they didn’t come to fruition.

An astounding 54 years passed between the classic Mary Poppins and its sequel, Mary Poppins Returns when it finally got made. It was a surprising success, with Emily Blunt a perfect successor to Andrews.

3 Jurassic World

Jurassic World revived the Jurassic Park franchise after 14 years, combining nostalgia with bigger ideas and more impressive special effects.

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Ideas for a fourth film had been floating around for years, with various writers and directors wanted to take the franchise in new directions. Ultimately, elements of these storylines became a part of the new trilogy. Nostalgic and fresh in equal measure!

2 Blade Runner 2049

Blade Runner is an iconic piece of science fiction cinema, combining incredible visuals with a deep story layered with philosophical debate. It wasn’t a huge success at the time, but is regarded as one of the best sci-fi movies of all time.

Blade Runner 2049 was not a success commercially, coming 35 years after the original. It was as deep, visually impressive and interesting as the original. A new sequel series from Ridley Scott has recently been commissioned.

1 Top Gun: Maverick

Top Gun is one of the quintessential movies of the 1980’s, a much-loved classic with iconic set-pieces and a fantastic soundtrack. A standalone triumph, for sure.

36 years later, and Top Gun: Maverick took everyone by surprise. Bringing back Tom Cruise and Val Kilmer, and retaining the emotional core of the original, Maverick exceeded all expectations. From thrilling action sequences to beautifully orchestrated character moments, it proves that some sequels ARE worth waiting for.

More:Video Game Sequels That Took Longer To Arrive Than Grand Theft Auto 6

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