Many actors feel drawn to sequels of films that they enjoyed themselves or were successful the first time around. Sometimes, they’re even draw to certain characters that they feel a connection to. It’s not just struggling or low-level actors that want a piece of the pie, because even top-paid actors get giddy at the idea of being a part of a franchise that they love.
Recently Al Pacino has been very vocal about wanting to be involved in a Marvel movie. Screen Rant reported that after gushing about his love for Guardians of the Galaxy â€“ he went so far as putting it on the level of Shakespeare â€“ the veteran actor said that if given the opportunity to be in a Marvel film, “I would do anything that I could understand in terms of how I fit in it.”
Usually, this a situation that’s beneficial to everyone involved. The actors win because they get to be involved in something they’re excited about, and the studio wins by obtaining high-profile actors that help fill seats. As Picturebox Films wrote in their take on his film Two For the Money, “Anything that has Al Pacino in it has got to be worth a punt, right?” Absolutely.
Pacino is just one of just many actors who has wanted to get in on the action of their favourite movie franchises and appear in what they hope will be another successful installment.
It’s that mentality that frequently leads to sequels having bigger names than the first. For example, although the reviews for 2010’s The Expendables were fairly mixed, receiving a meager 41% “rotten” rating by critics on Rotten Tomatoes, audiences seemed to enjoy the film, giving it a 64% “fresh” rating. Of course, the sentiment is shared by those within the acting community. The success among viewers inspired the sequel. And although the first film was already filled with A-listers like Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Mickey Rourke, Bruce Willis, and Arnold Schwarzenegger, the second included other stars looking to add their names to the franchise. The Expendables 2 ended up being rated higher than the first, and it features the likes of Liam Hemsworth alongside action legends Chuck Norris and Jean-Claude Van Damme.
Some of the films don’t even have to be huge blockbusters. The sensationalism around SyFi’s TV movie Sharknado in 2013 made for an impressive cast and cameos list on IMDb in this year’s sequel, Sharknado 2: The Second One. Just as popular and ridiculous as the first film, Sharknado 2 featured household names who would have probably never opted to star in the first unless they were desperate for work. In addition to the first film’s Ian Ziering and Tara Reid, Sharknado boasted newcomers Vivica A. Fox, Mark McGrath, and Judd Hirsch. And then there were the cameos â€“ Kelly Osbourne, Wil Wheaton, Robert Hays, Andy Dick, Biz Markie, Perez Hilton, Billy Ray Cyrus, Judah Friedlander, Richard Kind and Robert Klein.
However, starring in a sequel isn’t something that comes without risk. While 1980’s The Blues Brothers was an unarguable classic, Blues Brothers 2000 was considered one of the worst movie sequels ever created by Screen Picks. Big names like John Goodman, Darrell Hammond, and Isaac Hayes wanted to make their mark on the beloved story of the musical brothers, as did legendary musicians Paul Shaffer, B.B. King and Eric Clapton. Unfortunately, the film was nothing more than a black mark on their filmographies, as it was a beyond-lackluster sequel.
The same happened to Shia LaBeouf in 2008. To be fair, who wouldn’t be excited to work with one of the most loved characters of all time? When LaBeouf found out he got the role in Indian Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, it’s safe to say he was overwhelmingly happy. That all changed, however, when the film premiered. Hardcore fans of the franchise despised the sequel, and they weren’t shy about it. Total Film said that during the 2010 Cannes Film Festival, LaBeouf told the LA Times, “I feel like I dropped the ball on the legacy that people loved and cherished … We [Harrison Ford and LaBeouf] had major discussions. He wasn’t happy with it either.”
Every actor has to weigh the consequences and risks of being in any film, but there can be much more on the line when it comes to a sequel, especially if it’s to a film that they love. Some can be memorialized as being a part of something that had a positive effect on the franchise, while others will do anything they can to take the role back. It’s different for every actor, but if someone gave me the opportunity to work alongside one of my favorite characters, it would be pretty hard to turn it down.