Men In Black 3 is finally hitting cinemas this weekend - a full ten years 10 years after MIB 2 entertained the masses. Fans of the shadowy government agents may have had to display an extraordinary level of patience to get their next fix, but a decade is barely an interval compared to these massively delayed follow-ups…
The longest-delayed sequel… ever
The Wizard of Oz and Oz: The Great and Powerful
73 years, 195 days
When Sam Raimi’s prequel to the 1939 fantastical classic is released on March 8, 2013, there will have been a stunning 73 and a half-year gap between the two films’ release dates - that's some serious whiling away the hours, conferrin' with the flowers! Consider the fact that the unofficial 1985 sequel, Return To Oz, took 45 years and 300 days to wind its way to the big screen and this saga starts to make the notoriously laborious output of Terrence Malick look positively prolific.
The longest-delayed sequel… animation
Bambi and Bambi II
63 years, 178 days
Causing sleepless nights for countless children since 1942, Walt Disney’s story about the most hard-done-by fawn in cinema history (absent father, mother killed by hunters, stupid name etc) wasn’t followed up until 63 years later. The 2006 ‘midquel’ tells how Bambi is offloaded onto a talking owl by his dad after his mum is shot and then left to fend for himself in a forest filled with hunters, vicious dogs and hormonal does - some deers just can’t catch a break.
The longest-delayed sequel… with a returning cast member
This Night I’ll Possess Your Corpse and Embodiment Of Evil
41 years, 148 days
You may not have heard of Coffin Joe, but there are plenty of fans out there who have. The Brazilian horror series started in 1963 with At Midnight I'll Take Your Soul. The 1967 follow-up, This Night I’ll Possesss Your Corpse, continued the not-so-jolly tale of the top hat-wearing killer (played by José Mojica Marins) and his disfigured servant Bruno attempting to find the ‘perfect’ woman to continue his twisted lineage – imagine speed dating but with more implements of torture and you’ll get an idea of his ‘wooing’ technique. The story picks up over 40 years later with Marins reprising his iconic role at the anti-ladies man in Embodiment Of Evil.
The longest-delayed sequel… with the same cast and director
Scenes From A Marriage and Saraband
30 years, 234 days
In 1973, Ingmar Bergman’s intimate portrayal of the slow and inevitable separation of a young Swedish couple was allegedly attributed with causing a huge spike in Scandinavian divorce rates. Whether that was down to the heartbreaking depiction of two people falling out of love or simply due to the 281-minute run time, we may never know. But what we do know is that Bergman was so caught up in the story of Johan and Marianne that he returned to continue their story more than three decades later in Saraband, with original stars Liv Ullmann and Erland Josephson back in the starring roles. It proved to be a wise move for all concerned with critics hailing it a masterpiece.
The longest-delayed sequel… with the longest-delayed Oscar recognition
The Hustler and The Color Of Money
25 years, 22 days
Good things, they say, come to those who wait. If that’s the case, then Paul Newman’s extraordinary patience was amply rewarded when he returned to the role of ‘Fast Eddie’ Felson after a gap of 25 years. He was originally nominated for an Oscar for The Hustler in 1961 only to lose out to Maximilian Schell, but then he got a second crack at raising the golden baldie in 1986 with Martin Scorsese’s long-delayed sequel, The Color Of Money. This time, recognition was forthcoming with Newman winning out over the likes of Harrison Ford and Jack Nicholson for his performance as an older and slightly wiser Felson.
The most belated sequel… they really shouldn’t have bothered with
Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade and Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull
18 years, 364 days
Not to sound bitter or anything, but 19 years is a long time to wait only to have your childhood memories crushed. Between The Last Crusade’s 1989 release and Crystal Skull’s 2008 unleashing, numerous script rewrites, production halts and casting snafus caused delay upon delay before the eventual damb squib hit cinemas. From nuking a fridge to swinging with monkeys to psychic alien noggins, there’s nothing that wasn’t a crushing disappointment about this movie. See also, the 16-year gap between Return Of The Jedi and The Phantom Menace, the latter of which proved to be a horrible fubar from which Star Wars fans would never truly recover.
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