One of the most controversial movie moments in 2022 involved the ending of the “Black Adam” movie where Black Adam is confronted by the government official Amanda Waller. She vows to stop him, and Black Adam challenges her prompting Superman to arrive and confront him face to face. This set off announcements of a potential Superman vs. Black Adam movie. However, excited fans were saddened (understatement of the century) when director James Gunn announced that not only wouldn’t that be happening, but that Henry Cavill who played Superman had been released from his role.
Of course, this isn’t the first time a sequel had been promised during a movie’s end credits. Cinema is filled with promises of sequels and big follow ups. Some films have gambled on their potential with fans, announcing sequels (“Buckaroo Banzai,” anyone?) and potential follow ups (Still crossing my fingers for “Kill Bill Vol. 3”) only for nothing to happen.
Here are five of the most infamous.
Night of the Creeps (1986)
In the alternate climax of Fred Dekker’s zombie film, the heroes watch as the sorority house goes up in flames eviscerating a hive of brain eating leeches. We then cut to Detective Cameron’s charred corpse walking down the street, powered by the brain leeches, unseen by anyone. He shambles now zombified, crashes to the floor, and the leeches spread in to the suburbs once again. Except… they don’t go in to the bushes, they spread in to a massive cemetery, burrowing in to various graves. They’re then followed up by an alien ship scouring the area for them. The implications behind this finale is immense, and the final scene is haunting in that we’re never told whether they can re-animate the dead or not, so who knows what could have emerged in a sequel? The alternate ending has become more widely accepted as the true finale of the film.
Masters of the Universe (1987)
In the end of “Masters of the Universe,” He-Man and Skeletor have a fateful last match which prompts He-Man to knock Skeletor in to a deep pit Emperor Palpatine style. With the Masters of the Universe victorious, He-Man returns home with his allies. During the end of the closing credits though, Skeletor’s face pops up from the water of the deep pit and promises viewers that he’ll be back. Sadly, there was no sequel for “Masters of the Universe” it remains one of the all time notable unresolved book ends for a genre flick. This scene freaked me out but excited me as a child, as I was certain there was a sequel that I simply had yet to see. The reboot is still pending.
After the arena in Madison Square Garden gets bombed, (sigh) mother Godzilla makes a surprise return, furious about the death of her offspring. After the U.S. Military finally succeeds in taking down the legendary the gargantuan lizard, all seems to have ended for the massive mutation. However, as the movie draws to a close, the camera cuts back to Madison Square Garden, where a single surviving egg hatches and a baby Godzilla is unleashed on to the world. Of course we never saw a “Godzilla” sequel (I don’t think audiences were anxious for more, anyway), but we did get the animated series which acted as an unofficial follow up. The reboot followed years later with much fanfare.
Green Lantern (2011)
Following closely to the comic book origin story, Green Lantern and original mentor to hero Hal Jordan, Thaal Sinestro (Mark Strong), from the Green Lantern Corps works with Hal to help fight the evil Parallax, a yellow element of fear. In a mid-credits scene, Sinestro is seen rising from rubble, stealing the yellow ring. As Hal warns earlier in the movie, he instantly becomes corrupted by its power, turning into a supervillain himself. In the comic books Sinestro is one of Green Lantern’s biggest villains, a traitor to the Green Lantern Corps who battles them time and time again. The sequel would have obviously pit the Green Lantern and the Corps against Sinestro, but after poor reception and box office, the sequel was never made. A reboot is in the works.
Dracula Untold (2014)
Intended to be the beginning of the Universal extended cinematic universe (after the original start “The Wolfman” failed), “Dracula Untold” was the—um—untold story of the titular Dracula. Here he is depicted as something of an anti-hero and budding superhero with his own range of superpowers and whatnot. The saga of this Dracula ends with him in modern times meeting a modern incarnation of Mina. As he walks off with her, the saga’s villain is propped up when we see the master vampire in the flesh following them. With the declaration “Let the Games Begin” there is the promise of a sequel or sequels that never actually arrived. After poor reception Universal opted not to continue the plans of a follow up and the storyline was left wide open. Yet another reboot has been promised.
The Mummy (2017)
After many, many false starts, “The Mummy” was supposed to be the beginning of the ill fated Dark Universe, a massive sprawling universe involving reboots of Universal monsters. The ending to the dreaded “The Mummy” finds Tom Cruise’s character resurrected as the new mummy, and venturing in to the desert with his zombie sidekick. He sets out looking for adventures that… well, we never actually saw. Despite a ton of set up and propping for an extended universe, “The Mummy” was trashed by everyone, and the Dark Universe died. This left the reboot on an open ended climax that we would never see. With respect to Tom Cruise, does anyone really want to see a continuation of this universe? No thank you. With the remake of “The Invisible Man” doing gangbusters upon its release, another reboot of “The Mummy” is likely.