19 Action Movies That Need A Sequel Even More Than "The Gray Man"

·8 min read

Last week, Netflix announced that they were in development with a sequel and a spin-off for The Gray Man, their latest in a line of ultra-high-budget, star-studded action projects following Red Notice and the upcoming Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery.

Netflix

Whether or not The Gray Man eventually becomes a modern action classic remains to be seen, but with the sequel hype being met with more curiosity than excitement, this writer was inspired to put together 19 action movies that are more deserving of a sequel (and might not need $200 million to do so)...

1.The Nice Guys

Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe celebrate a bittersweet success in "The Nice Guys"

Speaking of Ryan Gosling vehicles, it's a shame that the world hasn't given us multiple sequels to The Nice Guys yet, as Shane Black's action-packed buddy comedy starring Gosling, Russell Crowe, and Angourie Rice was nothing short of lightning in a bottle. With the film's growing audience becoming more wanting of Nice Guys adventures, it could be really fun to see where these two prickly P.I.'s would be in the heart of the 1980s.

Daniel McFadden / Warner Bros. / Courtesy Everett Collection

2.Alita: Battle Angel

Rosa Salazar faces off against Ed Skrein in "Alita: Battle Angel"

Though this visually-stunning cyberpunk action epic from James Cameron and Robert Rodriguez was a commercial success, the acquisition of 20th Century Studios by Disney has put any sequel development on hold, which stinks considering there's so much more room for expansion and exploration within the Alita universe.

Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp. / Courtesy Everett Collection

3.Nobody

Bob Odenkirk lights a fuse in "Nobody"

In the unlikely must-see action film of the COVID-19 era, the creative teams behind Hardcore Henry and the John Wick franchise joined forces for a bone-crunching good time headlined by an against-type Bob Odenkirk. While Odenkirk's heart attack in late 2021 put any follow-up speculation in question, producer David Leitch recently stated a Nobody sequel is "full steam ahead" with a script currently in development.

Allen Fraser / Universal Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

4.Atomic Blonde

Charlize Theron keeps a vigilant watch over a nightclub in "Atomic Blonde"

Speaking of David Leitch, his stellar work on the stylistic and hard-hitting Atomic Blonde, starring Charlize Theron and James McAvoy, paid off with audiences and critics alike. While there's certainly potential for further stories featuring the badass spy, Lorraine Broughton, there has sadly been no update on either a Netflix-bound sequel or the discussed John Wick crossover since early 2020.

Jonathan Prime / Focus Features / Courtesy Everett Collection

5.The Quick and the Dead

Sharon Stone observes a small town in the old west in "The Quick and the Dead"

Although Sam Raimi's revisionist western about a dueling competition was written off as a box office disappointment in 1993, the legacy of the film has since persevered into becoming one of the beloved filmmaker's most underrated titles. While the time and climate might have come and gone for a sequel, the recent cultural fascination with reboots and legacy sequels could warrant a return to the town of Redemption, with Sharon Stone very much deserving of a proper comeback vehicle.

TriStar Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

6.The Accountant

Ben Affleck scopes out his target in "The Accountant"

Sporting an all-star cast and a top-notch director in Warrior's Gavin O'Connor, The Accountant was a major hit for Warner Bros. in 2016, grossing more than three times its reported production budget. In the years since, the film has become somewhat of a staple on late-night cable television, but reports as recent as September 2021 suggest a sequel to The Accountant could be blasting into theaters sooner than we think.

Chuck Zlotnick / Warner Bros. / Courtesy Everett collection.

7.Safe

Jason Statham peers towards potential danger in "Safe"

Boaz Yakin's surprisingly unconventional crime thriller features an impressive leading performance from Jason Statham as an ex-cop with a mysterious past who becomes the unwitting protector of a gifted child wanted by multiple criminal organizations. Though the film received mixed reviews and a less-than-incredible box office take, Safe has since garnered much popularity across multiple streaming platforms, and the film's fascinating worldbuilding lends itself to a potential continuation should the however unlikely stars align.

John Baer / Lionsgate / Courtesy Everett Collection

8.Big Trouble in Little China

Kurt Russell and Dennis Dun hide from imminent danger in "Big Trouble in Little China"

This fantastical and unpredictable cult classic has had a legacy sequel starring Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson gestating with little movement since 2018, but in the wake of the success of such ambitious and imaginative films with largely AAPI casts, such as Everything Everywhere All at Once and Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, it would seem to be the perfect time to return to the mystical mayhem of Little China.

20th Century Fox Film Corp. / Courtesy Everett Collection.

9.The Guest

Dan Stevens attempts to gauge his odds in a violent siege in "The Guest"

An incredibly inspired modern cult classic from writer-director duo Simon Barrett and Adam Wingard, The Guest's limited theatrical run effectively put the kibosh on a sequel before its Netflix debut renewed its popularity tenfold, so much so that the filmmakers even produced a "sequel album" that supposes what the soundtrack of a much-clamored-for follow-up would sound like.

