In all the (hundred or so) years of movie making, I’m surprised that not one film took advantage of this gimmick:
Calling the sequel to a film – ORIGINAL TITLE, JR.
Sure, there’s plenty of Actors! that already employ this gimmick. Robert Downey; Cuba Gooding; Ed Begley. But no movie titles… aside from the 1994 Arnold Schwarzenegger classic pictured above.
Here’s a list of films that used either Part II, Part 2, or in one case, Part Deux:
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
- The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2
- The Hangover Part II
- Hostel: Part II
- The Godfather: Part II
- Back to the Future Part II
- Father of the Bride Part II
- The Karate Kid, Part II
- Hot Shots! Part Deux
- Rambo: First Blood Part II
- Friday the 13th Part 2
- Fright Night Part 2
- Return of the Living Dead Part II
- The Toxic Avenger Part II
- The Hills Have Eyes Part 2 (1985)
- Meatballs Part II
- …and other worse ones…
How funny would it have been to call one of them, ORIGINAL TITLE, JR! Well, probably not most of them, but Meatballs, Jr. sounds tasty. Hot Shots! Jr, Return of the Living Dead, Jr, and The Toxic Avenger, Jr. might have worked, too.
The main reason studios probably haven’t taken advantage of this move is because it evokes a child version of the original, à la The Muppet Babies. Or worse… it evokes “Son Of” entitled films:
- Son of the Mask
- Son of Kong
- Son of Flubber
- Son of the Pink Panther
- Son of Paleface
- Son of Frankenstein
- Son of Dracula
- Son of Godzilla
Along my line of thinking, Grease 2 was almost called Son of Grease, because it’s funny. It evokes a type of movie that’s a send-up and a celebration of the original. On the other hand, Seed of Chucky was almost called Son of Chucky, but I’d imagine “Son Of” wasn’t gross enough.
(SIDENOTE: Son of Rambow is another excellent example of my theory, as it could have also been called Rambow, Jr. Don’t miss this incredible, heartfelt movie.)
So what can Hollywood take away from this free advice?
Give it a shot. The next time an unoriginal film gets a sequel, slap a Jr. on it. It’s not like Scary Movie, Jr. could suck more, and at least the title would make me smile…