Which A-List Stars Have Never Made a Sequel?
The story that Shia LaBeouf may be down for another Indiana Jones sequel got me thinking: Are today's stars too franchised out? LaBeouf already has a three-film commitment to Transformers, while Christian Bale was all too willing to add several Terminator movies to his already hefty Batman obligations. We decided to take a look at twenty of today's current top stars (as ranked this year by Forbes) to find out whether it's possible to remain an A-lister without ever undertaking a megabudget franchise. So who's stayed sequel-immune? The answers may surprise you.
1) Will Smith: Has made two different sequels, Men in Black 2 and Bad Boys 2, and is developing a prequel to I Am Legend.
2) Johnny Depp: Completed the Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy and is currently set to return for a fourth film in the franchise.
3) Leonardo DiCaprio: Has never made a sequel (discounting an appearance in Critters 3).
4) Angelina Jolie: Made two Tomb Raider films.
5) Brad Pitt: Starred in three Ocean's caper films.
6) Tom Hanks: In addition to his recent Da Vinci Code sequel, has lent his voice to three Toy Story films.
7) George Clooney: Besides his Ocean's franchise, appeared in two Spy Kids films and graced a few standalone sequels (such as Return of the Killer Tomatoes).
8) Denzel Washington: Has never made a sequel (though he's attached to a potential Inside Man follow-up).
9) Matt Damon: Has both the Ocean's and Bourne franchises on his resume.
10) Jack Nicholson: Sequelized Chinatown (with The Two Jakes) and, briefly, Terms of Endearment (with The Evening Star).
11) Julia Roberts: You're so close, Jules -- it's a shame about that return appearance in Ocean's Twelve.
12) Adam Sandler: Has never made a sequel, shockingly.
13) Tom Cruise: Mission: Impossible is his money-making franchise.
14) Russell Crowe: Has never made a sequel (though Master and Commander was intended to be a franchise, and a Gladiator sequel has been in development).
15) Will Ferrell: Costarred in the first two Austin Powers films, and has sequels in various stages of development.
16) Meryl Streep: Has never made a sequel, though she has threatened us with Mamma Mia 2!
17) Robert De Niro: Sequelized both Analyze This and Meet the Parents.
18) Ben Stiller: In addition to Meet the Parents, has the Night at the Museum and Madagascar franchises to his name.
19) Jim Carrey: After reprising Ace Ventura, meant for Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events to augur his primary career franchise. It didn't.
20) Clint Eastwood: Five Dirty Harry films and one sequel alongside an orangutan (Any Which Way You Can).
The Verdict? Only five of the twenty biggest stars have never made a sequel to a film they starred in -- and for some, it's not for lack of trying. Spearheading a franchise is a simple fact of life for A-listers in the modern era, unless you're driven to do something different every time out like Leonardo DiCaprio, Meryl Streep, and, uh, Adam Sandler (sorry, still not quite over that one). Shia and Christian, enjoy your careers -- they're all plotted out for you until the year 2015.