Ursula Coyote / Picturehouse / Courtesy Everett Collection

10.The Lost City

Channing Tatum and Sandra Bullock escape a sticky situation in "The Lost City"

The Lost City helped usher fans of romantic comedies back to theaters during the pandemic era thanks to its blend of humor, action, and charm, and though the film's happy ending puts a nice bow on the story at hand, audiences would be more than happy to see the odd couple, Loretta and Dash, embark on another globe-trotting adventure.

Kimberley French / Paramount Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

11.Django Unchained

Jamie Foxx rides a horse through the snow in "Django Unchained"

While we're unlikely to get a sequel to a Quentin Tarantino project (at least without his blessing) while the filmmaker is still alive, there's been much potential in the continuing tales of Django Freeman, so much so that he teamed with Matt Wagner to create a Django/Zorro comic book that saw the gunslinger team with the iconic swordsman. While the feature adaptation of the comic has since flamed out, that's not to say Django won't ride again sometime in the distant future.

Andrew Cooper / Weinstein Company / Courtesy Everett Collection

12.Chronicle

Alex Russell, Michael B. Jordan and Dane DeHaan explore a creepy cave in "Chronicle"

While this suggestion comes with a big ol' asterisk in that original Chronicle writer Max Landis should have zero involvement whatsoever, it's still weird to think of a movie that was such a hit on a budget of its size has never had a proper sequel or even a further exploration of its universe, even if it eschews the found footage angle of it all.

Alan Markfield / 20th Century Fox Film Corp. / Courtesy Everett Collection

13.Crank 2: High Voltage

Jason Statham and Amy Smart find themselves shooting their way out of a dangerous predictament in "Crank 2: High Voltage"

The cultural landscape may have matured beyond the bonkers, no-holds-barred sensibilities of Crank 2: High Voltage, but there always seems to be unfinished business with the Crank franchise that one more questionably tasteful yet welcome entry could resolve.

Lions Gate / Courtesy Everett Collection

14.District 9

Sharlto Copley undergoes a shocking transformation in "District 9"

With the bittersweet ending of District 9 pointing at a more open-ended conclusion for Wikus (Sharlto Copley), the world's turmoil has only increased and there could be many more stories to tell in the District 9 landscape, especially in the age of post-Trump global politics.

Sony Pictures Entertainment / Courtesy Everett Collection

15.Den of Thieves

Gerard Butler gears up for action in "Den of Thieves"

Surprisingly, this contemporary riff on Heat was a modest success and has since become a cult behemoth thanks to streaming. Whether or not the long-in-development sequel will ever come to fruition is a different question altogether, but this writer would absolutely love to spend more time with the characters in this grit-soaked crime story.

STX Entertainment / Courtesy Everett Collection

16.Wanted

James McAvoy takes aim in "Wanted"

This one is a definite no-brainer; in fact, I'm honestly shocked it wasn't fast-tracked after the international success of the first Wanted. Though Mark Millar's work hasn't aged tremendously well over the years, there could be a lot of fun to be had in a sleek and stylish sequel where James McAvoy's Wesley is now in the mentor role that Angelina Jolie's "Fox" inhabited in the first film.

Universal / Courtesy Everett Collection

17.The Raid 2

Iko Uwais attempts to be stealthy in "The Raid 2"

If you've seen The Raid and The Raid 2, you're probably hoping that in some way, shape, or form, we'll get The Raid 3 someday. While Gangs of London is certainly scratching that itch in some ways and it's always great to see Raid alumni pop up in Star Wars or Fast and the Furious movies, it's no substitution for a bone-breaking grand finale for The Raid franchise that we all deserve.

Sony Pictures Classics / Courtesy Everett Collection

18.Looper

Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Bruce Willis share an intense moment in "Looper"

Now, I know what you're saying: how can they do a sequel to Looper?! While there won't be any featuring Joseph Gordon-Levitt or Bruce Willis, there is so much that can be expanded upon and explored in the futuristic crime world built so excellently in Looper.

Alan Markfield / TriStar Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

19.Kill Bill, Vol. 2

Daryl Hannah and Uma Thurman in "Kill Bill, Vol. 2"

Much like Django Unchained earlier on this list, there's very little chance that Quentin Tarantino will ever make a sequel to any of his films, especially considering there's never been an official wide release of his original cut of Kill Bill, titled The Whole Bloody Affair. That said, both volumes of Kill Bill continue to age like a fine wine, and with the groundwork already laid out in the opening of Vol. 1, I know I wouldn't be the only one showing up on opening night for Kill Bill, Vol. 3.

Mary Evans / Miramax Films / Ronald Grant / Courtesy Everett Collection