Some sequels like Mad Max: Fury Road and Terminator 2 can solidify the start of an unforgettable film franchise where others (see Jaws: The Revenge or Basic Instinct 2) risk tarnishing the sterling legacy of its source material and come across as lazy Hollywood cash grabs. Actors like Jodie Foster and Daniel Day-Lewis famously have refused to ever participate in sequels, but sometimes the temptations of a nice payday and good publicity can be too good to pass up for some. Though some actors fear role reprisals may pigeonhole them into an intractable typecasting cycle, stepping back into a beloved role is becoming increasingly attractive prospect.
Zachary Levi - Flynn Rider from Tangled
Zachary Levi, voice of the swashbuckling thief Flynn Rider in the 2010 animated film Tangled, recently expressed interest in reprising his role for the rumored live-action remake of the Disney animated feature. During an appearance at FAN EXPO in Chicago, Levi said he’d be open to playing Rider again, but the actor (now 42) felt the character’s age might be an issue given that Rapunzel is only 17 or 18 in the original story. Despite no concrete plans in place, a live-action Tangled feature would fit Disney’s recent trend of reviving franchises with live-action reproductions like this year’s The Little Mermaid.
Jessica Chastain - Celia Foote from The Help
During a recent appearance on Entertainment Weekly’s The Awardist podcast, Chastain stated, “You know who I think about all the time, and I just wish I could play her [again]? Celia Foote.”. Chastain played Foote, a social pariah who employs Octavia Spencer’s character Minny as a housemaid, in the 2011 period drama The Help. The Oscar-winning actress said she’d felt there was more she could have mined from the character and would like to see where her and Octavia Spencer’s Minny end up following the conclusion of the film. Despite the film’s initial acclaim, it's been criticized more recently for is use of the “white savior” trope, leading stars like Viola Davis and Bryce Dallas Howard to express regret in their participation.
Jim Carrey - Ace Ventura from Ace Ventura: Pet Detective
Though the Canadian actor has toyed with the idea of retirement, the Ace Ventura star told E! News he’d be open to the idea of returning to the character under the condition a genius filmmaker was overseeing production. Carrey told reporters, “If Chris Nolan came to me and said ‘I want to make Ace Ventura real and I want to do something, you know, something more interesting…’ then I might listen.” Though the idea that the Oppenheimer director would be interested in producing a film about a pet detective seems far-fetched (no pun intended), rumors have recently circulated that American Horror Story’s Evan Peters may star in a new Ace Ventura film as the eccentric pet detective’s son.
Chris Evans - Johnny Storm from Fantastic Four
While the Captain America star has said it’s unlikely he’ll be donning Steven Rogers’ patriotic spandex again any time soon, he told MTV News in a recent interview he’d be more than willing to make a return as The Fantastic Four’s Johnny Storm (aka the Human Torch). Evans told MTV he felt Storm “didn’t really get his day” in the 2005 and 2007 Fantastic Four films he’d appeared in. Despite the first two Fantastic Four movies being widely panned by critics, the franchise is being revived with a new Fantastic Four film hitting theaters some time in 2025 with Vanessa Kirby and John Krasinski rumored to star.
Viggo Mortenson - Aragorn from Lord of the Rings
In a 2021 interview with Collider, Mortensen said he’d be open to returning to The Lord of the Rings franchise as Aragorn, citing the vast wealth of material within J.R.R. Tolkien’s universe allowing for limitless possibilities. Mortenson also expressed his excitement for Amazon’s The Rings of Power television series. Being that the Amazon series is set thousands of years prior to the events of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, it’s unlikely that we’ll be seeing Aragorn make an appearance in the show.
Jonah Hill - Seth from Superbad
The 21 Jump Street star told W Magazine that while he hasn’t made this pitch to any studio executives yet, he’d be interested in making a Superbad sequel decades from now when the original cast members would all be in their 80s. Hill stated in the interview, “What I want to do is when we’re like 80, do a ‘Superbad 2.’ Like, ‘old-folks-home Superbad.’ Our spouses die, and we’re single again.” Co-star and writer Seth Rogen has said Superbad is one film he’d probably never revisit for a sequel or reboot telling LADBible, “Honestly, I don't think it requires improvement or anything to be built upon it.”
John C. Reilly - Dale Doback from Step Brothers
The 2008 comedy starring Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly as a pair of step brothers stuck in a state of arrested development was a massive hit, pulling in nearly $130 million at the box office against a $65 million budget. Reilly told Indiewire in 2018 the cast had been toying with the idea of a sequel since the movie was first released, but that sequels “aren’t the most attractive thing” given they can tarnish a film’s established legacy. Castmate Mary Steenbergen has said she'd be open to reprising her role for a sequel, but she’s fairly certain one won’t ever come to fruition. A Stepbrothers sequel seems almost entirely impossible now, especially considering Will Ferrell and director Adam McKay had a falling out and ended their business partnership in 2019.
Christian Bale - Bruce Wayne from the Batman Franchise
Though the role of Gotham’s caped crusader was most recently helmed by actor Robert Pattinson, Bale told Screenrant he’d be willing to return to play the billionaire turned vigilante if Christopher Nolan decided to return as director for a 4th installment. Bale said, “In my mind, it would be something if Chris Nolan ever said to himself, ‘You know what, I’ve got another story to tell,’ And if he wished to tell that story with me, I’d be in.” While Bale might not be reprising the role of Bruce Wayne any time soon, he recently stepped into the Marvel Cinematic Universe as the supervillain Gorr the God Butcher in 2022’s Thor: Love and Thunder.
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