When a film is extraordinary, it is hard to make a sequel that can match it. A lot of pressure can be put on the film makers when making a sequel. Last week I decided to watch "Finding Dory," wondering how it would match its predecessor. My suspicion told me that I would enjoy the first film more and I was right. This isn’t to say "Finding Dory" was a bad movie; it’s great. I still felt that "Finding Dory" served as a good companion to its predecessor despite its lesser emotional content. Watching the film also got me to think how risky sequels can be.
"It's always an enormous pressure when you do a sequel. The demands are so high and it's expensive." –Jan de Bont, Cinematographer
If a sequel is made simply so that there should be another sequel even if there isn’t enough potential story, then it shouldn’t be a sequel. If a sequel is made so that more money can be garnered than it shouldn’t be made into a sequel.
“At Pixar, we do sequels only when we come up with a great idea, and we always strive to be different than the original.” –John Lasseter, Creative Officer at Pixar
I don’t remember who said this but I remember hearing a quote that said: ‘The best movies have no sequels’. I can understand this. There are plenty of examples of incredible films that are great without the help of a sequel such as "Pulp Fiction", "No Country for Old Men" and "Jaws". However I also feel that there are instances in which a sequel does have the potential of being better than its predecessor. Take "The Dark Knight" for example. One of the reasons why I feel that this movie made such an incredible sequel was because the filmmakers didn’t rely so much on the first by making references to it and slowing down the plot. It was its own movie and it raised the bar.
"A sequel is such a daunting thing, because you don't want to lose the magic and the charm of the first one." –Sandra Bullock, Actress
I wouldn’t usually mention video games in my articles (unfortunately) however, one good example of a game that feel much like a film that would seem to be very difficult to make a sequel for would be The Last of Us. It’s an incredible, emotion-driven experience with a cinematic story and its character arcs, which can be difficult to continue in film sequels, seem to reach a climax at the end. If a sequel where to be made of this video game I feel that it would be more effective to make a story revolving around a new set of characters.
"We all know the dangers of sequels. Lightning doesn't strike twice in the same place too often, and I think you've got to move beyond it, go the extra mile and have the courage not to just repeat the first one." –Colin Firth, Actor
Sequels can be a joy to have in a films canon; however it is not always the right choice. With the case of Finding Dory, I feel as if Pixar created a sequel that, although didn’t feel as good as the original for me, was still great. Film sequels can be tricky and in many cases may not be as good as the original. However, if there is a strong enough story to be told, sequels do have the potential to be good and perhaps, although I feel as if it is a rarity, better.