|Cobra 2 by Jim Rugg|
There are some movies that really could have used a sequel. Then there are the movies that we wish were left sequel-free. Los Angeles art gallery iam8bit plays with the dynamic between the sequels we want and the sequels we get in their latest group show. Called “Sequel,” the show brings together a massive collection of prints for sequels that don’t exist.
“It’s part social commentary on Hollywood’s franchise fatigue,” says Jon Gibson, who co-owns iam8bit, “part just fun, movie-lover antics.” The artists, who hail from across the globe, had relatively free reign over what they did and the offerings reflected that. Some of the sequels were goofy what-if scenarios, like a sequel to The Shining called The Torrances that appeared more comedy than horror. Others seemed like they could actually work as a sequel. Below are 15 highlights from the show. “Sequel” runs until November 23 and prints are now available through the gallery’s website.
1. Titanic 2: Above Zero by Pavel Fuksa
I have never seen Titanic and probably never will. The way I see it, if I could get through the endless boy drama of college without blubbering my way through this doomed romance, I can get through the rest of my life without it. Titanic 2: Above Zero is another story.
Jon Gibson of iam8bit explains the concept behind artist Pavel Fuksa’s poster. “The theory behind Titanic 2 is that Jack unfreezes. They find him in the ocean, in an ice cube and they thaw him out and he finds his love again,” he says. “It’s like Demolition Man crossed with Titanic.” Reserve the Arclight seats and break out the popcorn; I am ready to hit the holiday weekend opening for this.
2. Hellboy 3: Anung Un Rama & the Right Hand of Doom by Orlando Arocena
I’m not sure how how “Anung Un Rama” will flow off the tongue of audience members, but Orlando Arocena’s vision of a third act for the Hellboy films is pretty intriguing. “I wanted to portray him in a more dismal, pensive mood of understanding his demise of being Anung Un Rama and the Right Hand of Doom,” says the artist, “understanding that he’s the embodiment of good, but, at the same time, he’s been placed here for a tool of evil.” Arocena’s piece in inspired in part of Rodin’s famed statue, The Thinker.
3. The Goonies and the Legend of Sasquatch by Rich Rayburn
The Goonies is one of those childhood favorites that you don’t want to end. After the hunt for pirate’s treasure, there has to be another adventure for the kids. We may have made up further tales of the Goonies in backyards and bedrooms across the country, but Rich Rayburn made a poster for his sequel.
It seems only natural that The Goonies would search for the legendary monster Sasquatch. After all, they were living in the Pacific Northwest. File this under sequels that should have happened.
4. Blade Runner 2054 by Cory Schmitz
This is one of the more plausible sequels in the show. There has been talk of a sequel and there are a few follow-up novels. Since Blade Runner, which came out in 1982, was set in 2019, a sequel might need to be set in a slightly more distant future for it to work. That said, 2054 isn’t a major stretch.
5. Bigger Trouble in Little China by Sam Spina
Sam Spina’s take on a fictional sequel to John Carpenter’s cult classic is thematically similar to the original poster art. The color schemes are similar. Both feature pretty busy designs with lots of little details. According to Gibson, there are a lot of “easter eggs” in Bigger Trouble in Little China. See if you can zoom in enough to find them.
6. Pan’s Labyrinth II by Japaneze Baby and Pan’s Labyrinth: Fall of the Underworld by Odessa Sawyer
I never thought of Pan’s Labyrinth as the sort of movie to get a sequel. A few of the artists in this show might disagree, though, as there are two posters based on Guillermo del Toro’s acclaimed film. There are also a few other artists who came close to taking on Pan’s Labyrinth, but ultimately chose something else.
Gibson says that it’s the movie’s aesthetic that appeals to artists. “I think the imagery is so strong and so vivid, it provokes a poster to being made,” he says.
7. King Conan by Mitch Ansara
A Conan sequel featuring the warrior as king isn’t quite fiction. King Conan stories exist and a similarly titled movie, with Arnold Schwarzenegger back in the starring role, appears to be in the works. While it would have been cool to see a King Conan film in the same decade as the first two theatrical releases, it wasn’t in the cards for these adaptations of Robert E. Howard’s pulp classics. Maybe now is the time.
8. The Last Starfighter: Xur’s Revenge by Doaly
I can’t remember the last time I watched The Last Starfighter. It must have been in elementary school. It was probably still the ’80s. This poster, created by Doaly, makes me think less about a possible sequel and more about the original sci-fi tale. I need to watch The Last Starfighter again.
9. My Neighbor Totoro 2 by Drew Wise
It doesn’t matter what this should-be sequel of the Studio Ghibli hit, My Neighbor Totoro is about. All that does matter is that the adorable character designs and beautiful animation remain and the story somehow warms our hearts. Drew Wise captured a lot of the magic of Studio Ghibli designs in this poster. It’s stunning.
10. Mathilda: The Professional by Rich Davies
“I think the most realistic sequel that could happen and should happen is Mathilda: The Professional. ,” says iam8bit’s Gibson. “Natalie Portman is fully grown. It makes sense that she would follow in his footsteps.” This could be a bona fide thing if Besson and Portman were up for it.
11. Monster Squad 2 by Austin James
L.A.-based artist Austin James imagines a summer of 1989 where the kids from Monster Squad return. This time, though, they aren’t fighting the same batch of classic movie monsters. “I ended up going with zombies,” says James. “I thought it was a natural progression. It felt more organic.” And the mix of comedy, horror and zombies would have pre-dated Shaun of the Dead by more than a decade.
12. Willy Wonka & the Great Glass Elevator by Tom Miatke and Willy Wonka & The Great Glass Elevator by Andy Fairhurst
Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator is the sequel to Roald Dahl’s adventure in a chocolate factory that never made it to the big screen. It’s too bad because the book brought me, and probably others, a lot of joy back in elementary school.
Both artists titled their pieces with Willy Wonka instead of Charlie, linking it to the Gene Wilder vehicle. Gibson at iam8bit notes that you kind of need the Wilder version of Wonka. I concur. That’s Wilder’s character, regardless if it was messed with after the fact.
13. They Still Live by Matt Haley
Portland-based artist Matt Haley is a big John Carpenter fan and considers They Live to be one of his favorite movies. “When I thought about a movie that really deserved a sequel, that was the first one that came to mind,” he says.
Haley wanted to keep the imagery similar to the original poster so that it would feel familiar to the viewers. Given the events of They Live, though, it made sense to come up with another cast. He filled in parts with actors who have appeared in other Carpenter films: Kurt Russell, Pam Grier and Tom Atkins. There are some clues to what might transpire in the sequel, but Haley hasn’t gone beyond characters and imagery. He says that people are emailing him ideas of what the story should be.
14. Labyrinth 2: Return of the Goblin King by Ruben Ireland
“When this piece came in, we knew we had a show,” says Gibson. The showstopper for Sequels is a follow-up to Labyrinth conceived by artist Ruben Ireland. In it, Jennifer Connolly’s Sarah is an adult and the Goblin King has returned.
“It doesn’t really tell you much,” says Gibson. Yet it’s gorgeous. And David Bowie is on it and really, isn’t that all we want is a little more Bowie in our lives?
15. Spaceballs III by Nikkolas Smith
Nikkolas Smith is a big Spaceballs fan and a big fan of Drew Struzan, who did some remarkable movie poster art, including some for Star Wars. “I’ve just been imitating his style,” says Smith. What better way to do that than with a sequel for the Star Wars parody Spaceballs?
The poster is based on Rick Moranis’ sadly unrealized vision for Spaceballs III: The Search for Spaceballs II.
Previously by Liz Ohanesian