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Hollywood Sequels

Hollywood Sequels — Films including ”Terminator,” ”American Pie,” and ”Jurassic Park” are slated to have second (or third) parts

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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:

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.”

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.

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.