Big Stars Who Turned Down Sequel Films

Even if it means starring in a successful franchise, some actors can’t stand the thought of returning for a sequel film. While Megan Fox walked away from Transformers due to issues with the director, Robert Duvall ditched The Godfather Part III because he didn’t get a raise.

They’re not the only ones who left a series either! Keep reading to learn why some stars wound up not returning for sequel films.

Jodie Foster Wasn’t Happy With The Hannibal Script

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Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

Jodie Foster played the FBI trainee Clarice Starling in the epic thriller The Silence of the Lambs. Even though she won an Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance, Foster decided not to reprise her role in Hannibal.

Apparently, she not only had a scheduling conflict, but she did not like the script. The role of Sterling went to Julianne Moore.

Linda Hamilton Didn’t Like Terminator 3‘s Script

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Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

Linda Hamilton played the iconic role of Sarah Connor in the first two Terminator movies. Sadly, when Terminator 3 rolled around, she wanted nothing to do with the movie because the script pretty much shoved her character into a secondary position.

As a result, the writers changed the script so Sarah passes away before the events of T3, losing a three-year battle with Leukemia.

Sean Connery Didn’t Come Out Of Retirement For Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull

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Paramount Pictures
Paramount Pictures

In the Indiana Jones franchise, legendary actor Sean Connery played the role of the title character’s father. After a long career, he retired from acting in 2003. Not even the possibility of reprising his role in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull was going to bring him back into Hollywood.

Instead, he suggested the writers kill his character off-screen.

Marlon Brando Didn’t Accept The Godfather: Part II‘s Offer

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Paramount Pictures
Paramount Pictures

In the original Godfather film, Marlon Brando plays the head of the Corleone crime family, Don Vito. Sadly, he has a heart attack and dies in that first movie. The studio wanted him back for the sequel, though, as it featured a series of flashbacks.

It was an offer Brando had to refuse solely because Paramount made him do a screen test for the first film. It was a little bit of petty payback.

By Halloween 4, Jamie Lee Curtis Was Over It

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    Compass International Pictures
    Compass International Pictures

For three Halloween movies, Jamie Lee Curtis fought Michael Myers as Laurie Strode. When the fourth film in the franchise rolled around, the actress was pretty much overdoing the scream queen gig, opting to pass on the film.

Instead, the writers had her character pass away from an off-screen car crash. Of course, this little detail was very much ignored, with Curtis reprising her role as Strode a few more times.

Jim Carrey Turned Down An Offer For The Mask Sequel

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New Line Cinema
New Line Cinema

Jim Carrey is no stranger to sequel films; he’s extremely picky about which characters he revisits. As it turned out, not even a hefty payday could get him back in the studio to reprise his role for The Mask sequel.

As a result, a different sequel was made with a new title character in Son of the Mask.

Robert Duvall Wanted More Money For The Godfather: Part III

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Paramount Pictures
Paramount Pictures

As one of the supporting characters throughout the first two Godfather films, Robert Duvall was looking for a higher paycheck for the third installment of the trilogy. He didn’t receive the raise, so he left the film, and it is briefly mentioned that his character passed away before the events of the third film.

According to Duvall, “If they paid (Al) Pacino twice what they paid me, that’s fine, but not three or four times, which is what they did.”

Bill Murray Didn’t Return For Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle

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Columbia Pictures
Columbia Pictures

In the 2000s Charlie’s Angels film, Bill Murray played the role of John Bosley, the assistant of the no-faced Charlie who gives the Angels their assignments. Due to on-set feuding with co-star Lucy Liu and director McG, Murray did not return for the sequel film, Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle.

Instead, Bernie Mac was written in as Jimmy Bosley, the adoptive brother of John.

Keanu Reeves Didn’t Like Speed 2: Cruise Control‘s Script

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Twentieth Century Fox
Twentieth Century Fox

After the massive success of the two-time Academy Award-winning film Speed, Keanu Reeves was over the thrill of the chase. He refused to return for the sequel movie, even though his co-star Sandra Bullock signed on to reprise her role of Annie Porter.

Turning down a $12 million paycheck because he didn’t like Speed 2: Cruise Control’s, the writers wound up writing in an off-screen breakup between his character, Officer Jack Traven, and Annie.

Tom Hanks Didn’t Think Forrest Gump 2 Was Relevant

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Paramount Pictures
Paramount Pictures

When Forrest Gump was released in 1994, it was met with rave reviews by both audience viewers and critics. A script was even written for a sequel film, based on the original novel’s sequel Gump and Co.

