It’s such a simple formula. Make a hit movie, toss together a lucrative sequel, then ruthlessly milk the franchise until part 7 goes directly to Telemundo. But for every clunker like ”Leprechaun in the Hood,” countless other franchises remain woefully untapped. In recent weeks, Hollywood has been making plans for high-profile sequels — some we’re dying to see, and some make us sad to be a part of the human race. Here, an update on a half-dozen part 2’s (and 3’s and 4’s) in the works.
TERMINATOR, PART 3
Arnold Schwarzenegger announced on June 21 that he’ll once again play the monosyllabic time-traveling cyborg, adding that his ”big wish” is to have ”T2” director/ cowriter James Cameron back. Good luck. Cameron’s production company tells EW he will not return, preferring to develop a sequel to another Schwarzenegger vehicle, ”True Lies.” (A Cameron replacement for ”T3” hasn’t been named.) The new ”Terminator” — which reportedly documents the wars between the humans and the droids — is slated for a 2002 release, says C-2 Pictures, which owns the rights.
Prognosis With Arnold’s shrinking box office muscle (see ”End of Days”) and Cameron’s absence, filmgoers might just say, ”Hasta la vista, baby.”
INDIANA JONES, PART 4
Throw them the script and they’ll throw you the sequel. Since 1989’s ”Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade,” Harrison Ford, producer George Lucas, and director Steven Spielberg have all expressed a desire to do a fourth Indy — but screenplay attempts have been lackluster. Apparently, things are looking up: The Indy team recently approached ”Sixth Sense” writer/ director M. Night Shyamalan and various unnamed scribes to tap out part 4. ”As soon as a script gets done, they’ll do it,” confirms Ford’s manager. ”That could be 2002.” Spielberg spokesman Marvin Levy calls that optimistic. ”Steven’s got ‘AI,’ George [has] ‘Star Wars.’ Do the math. We could be lookin’ at 2007, but your guess is as good as mine.”
Prognosis If Ford isn’t in a wheelchair by the time they get to this, we’ll be first in line.
JURASSIC PARK, PART 3
Seeing as 1997’s ”Lost World” stampeded box office records (U.S. total: $229 million), it doesn’t take an evolved brain to know this one was inevitable. ”Jurassic Park III” begins shooting later this month or early next in California and Hawaii, with a release target of July 2001. Sam Neill just agreed to reprise his intrepid paleontologist role, and, according to a source close to the film, Laura Dern is in talks to make a cameo. Steven Spielberg, however, is pulling back: He’ll most likely executive produce, with Joe Johnston (”Jumanji”) replacing him as director. And the plot? A source tells EW a group of unlucky folks will somehow be marooned back on Jurassic Park island and forced to fight their way out. Special-effects wizard Stan Winston is currently cooking up a top secret new dino-star, possibly an underwater monster.
Prognosis Pretty much a sure thing. The strong performance of ”Dinosaur ”proves dinomania hasn’t gone the way of, well, you know.
BASIC INSTINCT, PART 2
Sharon Stone — who’s insisted she would never repeat her 1992 role as panties-free Catherine Tramell — announced on June 22 that she’s grabbing the ice pick again. Why? Producer C-2 shelled out roughly 15 million reasons. The thriller will be shot this year with an eye toward a late 2001 or early 2002 release. ”This wasn’t ‘Gee, let’s do a sequel,”’ says Chris McGurk, vice chair/ COO of domestic distributor MGM. ”We’ve got a great script, Sharon Stone, and a good financial deal.” But don’t expect other members of the original to return: Michael Douglas and director Paul Verhoeven (”Hollow Man”) have passed. And don’t get your hopes up for another naughty flash: Stone has said she regrets the first one.
Prognosis Stone’s had icy box office lately (see ”Gloria,” ”Simpatico”), but this one could have legs.
AMERICAN PIE, PART 2
Another helping of last summer’s surprise comedy hit is in the works for 2001, with the randy troupe in Michigan on summer break from college (not, despite rumors, in Europe). ”Pie”’s original screenwriter Adam Herz is, as he puts it, ”back in the bakery,” after a first script from another writer was scrapped. As for the cast, at least one member doesn’t seem overly enthusiastic: ”I always thought they should leave the first one as it is,” Seann William Scott (”Road Trip”) told EW recently. (His agent says the actor’s waiting to see the script before he decides.) But onanism poster boy Jason Biggs will likely take part: ”It might be fun to make it with a lemon meringue.”
Prognosis It’d better be soon — teen box office is getting stale.
CROCODILE DUNDEE, PART 3
Watch out, Russell Crowe! Fellow Down Under action star Paul Hogan is returning as knife-wielding outback renegade Mick. Shooting on ”Crocodile Dundee in L.A.” is scheduled to begin Aug. 7 in Australia and Los Angeles, with the release in spring 2001 — 13 years after ”Croc II.” Simon Wincer (”Free Willy”) will direct, and Hogan’s wife, Linda Kozlowski, will also reappear. As for the plot, EW has learned that Mick — who’s now a dad! — comes to Hollywood and gets entangled in a murder mystery.
Prognosis What’s Australian for beating a dead horse?
Additional reporting by William Keck