Sometimes, comedy movies deserve trilogies too.
For fans, few things are as frustrating as an incomplete movie trilogy. Whether it’s Star Wars, The Lord of the Rings, or Back to the Future, there’s something special about a three-movie story. So when two films key up a concluding chapter, it’s always a disappointment when it doesn’t come together. Take Guillermo del Toro’s Hellboy movies, for instance.
Comedy movies might not be as closely tied to the trilogy format as other genres. The upcoming Bill & Ted Face the Music and Ghostbusters: Afterlife will each serve as third chapters in their respective stories. But Hollywood has given us plenty of other two-movie comedy series that never got that chance. Here are some of the most egregious examples.
‘Gremlins 2: The New Batch’
When Gremlins was a smash hit in 1984, a sequel seemed inevitable. After all, the monster movie premise of the first film was easy enough to replicate for a sequel. This time around, the titular critters run amok in a New York City office building rather than a small town. But more comedy than horror, Gremlins 2: The New Batch almost plays like a parody of the first one
Alas, Gizmo, Zach Galligan, and Phoebe Cates have not returned for a third movie since then. Yet, hope is on the horizon. A third entry — which could be a sequel or reboot, perhaps even both — remains in development. So Gremlins fans at least have the possibility of Gremlins 3. If it does happen, here’s hoping it sticks to the practical effects of the first two films.
‘Wayne’s World 2’
Very few movies spun off from Saturday Night Live connect with audiences, let alone spark a sequel. In fact, only The Blues Brothers and Wayne’s World were successful enough to warrant a second film. And in the case of the latter, there’s certainly more story to tell. Much like Bill and Ted, Wayne (Mike Myers) and Garth (Dana Carvey) still have a lot of growing up to do.
Bringing back Myers and Carvey decades after they last played these roles on screen might seem far-fetched. But if Keanu Reeves can set aside his John Wick swagger to step into that time-hopping phone booth one last time, anything is possible. Besides, with years of chatter about Austin Powers 4, maybe Myers could shock the world with Wayne’s World 3 instead.
‘Father of the Bride Part II’
Most remakes of classic movies don’t become hits. But 1991’s Father of the Bride — starring Steve Martin, Diane Keaton, and Martin Short — became a runaway smash. Likewise, its sequel has become beloved by fans. Its basic premise comes directly from 1951’s Father’s Little Dividend. But Father of the Bride Part II ups the ante with a mother-daughter double pregnancy.
In recent years, rumors have circulated about the potential for a Father of the Bride Part III. As recently as 2018, original star Kimberly Williams-Paisely expressed her interest in returning for another sequel, according to Entertainment Tonight. But there’s no indication the project is even in active development at this point.
Of all the movies on our list, this is the one that looks like it’s most likely to happen. Despite lots of roadblocks on the way, Clerks III is once again in development. Writer-director Kevin Smith first burst onto the scene with the original 1994 classic about Dante (Brian O’Halloran) and Randal (Jeff Anderson), two twentysomethings working at a convenience store.
Then, 12 years later, Smith checked in with Dante and Randal. That movie saw the two men take significant steps toward adulthood. But by the sounds of it, Clerks III could test them like never before. Inspired by his own medical crisis, Smith completely rewrote the story to focus on the aftermath of Randal’s own heart attack. Stay tuned as Clerks III nears production.
’22 Jump Street’
Remember how we said remakes of classic movies rarely work? Double that for movies based on TV shows. Throughout cinema history, only a handful have become smash hits. Against all odds, 21 Jump Street is certainly among them. The movie comedically riffs on the show, as Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill play police officers who go undercover as high school students.
The movie works by being completely self-aware. And two years later, 22 Jump Street leaned into this more heavily, with equally hilarious results. In fact, 22 Jump Street goes so hard into mocking sequels that its end credits sequence exhausts just about all ideas for a third installment. Nevertheless, some fans still want in, whether or not it involves the Men in Black series.