With "Blade Runner 2049" just having hit theaters (see our review here), we thought we would take a look at some of the most highly-anticipated sequels that have actually been green-lit for release in the coming months and years. Yes, sequel-fever is not a new ailment in Hollywood and it seems that the major studios are increasingly looking to have lightning hit twice - or more - as opposed to relying on fresh or original material (even this past weekend's "Victoria and Abdul" was a sequel to the 1997 Judy Dench film, "Mrs. Brown").
The rules? We've eliminated any super-hero franchises from the mix, just because. And the films that made this list are films that are actually in production and not just being dreamt about by rabid movie-goers. And why six and not five or seven? Why not?
So here they are The Top 6 Most-Anticipated Movie Sequels set to hit theaters in the near, or distant, future:
#6 - "Creed 2"
After it became one of the surprise hits of 2015, "Creed" - a spin-off itself of the "Rocky" franchise - will get its own sequel. "Creed 2" doesn't yet have a release date, but it did make news this past week when it was announced that Sylvester Stallone himself will handle directing duties. Stallone recently nabbed himself an Oscar nomination and a Golden Globes win, reprising his role of Rocky Balboa in "Creed." The franchise should now firmly be in the hands of Michael B. Jordan, but with news that Ivan Drago himself, Dolph Lundgren, is set to appear in "Creed 2," many fans are cautiously hoping that the franchise doesn't go backwards.
#5 - "Super Troopers 2"
(Warning: The above is a red-band trailer and contains profanity). The cult-classic 2001 comedy "Super Troopers" only made 23 million at the box office, but with a budget of just over 3 million, that's called a success. The Broken Lizard comedy troupe is bringing us this long-gestating sequel set for an April 2018 release, and will once again be directed by Jay Chandrasekhar.
#4 - "Top Gun: Maverick"
It's been over 30 years since we last traveled the highway to the Danger Zone, but prepare to jump back in the cockpit for "Top Gun: Maverick," set for a 2019 release. Tom Cruise is attached and the sequel looks to be very different from the original, not just because so much time has changed, but because so much in the world has changed as well. Director Joseph Kosinski ("TRON: Legacy") is attached, but little else is known thus far. The original film made over 356 million dollars and was a huge part of what made Tom Cruise a super-star.
#3 - "Coming To America 2"
It's been quite a while since Eddie Murphy has had a box office hit, but when "Coming To America" landed in theaters in 1988, we were experiencing the comedian's prime. It was recently reported that a sequel was not only being talked about, but was picking up some serious steam, with "Snatched" director Jonathan Levine set to direct and "Black-ish" creator Kenya Barris on-board to re-write the script. This would not only be a long-awaited sequel, but it could be timely too, with all of the immigration debates that have dominated headlines in the recent year. Let's hope they get the entire gang back together...what's Arsenio Hall been up to these days?
#2 - "Avatar 2"
The sequel to one of the most successful films of all-time has almost been hyped too much for its own good. In 2009, James Cameron's "Avatar" became the highest-grossing film ever, making just under 3 billion - yes, billion - dollars across the globe (Box Office Mojo does list it as actually the 14th highest-grossing film of all-time if adjusted for inflation). They just opened up a Pandora theme park in Disney World, and "Avatar 2" has now been pushed back at least until 2020, but never doubt James Cameron...almost every one of his films has faced incredible scrutiny prior to release, only to blow past all expectations. But "Avatar 2" may be one of the most highly-anticipated films ever to be announced, if for no other reason than to see what Cameron has up his sleeve this time.
#1 - "Star Wars: The Last Jedi"
Sure, it's coming out sooner than any of the other films on this list, but there's no doubt that "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" - Episode XIII - is in a galaxy far, far beyond any other film when it comes to rabid anticipation. Check out the newest trailer for the film (above), just released, or simply skip it if you want to go in totally blind...and if you have an insane amount of self-control. Many refer to the middle chapter of the original trilogy, "The Empire Strikes Back," as the best installment, so many have their fingers crossed that this newest film will be even more satisfying than "The Force Awakens," which was pretty much universally loved across the board. It's in theaters December 15th.