10 '80s movies that deserve a legacy sequel like "Top Gun: Maverick"
"Top Gun: Maverick" is the highest-grossing film of 2022, so far.
The film brings back Tom Cruise as Maverick from 1986's "Top Gun," and introduces new characters.
Here are 10 other stone-cold '80s classics that need a legacy sequel four decades later.
"The NeverEnding Story" was released in 1984. Thirty-eight years later, we still need an official sequel starring Noah Hathaway.
Sure, there were two sequels to "NeverEnding Story" released in 1990 and 1994, but almost none of the original cast returned for either, and we're still invested in what happens to the mythical land of Fantasia. The film literally ends with the promise of more adventures and wishes of our main character, Bastian (Barret Oliver).
Did Bastian and Atreyu (Hathaway) become friends? What did people in "the real world" think of a giant flying dragon named Falkor?
Since Fantasia's existence is dependent on the imagination of children, a legacy sequel is a perfect opportunity to check in with a grown-up Bastian who thinks his adventures in Fantasia were just a silly dream (think the North Pole in "Polar Express" or adult Peter Pan in "Hook"). It writes itself! Bastian just needs a kid who can help him believe in magic again.
But maybe we can skip the traumatic death of Artax in a swamp, this time.
A "Bull Durham" sequel about Crash and Annie's kid, or Crash becoming a baseball coach, would be appreciated after 34 years.
In addition to being one of the best baseball movies of all time, "Bull Durham" is also a great rom-com and stars two of our most beloved living actors: Kevin Costner and Susan Sarandon. We'd kill to see them reunited on-screen as former minor league catcher Crash Davis and legendary baseball groupie Annie Savoy.
Baseball has changed so much since the '80s — what do they think of America's favorite pastime now? Are they still in touch with Nuke LaLoosh (Tim Robbins)? Are they even still together? Making them a divorced couple could also be a fun touch.
The 1980 musical "Fame" was rebooted in 2009, but only Debbie Allen returned from the original, and she wasn't even playing the same character.
Picture this: The year is 2025 and the High School of Performing Arts of 1980 is celebrating its 45th high school reunion. Who made it to the big time? Is anyone working at the school, like Allen was (as a new character) in the remake? Is HSPA even still open, or has it merged with another,like it did in real life?
Like baseball, New York City has changed a lot since the '80s, as has the entertainment industry. It would be interesting (and meta) to see people like Allen, Irene Cara, Barry Miller, and more to reflect on how times have changed, and to pay respect to members of the cast that are no longer with us.
There have long been rumors that a sequel to the 1988 classic "Beetlejuice" is in the works.
Tim Burton's horror comedy has spawned a successful franchise without a sequel, including an animated TV series and a Broadway musical adaptation.
But still, if we knew that we'd never see Michael Keaton don the pinstripe suit and white face paint again, we would've treasured the first film even more.
Now that Winona Ryder, who played goth teen Lydia Deetz, is having a full-on renaissance, it'd be nice to check in Lydia, her ghostly former roommates Adam (Alec Baldwin) and Barbara (Geena Davis), and, of course, Beetlejuice, who we last saw stuck in the afterlife's waiting room.
"WarGames," released in 1983, is the only '80s high-school movie starring Matthew Broderick we'd like to see brought back.
We've heard about the "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" sequel/spin-off that's seemingly happening, and to that we say: Maybe check out "WarGames" instead.
The film focuses on teenage computer prodigy David Lightman (Broderick), who accidentally hacks into a supercomputer at the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), and accidentally convinces the computer program that the Soviet Union will imminently declare nuclear war.
The dangers of artificial intelligence and the escalating threat of nuclear war have never been more pertinent than they are today. Let's check in on David as an adult. Did he end up working for the government, and did he create something he's now ashamed of, like Stephen Falken (John Wood) in the first film? Let's find out.
A meta sequel to "The Goonies" called "Our Time" might be heading to Disney+, but it's not the Goonies reunion we want.
