Sequels announced for Paddington and Fifty Shades of Grey

Sequels announced for Paddington and Fifty Shades of Grey

We look at some upcoming sequels and ask: really?

In keeping with the entertainment industry's fundamental principle that if it worked once then do it all over again, it's been announced that sequels are in the works for two very different films: Paddington and Fifty Shades of Grey.

According to Variety, Paddington's distributors Canal Plus, emboldened by the first film's success, are in talks with Paddington's veteran producer David Heyman, who – having produced the Harry Potter movies – knows a thing or two about a successful franchise. Meanwhile, in a move that had the internet squeeing with delight before the first film even opened, Fifty Shades of Grey director Sam Taylor-Johnson announced on the US Today show that she's signed up to direct the sequel, Fifty Shades Darker – and if that goes well, we can expect a movie of the third novel (Fifty Shades Freed) shortly afterwards.

Sequels are not always to be welcomed. For every The Godfather Part 2 there are several dozen The Sting IIs, although we shouldn't get too cynical about contrasting the cash-in sequel with the noble original: cash was, after all, Coppola's motive for agreeing to direct The Godfather in the first place. Here are some planned as well as imminent sequels, arranged in a proposed (descending) order of universal desirability.

Yay, There's A Sequel!

Paddington 2 (2017?)
Who wouldn't want more of the lovable illegal immigrant and his fondness for marmalade sandwiches? Of course, the fact that it's made nearly a quarter of a billion dollars worldwide doesn't hurt.

Fifty Shades Darker (2017) (and Fifty Shades Freed)
Advance ticket sales alone have made the first movie the fastest selling R-rated film in history, but when B&Q is reportedly advising its staff to expect sales of cable ties and rope to go through the roof, you know you're dealing with an unstoppable phenomenon.

Magic Mike XXL (July 2015)
Channing Tatum has proven his serious actor skills with Foxcatcher, but this sees him return for a second go as the charismatic stripper, with Elizabeth Banks, Andie MacDowell, Donald Glover and Jada Pinkett Smith joining in the fun.

Guardians of the Galaxy 2 (April 2017)
Marvel's 2014 scrappy superhero comedy made a movie star out of Parks and Recreation's amiable Chris Pratt, proved that Vin Diesel could milk true pathos out of saying the same line over and over again, and (spoiler alert!) notably spared Karen Gillan's blue-skinned, ass-kicking cyborg for the sequel.

Oh, There's A Sequel.

Pitch Perfect 2 (May 2015)
The original was another perfectly competent comedy; the sequel sees Anna Kendrick and Rebel Wilson returning in the lead roles, and retains the very funny Kay Cannon (a key contributor to New Girl and 30 Rock) as writer. It's also the debut of Elizabeth Banks as a feature director, so she may feel like she has something to prove.

Bad Neighbours 2 (May 2016)
The first film was well-enough received, but while it pulled in plenty of cash ($268m) it wasn't exactly an evergreen comedy classic; nevertheless, the original team is getting back together again only this time, it's a sorority house making all the noise. Bad Neighbours 2: Recycled With Girls, then.

What? There's A Sequel?

Ted 2 (July 2015)
Whether or not you're excited by the prospect of the return of Seth MacFarlane's potty-mouthed teddy bear depends on how much time you have for Seth MacFarlane. Liam Neeson is on board, which may sound bizarre unless you consider the comedy chops he displayed on Extras; so is his fellow gravitas-magnet Morgan Freeman. What they're doing on board is another question.

Hot Tub Time Machine 2 (TBA 2015)
The 2010 original is generally accepted as being just slightly better than it ought to have been, and this sequel features Community's superb Gillian Jacobs, but in a worrying move, original leading man John Cusack has been replaced by Adam Scott (Parks and Recreation) as his son, and even Adam Scott might not be able to do anything with that.

