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5 great sci-fi movies that deserve a sequel

A city collapses on to itself in Inception.
Warner Bros. Pictures

With their out-of-this-world stories and visuals, science fiction movies continue to be some of the most profitable pictures in the film industry. As a result, studios shovel out sequels to franchises that have captured the most hearts in theaters.

While some sci-fi movies continue to spawn follow-ups with varying success levels, others stand alone despite their popularity with audiences. Since the Hollywood sequel machine isn’t going away any time soon, directors and studio executives should turn their attention to making sequels to these five films.

Edge of Tomorrow (2014)

Tom Cruise in "Edge of Tomorrow."
Warner Bros.

After a race of aliens conquers most of Europe, an officer (Tom Cruise in one of his best action movies) with no experience on the battlefield finds himself caught in a time loop, which he must use to fight and die until he can help defeat Earth’s invaders.

This action-packed spin on Groundhog Day won many fans over with its clever story, engaging performances, and balance of grit and humor — and they have been clamoring for a sequel since its release. Fortunately, there have been talks of a sequel being made in the decade since the movie premiered, with the cast happy to return and a script already developed.

District 9 (2009)

An alien holds up his hands with police aiming their guns at him in "District 9."
TriStar Pictures / Sony Pictures

Just like with Edge of Tomorrow, fans have been dying to see a sequel to this modern classic for many years now. District 9 depicts a world in which aliens have lived on Earth as impoverished, mistreated refugees for decades. The story focuses on a rogue alien family that encounters a human bureaucrat (Sharlto Copley) as they try to escape and return to their native world.

Though controversial for its depiction of Nigerians and its “white savior” narrative, the film still presents a clever and thrilling adventure that touches upon relevant issues of immigration, segregation, and xenophobia. It would be interesting to see how director Neill Blomkamp would continue Wikus’ story and return to this cinematic world in this modern political landscape.

Nope (2022)

An image of Daniel Kaluuya staring at the sky at night from "Nope."
Universal Pictures / Universal Pictures

Nope is one of the most unique sci-fi movies seen in recent years. Writer/director Jordan Peele takes the classic UFO story and integrates elements from classic Westerns and wacky sitcoms to create a thrilling and terrifying spectacle reminiscent of Steven Spielberg’s classic works, all while presenting an adventure all his own.

On Happy Sad Confused, Peele did voice his desire to make a sequel that would feature other versions of the alien that terrorized Haywood Ranch. And since OJ, Em, and Angel survive their battle with the alien Jean Jacket, audiences can see how their lives change after sharing proof of extraterrestrial life.

Ready Player One (2018)

Wade Watts plays with a virtual reality headset in "Ready Player One."
Warner Bros. / Warner Bros.

This virtual reality blockbuster has young Wade Watts (Tye Sheridan) seeking out an Easter egg inside the OASIS in a global contest for fame and fortune straight out of Willy Wonka. The film may be oozing with “member berries,” but Ready Player One is still a dazzling and entertaining journey through the digital world, particularly thanks to director Steven Spielberg’s cinematic touch.

There is already a sequel novel to base a film on, imaginatively titled Ready Player Two, but just like with the first movie, some changes must indeed be made to chisel away at the source material’s more problematic aspects.

Inception (2010)

Bending buildings and the team in "Inception."
Warner Bros. / Warner Bros.

Inception proved to be one of the most thrilling and ambitious sci-fi blockbusters to come out in the 21st century. The premise of secret agents infiltrating people’s dreams made for a stunning and mind-boggling adventure unlike any other.

While the story of Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his team may have been resolved, director Christopher Nolan’s movie set the foundation for a huge world to be expanded upon in a hypothetical sequel. And thanks to its wild concept and philosophical ideas, there are many possibilities for follow-up stories for writers to dream up.

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Anthony Orlando
Anthony Orlando is a writer/director from Oradell, NJ. He spent four years at Lafayette College, graduating CUM LAUDE with a…
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