"The Goonies," released in 1985, set a generation of kids on the path of loving treasure hunting movies. Arguably, we have movies like "National Treasure" and series like "Outer Banks" because of how influential "The Goonies," a movie about a group of friends discovering a treasure map, was.
Goonies never say die, and neither do we in our hopes that Sean Astin, Josh Brolin, Jeff Cohen, Ke Huy Quan, Kerri Green, and Martha Plimpton (maybe not Corey Feldman) will reunite one day to find more buried treasure.
Meanwhile, "Our Time" will be a series on Disney+ about a trio of friends who are determined to film a shot-for-shot remake of "The Goonies" with the help of a new substitute teacher.
News of a reboot or sequel to "The Lost Boys" dropped in 2021, but we're unsure if Jason Patric or Kiefer Sutherland will be there on the Santa Carla boardwalk.
Released in 1987, "The Lost Boys" was directed by the late, great Joel Schumacher and starred Jason Patric and the late Corey Haim as two brothers who move to Santa Clara, California, only to discover that the town is crawling with vampires, most notably David Powers (Sutherland).
The people behind the film were so sure that a sequel was coming that David notably didn't explode or dissolve like other vampires did when they died; everyone wanted Sutherland back for "The Lost Girls," which never happened.
If we dove back into the seedy underbelly of Santa Clara, what would it be like today? Has Patric's character Michael become a skilled vampire hunter? Is he still with Star (Jami Gertz)?
A sequel starring Noah Jupe and Jaeden Martell was reported by The Hollywood Reporter in September 2021, but details are still under wraps.
With the news of "Beverly Hills Cop 4" and "Coming 2 America," 1983's "Trading Places" remains Eddie Murphy's sole iconic '80s film that hasn't gotten any type of sequel.
"Another 48 Hours," three "Beverly Hills Cop" sequels, and "Coming 2 America" all brought back iconic Murphy characters. Why hasn't "Trading Places," which co-starred Dan Aykroyd and Jamie Lee Curtis, received the same treatment?
The film focuses on two laughably evil stockbrokers who decide to ruin Louis Winthorpe's (Aykroyd) life for no reason, other than to see if nature vs. nurture is real. They frame him, take away his job and life, and give it all to hustler Billy Ray Valentine (Murphy).
Again, the themes of Wall Street's casual cruelty and greed are just as relevant in 2022 as they were in 1983. Bring back Billy and Louis! We need them.
With the way John Carpenter's "The Thing" ended in 1982, it might be hard to bring back original characters, but not impossible.
"The Thing" is one of the most influential pieces of horror of the last 50 years. Focusing on a group of scientists and military personnel at a research base in Antarctica, things slowly start to spin out of control when they encounter an alien life form with the ability to silently absorb and imitate any living organism.
Spoilers for a 39-year-old movie, but "The Thing" ends with helicopter pilot MacReady (Kurt Russell) and mechanic Childs (Keith David) slowly freezing to death after blowing up the Thing.
But what if they were rescued before they died? And what if they didn't successfully get rid of the alien? Or, what if the aliens return after 40 years to finish what they started? All questions a sequel could answer.
There was a prequel released in 2011 focusing on the Norwegian research base we see members of in the first scene of "The Thing," so maybe we could bring some of them back, too.
"Flight of the Navigator" is a cult classic from 1986 that could do with a sequel.
"Flight of the Navigator" tends to get complicated, but to boil it down simply: 12-year-old David Freeman (Joey Cramer) goes missing for eight years before he suddenly turns, but still 12 years old. Turns out, he was abducted by aliens and traveled light-years — which is why it was just a few seconds for him, but eight years for everyone else.
When he gets home, he figures out that the aliens he was with, specifically Max (Paul Reubens), downloaded tons of information into his brain, and now Max needs that info to get home.
Could Max and David reunite in the future? The film sees him return to the moment he was abducted, technically erasing everyone's memories of the events of the film. How can David handle that?
In 2021, it was announced that Bryce Dallas Howard will be rebooting the film for Disney with a female-led story. But we'd still like to see a cameo or two, at the very least.
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