5 Worst Ways Sequels Write Off Characters

Kenny D July 24, 2012 8
5 Worst Ways Sequels Write Off Characters

 I don’t know if you people have heard, but a movie called The Dark Knight Rises came out last week. I have talked to a few people who were upset that there was no mention made about the Joker’s character at all. It’s true. Christopher Nolan intentionally left out any mention of the Clown Prince of Crime. I am very happy that they didn’t even acknowledge the character. It would have been a dishonor to Heath Ledger’s memory to throw in an offshoot statement. For example:

John Blake: “The streets of Gotham are flooded with thugs….”
Commissioner Gordon: “Well at least the Joker is not on the loose, he is one crazy mother f…..”
John Blake: “Yeah, I heard he was abducted by aliens or something….”
Commissioner Gordon: “…Something like that…Anyways, isn’t Bane pretty scary?”

And in case you’re wondering, the Megan Fox picture is just to sell out with hot Megan Fox pics, it makes sense in context. She was written out of Transformers 3, and well, it’s Megan Fox.

5 – She’s in the morgue….errr, I mean WORKING in the morgue.
Laurel in MIB

I wish I had the neurolyzer after seeing MIB II

We all enjoyed the first Men in Black movie, well, the first time we saw it. The end of the movie shows Tommy Lee Jones retiring from the MIB and having Will Smith’s J replace him. But now J has a new partner, Laurel, played by Linda Fiorentino. You may remember her from the entire first movie. We all know that MIB II was a cinematic catastrophe that should never been made. But its first mistake was early in the movie as J quickly brushes off her absence, saying that she loved the morgue too much and went back to being a deputy medical examiner. Yes, I’m sure that after seeing the wonders of the universe and being an agent in the most secretive agency ever, that she’d just choose to “go back to her job at the morgue.” I wish Will Smith’s character could have been more honest by saying “I killed agent L because she was difficult to work with.” He was being half-honest by saying that she went to the “morgue” after all.

4 – Jumping the shark
     Martin Brody from Jaws

Either Martin Brody or Ted Nugent

Martin Brody is the man. Few people could take down a megaton great white with a rifle while on a sinking ship. That event alone could make him one of the greatest cinematic heroes. Sure, he was doing it to save himself but he took down a giant man-eater. Little did he know, his deathblow would be the first to start a blood rivalry between the Jaws family and the Brody’s. Their war even went as far as Sea World and Jamaica. He saved the day again in Jaws 2. Jaws 3 followed the feud as Jaws stalks the Brody sons and it makes sense for the Roy Scheider to not be there. Jaws The Revenge is where it gets a little dicey. The oldest surviving son takes his mom to Jamaica to hook it up with Michael Caine. But where is Martin Brody? Surely, Scheider was still alive at the time of filming. Well apparently, he said that “not even Mephistopheles could talk him into doing another sequel.” So his beloved screen wife said that he passed away because of a heart attack. He apparently suffered this because of his terrible memories of the shark. You win this time Jaws!

3 – Can’t drive 55
      Jack Traven from Speed

I said there is no spoon!

Remember Keanu Reeves’ band “Dogstar?” What a terrible career move that seemed to be, right? Turns out that was the best possible thing Keanu could have been doing. The alternative was to come back for Speed 2: Cruise Control. Keanu turned down his role of “Jack Traven” even when he was offered boatloads of cash. (see what I did there?) Fox was not happy, but still thought that Speed needed a sequel even without its main star, so they let Sandra Bullock handpick the new lead. She picked Jason Patric and the rest is bad pop culture history. The first scene of the movie has Bullock explaining, “Relationships based on extreme circumstances never work out.” Nice save Sandra.

2 – Oh yeah, it was cancer
      Sarah Connor from Terminator 1 & 2

Cigarettes, Guns, and Aviators. True Bad@$$

One of the best feminine heroes in cinema is the Sarah Connor. Her transformation from weak victim in the first Terminator to bona-fide badass in T2: Judgment Day is iconic. Forget John Connor, I believe she could easily be the leader of the underground human resistance. When the third movie, Rise of the Machines, a Terminatrix (yes, it’s that ridiculous) comes back to wipe out an older John Connor and other generals when they were younger. Linda Hamilton must have read the script because she turned down the role that made her a star. So “they” wrote her out and had John say that she died of Leukemia in 1997 and thankfully she never had to see Judgment Day actually take place. It’s not the worst way to write someone out, but it’s a cop out because the series still needed her. Then when they go to visit her casket, it is loaded with all sorts of guns and explosive devices?! Huh? I’m not claiming Sarah Connor was reincarnated as a rocket launcher, but if anyone were going to be, wouldn’t it be her?

1 – They got killed on your way here
      Newt & Hicks from Aliens

Don’t worry about me Ripley, I won’t make it to the next movie.