Unfortunately, people never got to find out what happened to Forrest after the events of the first movie, as actor Tom Hanks decided the story was “no longer relevant.”

Katie Holmes Decided Not To Return For The Dark Knight

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Warner Bros.
Warner Bros.

In Batman Begins, Katie Holmes plays Bruce Wayne’s love interest, Rachel Dawes. She was actually in talks to reprise the role for the sequel film, The Dark Knight, but ultimately turned it down to star in the film Mad Money.

In the end, the role of Rachel went to Maggie Gyllenhaal.

Megan Fox Was Fired From The Third Transformers

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Paramount Pictures
Paramount Pictures

In the first two Transformers movies, actress Megan Fox played the role of Mikaela Banes. The films were a huge hit, but, unfortunately for Fox, one tell-all interview had her fired from the film.

During an interview with Wonderland magazine, Fox compared Bay to a dictator. He didn’t take it too kindly, firing the actress. Her character was written out, and Sam Witwicky got a new girlfriend in Transformers: Dark of the Moon.

Will Smith Had A Scheduling Conflict With Independence Day: Resurgence

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Twentieth Century Fox
Twentieth Century Fox

Will Smith played the role of Captain Steve Hiller in the 1996 film Independence Day. The film was very popular, resulting in the studio moving forward with a sequel. Unfortunately, Smith was unable to sign on to the movie, as he had a scheduling conflict with Suicide Squad.

As a result, the writers wrote out his character, briefly mentioning he died while testing a new experimental alien hybrid fighter.

Natalie Portman Wasn’t Happy With An MCU Director Change

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Marvel Entertainment
Marvel Entertainment

After the cameras stopped rolling on Thor and Thor: Dark World, Natalie Portman hung up her role as Jane Foster and did not return for any other films in Phase 1 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Apparently, her choice not to return for films such as Age of Ultron was because, during Dark World, the director switch between Patty Jenkins and Alan Taylor was upsetting to the actress.

Alan Cumming Couldn’t Stand The Thought Of Sitting In Makeup For X-Men: The Last Stand

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In the second installment of the X-Men franchise, Alan Cumming played fan-favorite mutant Nightcrawler. When it came time for the third movie, X-Men: The Last Stand, Cumming couldn’t stand the thought about going back in the makeup chair.

Apparently, getting the Nightcrawler makeup applied day in and day out was a grueling process for the actor.

Crispin Glover Didn’t Like Back To The Future Part II‘s Moral

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Universal Studios
Universal Studios

Crispin Glover is known for playing the father of Marty McFly in Back to the Future. However, the actor decided not to return for the sequel film due to “moral obligations.”

During an interview on The Opie & Anthony Show, Glover explained how he didn’t return because he didn’t agree with the script’s moral: money equals happiness. He wanted it to be changed to love, but director Robert Zemeckis didn’t go for the suggestion.

Richard Dreyfuss Wouldn’t Do Jaws 2 Without Spielberg

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Universal Studios
Universal Studios

In the 1975 film Jaws, actor Richard Dreyfuss plays marine biologist Matt Hooper. When the sequel came around, Dreyfuss decided he wanted nothing to do with the movie if director Steven Spielberg wasn’t involved.

According to the actor, he knew if Spielberg wasn’t involved, the sequel would never live up to the excellence of the first film.

Richard Castellano Didn’t Like His Character In The Godfather: Part II

richard-castellano
Paramount Pictures
Paramount Pictures

While Richard Castellano had a smaller part in the grand scheme of The Godfather, it was still an important role. Unfortunately, the actor did not like how Peter Clemenza’s character arc turned in the sequel film’s script.

Originally, it was written that Clemenza was going to rat on the Corleone crime family. Castellano was beside himself, saying the character would never do such a thing. As a result, he left, the character was written out of the sequel, and Frankie Pentangeli was written in his place.

John Cusack Wasn’t Rehired For Hottub Time Machine 2

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United Artists
United Artists

For the first Hot Tub Time Machine film, actor John Cusack not only starred in the movie but was also a producer. The movie was a hit and pretty much doubled its production costs. Thus, the sequel was born.

Sadly, the budget for the second film was sliced in half, and the studio couldn’t afford Cusack. So, they didn’t rehire him, and actor Adam Scott was introduced as the character’s son.

Will Ferrell Had No Interest In Elf 2

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New Line Cinema
New Line Cinema

The holiday film Elf was a huge hit when it was released in 2003. Now, it is a Christmas staple for many families. When it came to making a sequel film, the lead elf himself, Will Ferrell, was not interested.

Apparently, Ferrell and director Jon Favreau did not get along on-set, deterring the actor from making Elf 2.