Movie Sequels: Forrest Gump, Mrs Doubtfire, ET, Gladiator, Ferris BuellerBBC Three/IMDb

Six of Hollywood’s wildest ‘lost’ sequels

Featuring Forrest Gump in the car with OJ Simpson, Russell Crowe's ghost in Gladiator 2, and E.T. battling mutants

Declan Cashin
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They say "you can't get too much of a good thing" - and that's certainly something Hollywood has taken to heart. 

The more successful a movie is, the more the pressure grows to produce a sequel. Some movies naturally lend themselves to the sequel/franchise treatment, others, less so. But that's never stopped producers and studio executives from trying to develop even a half-decent concept for a follow-up to a hit movie.

With that in mind, there exists a whole canon of 'lost' Hollywood sequel treatments and plans. Some never got past the idea phase, whereas others actually got as far as a script being written. One case in point is Forrest Gump, the 1994 feel-good comedy drama directed by Robert Zemeckis and starring Tom Hanks, which was a huge global box office hit and won six Oscars. 

One of those Oscars went to screenwriter Eric Roth, who recently revealed to Yahoo! Entertainment that he penned a potential sequel to the movie which would have taken Forrest's adventures through the late '80s and '90s.

Some of the plot points for that mooted Gump sequel are...interesting, to say the least. They include Forrest's young son being diagnosed with Aids, Forrest dancing with Princess Diana and being caught up in both the OJ Simpson car chase and the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing.

Roth explained he turned in his draft of the script on 10 September 2001. “Tom [Hanks] and I and Bob [Zemeckis] got together on 9/11 to sort of commiserate about how life was in America and how tragic it was. And we looked at each other and said, ‘This movie has no meaning anymore, in that sense,'" Roth said. 

Predictably, movie fans had quite the response to the lost Gump sequel.

The abandoned (for now, but who knows?!) Forrest Gump 2 joins the pantheon of other wild pitches for sequels to cherished movies. Check out these gems.


Ridley Scott's 2000 swords-and-sandals blockbuster Gladiator earned $460m worldwide and won five Oscars, including Best Picture. So there was inevitably going to be pressure to make a follow-up. 

But check out this whopper of an idea. After a couple of abandoned script attempts over the years, star Russell Crowe tasked musician Nick Cave with writing a screenplay. Cave's treatment was set in the afterlife, where Crowe's deceased character Maximus must go on a ghostly quest to be reunited with his wife and child. 

It doesn't end there. Maximus ends up being sent back to the human world where he joins a Christian resistance army to do battle with Lucius, the nephew of the villainous character Commodus, played by Joaquin Phoenix in the original. 

But wait, THERE'S MORE. The script's closing section then sees Maximus "striding into battle through the centuries: in the Crusades, in the World Wars, in Vietnam, and finally in the Pentagon". 

Russell Crowe’s reaction to the script was: “Don’t like it, mate.”

All that being said, Ridley Scott said in November that he was "moving forward" on a different sequel idea, but it would also revolve around the aforementioned Lucius nephew character.

Mrs Doubtfire

The 1993 comedy, starring the late, great Robin Williams, is a beloved modern classic, but the key creative people involved - namely Williams and director Chris Columbus - never found a sequel concept that appealed. Williams once said in an interview there had been three attempts at a script that came to nought.

One of those scripts was reportedly written by Bonnie Hunt (who co-starred with Williams in Jumanji). Details of that script have been hard to find, but one unconfirmed rumour was that the plot would see Mrs Doubtfire moving near her daughter's university in order to keep an eye on her. 

By all accounts, Williams and Columbus had landed on an idea for a sequel that both were happy with. But that tentative plan came to an end with Williams' death in 2014.

In lieu of a sequel, here's a reunion which happened last year between the three actors who played the kids in the movie - Lisa Jakub, Matthew Lawrence and Mara Wilson - and co-star Pierce Brosnan, to mark the movie's 25th anniversary.

E.T: The Extra-Terrestrial  

Hang onto your childhoods. After E.T. became a massive critical and commercial hit upon its release in 1982, thoughts turned to a potential continuation of the story. Director Steven Spielberg and screenwriter Melissa Mathison reportedly knocked out a short treatment for a sequel that never made it any further than that.

ET sceneUniversal/Getty
Henry Thomas and E.T. in Steven Spielberg's sci-fi classic

The sequel, provisionally titled Nocturnal Fears, was to be set a few months after the first movie. It also revolved around a visit from aliens - but instead of cute old E.T., it would see the kids from the first movie contend with an invasion by a horde of carnivorous mutants who had been at war with E.T.'s species. E.T. himself - whose actual name would've apparently been revealed to be 'Zrek' - later makes a cameo to help save the day. Alas, that treatment didn't even make it as far as a screenplay. 

But if you're really gagging for a sequel, actor Henry Thomas - who played Elliott in E.T. - recommends a novel-sequel by William Kotzwinkle, entitled E.T. - The Book Of The Green Planet, about the alien's journey back to his home.

Ferris Bueller's Day Off

John Hughes's 1986 teen comedy continues to be revered more than 30 years after its release, but a sequel never came to pass. 

Not that ideas weren't pitched for a follow-up. In the years following its release, director Hughes kicked around some potential plots, including following Ferris taking another "day off" from college or his first job. These ultimately went nowhere. 

One Ferris fan, a screenwriter named Rick Rapier, wrote a spec script for a sequel set some 20-ish years after the original. In it, Ferris would be a rich and successful motivational speaker who cuts loose on his 40th birthday. 

But if you want some extra Ferris fun, you could check out some pretty out-there fan theories, a very short-lived TV prequel (co-starring a young Jennifer Aniston), tourist tie-ins, and, erm a Super Bowl car advert.

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