Angelina Jolie is a classic superstar in every sense of the word. After rising to prominence in the mid-90s/early 2000s with films such as Hackers, The Bone Collector, and Girl, Interrupted (for which she won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress), the actress found herself as Hollywood’s golden girl and staring down a number of high profile films and lucrative franchises.
Except, many of Jolie’s franchise starters failed to ignite the box office, forcing studios to pull the plug on future sequels — a frustrating habit that seems to happen at least 2,321 times each year. In Jolie’s case, the actress made some pretty good flicks that genuinely warranted additional chapters.
And now you’re just dying to know which of the actress’ films we believe should have gotten sequels, aren’t you? Actually, everyone likely skipped this introduction and zipped straight for the meat of the article. Type “churro” in the comments if your attention span brought you this far! Good for you. High five.
Okay, enough stalling, In honor of Jolie’s new flick Those Who Wish Me Dead, which opens Friday theatrically and on HBO Max, here are the Five Angelina Jolie Films That Deserved Sequels.
Mr. and Mrs. Smith
Doug Liman’s breezy 2005 action/comedy may not have lived up to the scintillating behind-the-scenes drama that preceded its release — how could a film beat Brangelina? — but it’s still a helluva good time and a terrific showcase for stars Jolie and Brad Pitt. Obviously, the flick works as a standalone piece that ties up most of its numerous plot threads, but considering the carnage inflicted by the titular Smith duo against their conflicting contract firms, you would think somebody would want some kind of revenge.
Considering the film collected a massive $487.3 million at the 2005 box office, one would think a sequel would be a no-brainer. Alas, 16 years and one messy divorce later, fans are still left wanting. Would it have been too much to at least get a spinoff with Vince Vaughn’s Eddie?
The Bone Collector
In 1999, Jolie was still relatively new to the business — a pretty face without much of a resume, unless you were one of twenty people who consider Playing by Heart high art.
Then came The Bone Collector. Based on Jeffery Deaver’s 1997 crime novel, the film, as directed by Phillip Noyce, posits Jolie alongside leading man Denzel Washington … actually, scratch that … the film posits Jolie alongside a stuck-in-a-bed-for-the-entire-damned-film Denzel Washington, greatly limiting the actor’s performance. And yet, the two leads manage to overcome such limitations as well as a paint-by-numbers serial killer plot by virtue of lightning-in-a-bottle-like chemistry — seriously, why was Denjolina never a thing?
Yet, despite earning a decent $150M against a $48M budget and the good fortune to be based on a popular book that would spawn 13 sequels over the next two decades, The Bone Collector never received a follow-up; and remains one of those DVDs Target desperately tries to pawn on shoppers during Black Friday.
Kung Fu Panda
Wait, Kung Fu Panda earned itself two sequels and, if I remember correctly, its own TV show. Yeah, but, of all the characters that warranted more attention from that franchise, Jolie’s Tigress is the most deserving. Sure, we learn a little about the badass kung fu warrior throughout the Panda trilogy, but she’s mostly relegated to a supporting role as the most prominent of Master Shifu’s Furious Five; and would absolutely thrive in her own standalone series.
Picture this: Tigress wakes up one morning, says, “I’m done with this panda s**t,” and wanders into the wilderness. Cue the action.
Perhaps the most obvious entry on this list, 2008’s Wanted spends a good chunk of its running time setting up a sequel and even ends on something of a cliffhanger as James McAvoy’s Wesley Gibson finally comes to terms with his past and quite literally sets his sights on the future. Except, we never get to see his future.
Instead, Wanted is another origin story without a second or third act. It’s Batman Begins without The Dark Knight. Get it?
How and why Jolie’s Fox, who dies at the film’s end, would appear in follow-up entries is probably one of the tidbits that stalled the much-discussed sequel in the first place. Such a dilemma makes sense. At this point in her career, Jolie was a bonafide superstar. Universal couldn’t proceed with further films without her involvement, right? So, trudge on.
Here’s a start: Wesley hears a knock on his door. Opens it. Sees Fox.
Wesley: “How are you alive?”
Fox: “Who gives a f***?”
Commence more bullet curving badassery.
Similar to Wanted, Salt spends 104 minutes setting up a sequel that would never be. In the film, Jolie plays the titular super-spy, who kills a whole bunch of people in order to prove she’s not a killer. At the climax, a bruise and bloodied Salt “escapes” from Chiwetel Ejiofor’s CIA counter-intelligence officer in order to kill a bunch of evil Russian sleeper agents known as KAs.
Alas, the film only grossed $293M against a $110-130M budget, meaning we’ll likely never see Salt complete her mission. For all we know, that plunge from the helicopter shattered her ribs and eventually led to internal bleeding and death. Sorry. You might say I’m rubbing salt in your wounds … get it? No, do you get it? The salt joke … because the movie’s called Salt … moving on!
BONUS: Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow
To be perfectly honest, I forgot this film even existed up until the moment I decided to write this article. Once I saw that Art Deco-inspired title, fond memories of sitting in an empty theater eagerly awaiting Kerry Conran’s visual smorgasbord swept through my brain; an incredible moment from 2004 that ended in crushing disappointment. While glorious to look at, Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow just didn’t work, mostly because it’s perfectly obvious Jude Law knows has no idea he’s sitting in an airplane shooting futuristic robots over 1939 New York.
Jolie’s Commander Francesca “Franky” Cook only appears in a brief cameo but leaves a strong enough impression to warrant her own spinoff. What that movie would entail, aside from more shoddy green screen work, lies beyond my simplistic imagination.