'Blade Runner 2049' And Other Long, Long Awaited Sequels In American Movie History

The 35-year wait for a Blade Runner sequel is almost over. Earlier this week, sci-fi fans got to see Harrison Ford and Ryan Gosling in the first trailer for Blade Runner 2049, which will hit theaters in October 2017.

But 35 years is nothing compared to how long fans had to wait for other follow ups to Hollywood hits and cult classics. In honor of 'Blade Runner 20149,' we've put together a list of the longest awaited sequels.

But first a few ground rules: to keep the list from being dominated by Disney's direct-to-DVD retreads, obscure foreign films and schlocky horror flicks, we limited the list to American films that received wide release in theaters.


10. Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)

The Wait: 29 years, 309 days

The fourth instalment of the post-apocalyptic Mad Max franchise came out nearly 30 years after Mel Gibson fought through Tina Turner's gladiatorial arena in Beyond Thunderdome.  

But critics didn't mind the wait - or Tom Hardy's take on the character Gibson made famous. Fury Road was an "A-plus B-movie that at times feels almost like a tone poem to early-'80s excess, a cross between a monster-truck rally and a Plasmatics concert," according to Christopher Orr of The Atlantic.


9. The Odd Couple II (1998)

The Wait: 29 years, 343 days

Legendary actors Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau reunited with playwright Neil Simon for this sequel to the 1968 classic The Odd Couple. But instead of making the main characters move back in together, The Odd Couple II takes Felix and Oscar a disastrous road trip that gets them mixed up with gun-toting rednecks and a human-trafficking ring.

Despite reuniting the original film's stars, critics and audiences panned the film, which Stephen Holden of the New York Times called "a dispiriting, flavorless travesty, the equivalent of moldy tofu mystery meat and rancid skim milk."

8. International Velvet (1978)

The Wait: 33 years, 217 days

Instead of reuniting Elizabeth Taylor, Mickey Rooney and the rest of the cast of the 1944 horse-racing drama National Velvet (1944), producers hired Christopher Plummer, Anthony Hopkins and Tatum O'Neal to tell the story of the prized horse's last foal.

Most critics felt the sequel was of a lesser pedigree than the original, but Leonard Maltin is among the "exquisitely filmed" movie's defenders.

7. The Black Bird (1975)

The Wait: 34 years, 83 days

John Huston's film noir classic The Maltese Falcon (1941) needs no sequel - let alone the 1975 comedy The Black Bird, featuring George Segal playing the son of detective Sam Spade (Humphrey Bogart). The film got some laughs from critics, but the film's running time remained a mystery for critics. 

"'The Black Bird' is an enchanting half-hour spoof of Humphrey Bogart and 'The Maltese Falcon,'" wrote Richard Eder of The New York Times. "Too bad it lasts over an hour and a half."

6. Winnie the Pooh (2011)

The Wait: 34 years, 126 days

The 2011 sequel to The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (1977) was well worth the wait for audiences and critics who warmed to the new collection of shorts based on A.A. Milne's talking critters.  

"Winnie the Pooh will make big people remember their childhoods. And small people will have fun getting to know all of us in the Hundred Acre Wood," wrote Linda Barnard of The Toronto Star

And Pooh's honey hallucination is pretty awesome.

5. The Jungle Book 2 (2003)

The Wait: 35 years, 119 days

Disney didn't do so well with their follow-up to the 1967 animated adaptation of Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book, which features a slightly older Mowgli longing to live on the bare necessities with Baloo again. Meanwhile, Shere Khan longs to exact revenge on the lovable man cub.

But critics found themselves longing for the credits to roll. "That scratching sound you hear isn't Baloo the bear rubbing against a tree, it's Disney scraping the bottom of the sequel barrel with a follow-up that has none of the charm or creativity of the original," wrote Scott Craven of Arizona Republic.

4. Blood Feast 2 (2002)

The Wait: 38 years, 268 days

We're not sure if anyone was actually waiting for a sequel to the 1963 splatter classic Blood Feast, but grisly director Herschell Gordon Lewis treated moviegoers to a second helping anyway. And he did not disappoint fans of the cult classic with the followup Blood Feast 2: All U Can Eat.

"You'll be happy to know...that Herschell still makes movies the old-fashioned way - with no money and no second takes," wrote critic Joe Bob Briggs of UPI

And they didn't spare on gore for the trailer.

3. Easy Rider: The Ride Back (2012)

Wait Time: 43 years, 140 days

Producers couldn't do a true sequel to the 1969 New Hollywood classic Easy Rider since [SPOILER ALERT] the original ended with Wyatt (Peter Fonda) and Billy (Dennis Hopper) getting gunned down on the road. So The Ride Back told the story of Wyatt's brother Morgan, who rebuilt his sibling's chopper for another spin around America.

But the result was an uninspired retread, or in Leonard Maltin's words, a "[s]taggeringly bad attempt to cash in on the iconic original."

2. Return to Neverland (2002)

Wait Time: 49 years, 10 days

Disney's second trip to Never Land features Captain Hook kidnapping Wendy's daughter to lead arch-nemesis Peter Pan into a trap. But critics felt the premise was actually box-office bait to snare the wallets of unwary moviegoers. 

"Return to Neverland feels like an unasked for, direct-to-video rehash of the original," wrote Robert K. Elder of The Chicago Tribune


1. Fantasia 2000 (1999)

Wait Time: 59 years, 48 days

The slew of theatrical sequels leaking from the Disney vault began with his follow up to Fantasia (1940). Like the original, Fantasia 2000 featured animated shorts set to classical music. And like the original, it was a hit with critics.

"It provides some fine artists the chance to stretch and frolic, even as it reminds today's audiences of animation's limitless borders," wrote RIchard Corliss of Time.


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