Although sequels are generally made to expand and deepen the original film’s story and characters, sometimes sequels are made to go in a different direction from the original with a completely new cast instead. And maybe to make more money on less overhead. Here are five that do not feature the original film’s cast.
1. The Purge: Anarchy
While The Purge was a huge box office success in 2013, its sequel The Purge: Anarchy doesn’t feature the original’s cast, including Ethan Hawke and Lena Headey. Instead, the sequel film takes place during the events of the original. So while the original Purge is a home invasion movie, its sequel follows a group of people – led by Frank Grillo’s Sergeant – trying the survive the 12-hour period of lawlessness in downtown Los Angeles.
2. 300: Rise of an Empire
Much like The Purge: Anarchy, 300: Rise of an Empire takes place during the events of the original Zack Snyder film 300. While Lena Headey and Rodrigo Santoro make small cameo appearances, Rise of an Empire features Sullivan Stapleton leading a group of Athenians fighting against Eva Green’s Artemisia, instead of Gerard Butler’s King Leonidas’ army of 300 Spartans.
3. Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2
While The Blair Witch Project was a surprise smash hit back in 1999, its movie studio Artisan Entertainment wanted a quick sequel to cash in on the film’s success. The original was made as a found-footage faux documentary and sold as a real occurrence, while its sequel was presented as pure fiction with a more conventional narrative. The film’s original cast didn’t appear in the sequel because they died off at the end, so Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 introduced a new cast of characters to explore the mysteries of the Blair Witch.
4. Predator 2
In 1987, Predator was a smash box office hit, so Twentieth Century Fox wanted a follow up. While a majority of the original’s cast were killed off, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Dutch survived and was positioned for its sequel in 1990. The only problem was that Schwarzenegger hated the concept of the Predator going on a killing spree in the middle of Los Angeles. He declined to appear in the sequel and Danny Glover was cast to star.
5. The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift
At the time of its release in 2006, Paul Walker and Vin Diesel opted not to appear in the third Fast & Furious movie. According to THR, Vin Diesel agreed to make a small cameo appearance at the tail end of the film, but only in exchange for the film rights to Riddick from Universal Pictures. The filmmakers moved the franchise from the United States to Japan and focused on drifting instead of conventional illegal street racing. A new cast was brought in – including Lucas Black, Sung Kang, and Bow Wow – and a new director with Justin Lin. While the film was considered at one point to be a standalone one-off, Tokyo Drift proved to be an integral part of the Fast & Furious mythology with the events of Fast & Furious 7 taking place directly after the third film in the franchise’s timeline.