Aliens is one of the great 80’s action flicks. You just can’t go wrong with Sigourney Weaver’s role as the heroic Ripley. She takes down the alien queen with style and ends up saving the adorable survivor Newt but also the wounded soldier Hicks and the android Bishop. The movie ends with the survivors finally breathing a sigh of relief as they fly off into the outer reaches of space. And then Alien 3 happened. Most people think of this movie and realize “this is when it gets bad.” Literally, in the opening credits we see Ripley’s ship and everyone sleeping peacefully in their cryo-chambers. Peacefully until some face-huggers (not as cuddly as you’d think) break into Hicks and Newt’s chambers and impregnate them. What a rip-off! After hoping for the best for Hicks and Ripley, the hope was that they’d have their own nuclear family with Newt. The official Alien3 cause of their deaths is that they died when the ship crashed onto the planet. The girl who played Newt was written out because the sequel was shot 6 years after Aliens and she was far too old. Michael Biehn, on the other hand, was written out because James Cameron was no longer on the project, and the new writers wanted to take everything in a new/crappy direction. I wonder how the series would have been different had the writers decided not to cinematically knock the wind out of the viewers by killing off characters off screen. Shame.

A big thank you for the list inspiration goes to Emily. Go check out her fantastic movie site at Movies & Mayhem. Good reading, even if she hates Batman.


  1. Andy W. July 24, 2012 at 6:52 am -

    This is your best list ever.

  2. Emily July 24, 2012 at 3:28 pm -

    Haha great list!! And I don’t haaaaate batman. But I am writing a battle of the trilogies blog today in which he is gonna have stiff competition against the likes of frodo, Luke and Indiana

  3. Emily July 24, 2012 at 3:31 pm -

    Oh and thanks for the shout out! 🙂

  4. Sarah July 24, 2012 at 6:11 pm -

    I’m seeing a trend here. Often (though not all the time), when an actor doesn’t come back for a sequel, either the script/movie were bad to begin with, or the movie was bad because the actor didn’t appear in the film again.

    But what’s even worse than a throwaway line to explain the absence of a character is when the actor can’t or won’t play the role again and they find someone else to fill their shoes. That hardly ever works out!

    Two examples that come to mind are Maria Bello filling in for Rachel Weisz in the Mummy 3 and Elizabeth Shue filling in for Claudia Wilson in Back to the Future 2 and 3.

    As for Maria Bello, she didn’t have the same great chemistry with Brendan Fraser that Rachel Weisz did. In addition to that (or maybe as a result of it), the chemistry of the entire cast suffered. The comradery just wasn’t the same.

    As for Claudia Wilson, I read somewhere that her mother was dying of cancer at the time and she chose not to take the roles because she wanted to spend more time with her before she passed on. So, that’s a very good reason. But why did they choose Elizabeth Shue to fill her role? They look nothing like each other and Elizabeth Shue just doesn’t fit. Again, no chemistry with Michael J. Fox. Besides that, her hair is all wrong! It looks like a wig. What is with the color and hairdo? Was it really that hard to find another cute brunette with normal, curly 80’s hair to fill Claudia Wilson’s place?

    Oh, and as for poor Emily, she has gotten way too much crap about Batman! She LOVED it! She just didn’t love it as much as the second movie. No crime there! 🙂

    I would love to hear YOUR list for the worst replacement actors too.

    Great post. Spot on and very entertaining as always!

  5. Andy W. July 24, 2012 at 7:37 pm -

    Sarah, I’m surprised you mentioned actors replacing other actors and Batman in the same post without mentioning Rachel Dawes! Katie Holmes couldn’t do it because she was making Mad Money?? Smart move.

    But, while I agree 100% about Maria Bello, I don’t think the role of Jennifer in the first Back to the Future was given enough screen time, and wasn’t vital to the plot, for the producers to worry about recasting her. It’s not seamless, but when I was a kid, I didn’t even notice. Shue is a lot warmer of an actress than Claudia Wilson, and still maintains the girl next door quality that makes her a believable love interest of Michael J. Fox.

  6. Sarah July 24, 2012 at 8:42 pm -

    Ha ha! Good call about Rachel Dawes’ character.

    I fully believe that Tom Cruise had some influence in Katie Holmes not having been in the second movie. D’oh!

    But I guess since no one really loved Rachel Dawes’ character…and she wasn’t the one that Batman was really going to end up with, it didn’t matter as much that they changed actresses.

    I’m going to stick to my guns about Back to the Future though. The sequels aren’t as strong as the original movie (though they’re still awesome). And while there are many reasons for this, I think one of the reasons is the switched out girlfriend for Marty McFly. I LOVE Elizabeth Shue in pretty much everything else. She just didn’t fit for me as Jennifer.

    But the funny thing is that there are times when switching out the actors actually works…because it is meant as a joke. Like in the National Lampoon’s Vacation movies. I love each set of siblings.

  7. Andy W. July 24, 2012 at 10:29 pm -

    I like almost all of the National Lampoon kids, but not Euro Audrey!

  8. Andy W. July 24, 2012 at 10:32 pm -

    Oh, and definitely not Ed Helms as Rusty in the potential reboot. Please don’t let it happen movie gods!

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