News broke yesterday that screenwriter William Monahan is cooking up a sequel to 2006’s The Departed. To this I say “hell” and “no.” First of all, with the exception of The Departed, Monahan’s work (Kingdom Of Heaven, Body Of Lies, Edge of Darkness) has been completely uninspired. Secondly, The Departed was based on a phenomenal Chinese film Infernal Affairs, featured an amazing cast and was directed by Martin Scorcese, one of the best American directors working today. How much do we think Monahan’s writing had to do with the film’s success? I say not much. And, finally, (turn around and walk away if you haven’t seen The Departed) EVERYONE BUT MARKY MARK AND VERA FARMIGA DIED. As much as I like Farmiga and Marky Mark, I have zero interest in a story without Damon, DiCaprio, Nicholson and Sheen (the good one). So no, Monahan, no thank you very much. Listen up, Hollywood, if all your main characters are dead, how about we don’t try out a sequel? Oh sure, you’re making tons of money off the 5nal Destination and Saw franchises, but where is your goddamn soul? So here’s my list, Hollywood, of films that are not allowed to have sequels. You have been warned.
Children of Men: Apologies to Baby Diego and his mother but no Moore, Caine, Ejoifer and Owen? Not interested.
Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid: Unless you want to go the prequel route with When Butchy Met Sunny then forget about it. Oh, and also? You make that prequel, I’ll kill you. ( A reader brought it to my attention that there is a sequel of sorts with Sam Shepard. Based on my affection for Shepard, I’ll reserve judgment until I see it. But I’m not pleased. Not at all.)
Reservoir Dogs: Oh, Buscemi, a survivor you are, but sequel material you are not.
Scarface: Tony Montana is dead. Let him be. Besides, if you dilute the Scarface legacy, frat boys the world over will have to pick a new poster to hang on their walls.
Bonnie and Clyde: Don’t even think about it.
The Descent: There is a sequel to this film but I refuse to acknowledge its existence. You’d be wise to do the same.
The Thing: This is already a remake. And we all know about the prequel. But did you know there was supposed to be a sequel, with Kurt Russell and Keith David? “In 2004, John Carpenter said in an Empire magazine interview that he has a story idea for The Thing II, which centers around the two surviving characters, MacReady and Childs. However, Carpenter felt that due to the higher price associated with his fee, Universal Studios will not pursue his storyline. Carpenter indicated that he would be able to secure both Kurt Russell and Keith David for the sequel. In his story, Carpenter would explain the age difference of the actors between the two installments by having frostbite on their face due to the elements until rescued. The assumption of the sequel would rely on a radio signal being successfully transmitted by Windows before Blair destroyed the communications room. Thus, after the explosion of the base camp, the rescue team would arrive and find MacReady and Childs still alive. Carpenter has not disclosed any other details.” Really? Frosbite aging? Thank your lucky stars all we got was that prequel.
Centurion: The only person to survive this mess was a half naked Fassbender. Can you imagine that? An entire movie of just Fassbender running around? Half naked? I…um…excuse me a moment.
The Wild Bunch: One of the bloodiest endings this side of Shakespeare. Rumor has it there’s a remake in the works. I’m not happy, but as long as it’s not a sequel, I see no need to murder anyone over it.
Hamlet (any version) Speaking of Shakespeare, many of his plays end with a body strewn stage. None so strewny as Hamlet. So unless you’re a genius like Steve Coogan or Tom Stoppard, then a Hamlet sequel is out of the question.
The Departed: I know I said it all before but it bears repeating. In fact, Monahan’s idea for the sequel strongly resembles Stoppard’s Hamlet sequel Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. He said, “My idea actually is to set the film before, during and after the action of the first film, which I think would be extraordinary… Essentially, in the middle section of the thing I’ve intended, you’d see actions that take place during the original Departed, but aren’t on screen in the original Departed. There would be off-screen things that occur at that point in the story. But it would work seamlessly as a movie of its own.” The only problem is Stoppard, as I’ve mentioned, is a genius, and Monahan, I’m afraid, may be a bit of a hack. So, again, I say, “hell” and “no.”