Ted 2

  • 3 stars
  • 2015
  • US
  • 1h 56min
  • 15
  • Directed by: Seth MacFarlane
  • Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Seth MacFarlane, Jessica Barth

Though the novelty factor of the original has disappeared, the return of foul-mouthed teddybear Ted (voice of MacFarlane) and his best bro and thunder buddy John (Wahlberg) is a welcome one. This shamelessly puerile comedy begins after our furry friend and his new wife Tami-Lynn (Barth) are denied the chance to adopt a…

Fifty Shades of Grey

  • 3 stars
  • 2015
  • US
  • 2h 5min
  • 18
  • Directed by: Sam Taylor-Johnson
  • Cast: Dakota Johnson, Jamie Dornan, Luke Grimes, Victor Rasuk, Jennifer Ehle
  • UK release: 13 February 2015

Despite its troubling gender politics and distinct lack of plot, the likeable Johnson brings nuance and charm to a paper-thin character; Dornan manages to offer a hint of humanity; and given the many constraints, this sleek, fairly trim and occasionally sensual adaptation is the best imaginable outcome.

Hot Tub Time Machine 2

  • 2 stars
  • 2015
  • US
  • 1h 33min
  • 15
  • Directed by: Steve Pink
  • Written by: Josh Heald
  • Cast: Adam Scott, Angela Kerecz, Clark Duke
  • UK release: 10 April 2015

Lou (Corddry), Nick (Robinson) and Jacob (Duke) use the titular time machine to go to 2025, in an attempt to find out who shot Lou in the groin. John Cusack is sorely missed in this over-complicated sequel, which relies on crass, frat-boy humour and pop culture references for the few cheap laughs it manages to get.

Magic Mike XXL

  • 4 stars
  • 2015
  • US
  • 1h 55min
  • 15
  • Directed by: Greg Jacobs
  • Cast: Channing Tatum, Alex Pettyfer
  • UK release: 3 July 2015

Mike (Tatum) takes a weekend away from his business to join his stripper buddies on a road trip to … a stripping convention. Winning blend of male bonding and female fantasy, with the men much more likable than most all-male comedy ensembles. As sweet and steamy as fresh cherry pie.

Pitch Perfect 2

  • 2 stars
  • 2015
  • US
  • 1h 54min
  • 12A
  • Directed by: Elizabeth Banks
  • Cast: Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, Brittany Snow, Hailee Steinfeld, Skylar Astin, Ben Platt, Adam DeVine, Katey Sagal, Anna Camp, Alexis Knapp, Hana Mae Lee, Ester Dean, Chrissie Fit, Kelley Jakle, Shelley Regner, John Michael Higgins, Elizabeth Banks
  • UK release: 15 May 2015

After a catastrophic wardrobe malfunction at the White House, the Barden Bellas attempt to get their groove back in a Eurovision-like song contest. Despite highlights such as Lee's brilliantly weird performance as Lilly, the knowing charm of the original is diluted and Wilson's schtick, in particular, is starting to grate.

Fifty Shades Darker

  • 2 stars
  • 2017
  • US
  • 1h 58min
  • 18
  • Directed by: Sam Taylor-Johnson
  • Cast: Dakota Johnson, Jamie Dornan
  • UK release: 10 February 2017

No surprises here: Anastasia (Johnson) gets sweet-talked back into the red room by Christian (Dornan). Foley seems to be under orders to skip the actual sex, as the real money shots are of Christian’s wardrobe. Johnson manages to be likeable and human, but otherwise it’s high on production values and short on story.

Paddington 2

  • 5 stars
  • 2017
  • UK / France
  • 1h 43min
  • PG
  • Directed by: Paul King
  • Cast: Ben Whishaw, Hugh Grant, Brendan Gleeson, Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins, Julie Walters, Jim Broadbent, Peter Capaldi, Madeleine Harris, Samuel Joslin, Imelda Staunton
  • UK release: 10 November 2017

Paddington (Whishaw) falls foul of a dastardly scheme to steal the key to a hidden fortune. The sequel to the wildly successful first film is implausibly even better, with spiffing action pieces, seemingly throwaway gags paying rich dividends later, and splendid performances from all, with Grant brilliant as the has-been…