With Cobra Kai Success, Which ’80s Movie Series Should Be Next?

The Cobra Kai trailers were a little goofy, portraying what seemed like a YouTube fan film of the events that transpired after the original Karate Kid. The premise seemed enjoyable enough. However, considering it was based on a popular fan theory that Daniel LaRuso was actually the villain in the original kung-fu saga, it all seemed like a novelty act — something that would grow stale after the first ten minutes of viewing.

Instead, as I relentlessly binge watched episode after episode of Cobrai Kai on YouTube Red (Now called YouTube Premium), I completely bought into this historic benchmark of the streaming era. For the first time, a legitimate sequel has been made available on the digital platform, that does service to its source material while exceeding the classic’s quality.

In my mind, every time Johnny Lawrence screamed “quiet!”, I fell more and more in love with the idea of continuing stories with series arcs that gives creatives the opportunity to explore the world more extensively. This could be the beginning of a new trend in filmmaking — extending the life of formerly dormant film titles. Considering our current obsession with revisiting the ‘80s, the decade seems like the most promising (and likely) time frame to continue mining content from.

Speaking of which, A Dark Crystal follow-up is due to enchant us later this year on Netflix. With the advent of ‘80s sequels as ongoing shows, we broke down other nostalgic flicks that need follow-ups ASAP:

Beetlejuice

Michael Keaton said the script needed to be right. The long gestating follow-up to the Tim Burton classic has been in civil servant hell for the last several decades. With Winona Ryder having a career resurrection with Stranger Things, an ongoing exploration of the Neitherworld could be the next big streaming service success. Already, the short-lived cartoon proved that more morbid tales could be told.

If Tim Burton can drag himself away from his soulless Disney live action tryst, it could be the comeback flick the director desperately needs.

Bill and Ted

The sequel was announced to much fanfare. Photo shoots were arranged with the duo appearing in Entertainment Weekly and People. Right when they were about to fire up the phone booth time machine and explore the future orchestrated by Wyld Stallyns, Keanu Reeves expressed uncertainty with the project, citing studios struggling to raise the budget to the third offering of the series. A Bill and Ted series could address budget concerns and give us plenty of time to catch up with our favorite history dudes.

The Neverending Story

Author Michael Ende despised the original film because it strayed so far away from the source material. You got to hand it to Ende; the ending of the childhood classic was abrupt. One second in The Nothing, Bastian essentially exclaims “screw the plot!” before riding Falkor through green screen landscapes and brisk end credits. Although the sequel attempted to delve into the mythos of its source material, an updated version of the story (with Easter Egg appearances by the original cast) could give those who still clutch a Falkor stuffed animal a thrill. However, maybe exclude (name) from the reunion; he looks like a professor who scorns fantasy in favor of scientific fact. 

Spaceballs

I know this one is sacred to fans. Also, John Candy is no longer with us and Rick Moranis is retired. But a reboot with some winks and nods to its roots could seriously tap into the current sci-fi craze. Similar to how he stole the concept of Family Guy from Matt Groening, Seth MacFarlane’s The Orwell essentially did the same thing with Mel Brook’s Star Wars spoof classic. Resurrecting Brook’s classic humor could show fans how regurgitated the pretender’s offerings really are.

TRON

Disney streaming service will be a real thing in 2019, continuing the Mouse House’s inevitable ascent to power that will result in all of us having Mickey branded microchips implanted in our prefrontal cortex. Besides all the inevitable Marvel and Star Wars content that will clutter the service, another TRON continuation could drum up some ’80s hype. The okay sequel successfully showed how jaw dropping the virtual looked with a 21st century update, minus a compelling story. There’s so many technological building blocks in place for a series to expand the ENCOM universe. Plus, TRON is huge in China — a major market for Skynet… I mean Disney.

This Is Spinal Tap

Rock stars don’t know when to quit. Nothing is more hilarious than fiction mirroring real life; case in point: Mick Jagger still shakes his withered body on the stage like he’s still the young, harp playing Dartford heartthrob teenager that rocked the world.

The Live Nation stage is cluttered with artists well past their expiration date.

If I have to see another picture of an old Madonna gyrating with some dancers one-fourth her age, I’m going to set my internet modem on fire.

Can you imagine Spinal Tap continuing their tour across Japan, their bodies aged but their minds still obsessed with their ’80s transgressions? Rob Reiner could write this one in his sleep. Additionally, a new soundtrack and tour would figuratively (and literally) tap into the intrigue of all “Smell the Glove” fans.

ET

The best legend of ET is that of the sequel Nocturnal Fears — a supposed horror movie with hordes of the chubby short-legged aliens longing for a taste of flesh. Nothing could be creepier than this POV of the ET ride, but this follow-up seemed destined to come close.

With the passage of time, we find Elliott as an adult with his own family. With the return of his cherished childhood companion, there could be nostalgic and weepy moments that only Steven Spielberg could pull off.

The director raised some eyebrows by claiming he doesn’t want to pervert the original’s virginity, but as seen in Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, extraterrestrials haven’t completely left his system. Drop the horror and elevate the family elements; it could give ET a follow-up that could exceed the original.

Best of the rest:

Gremlins

The original films are not as good as you remember them. The Mogwai cage needs a good dusting.

Roger Rabbit

The ride is still at Disneyland. Remind kids why Roger Rabbit is the GOAT of animated movies.

Beverly Hills Cop

Eddie Murphy has been awfully quite since the career ender that was Norbit. This could be the comeback he needs.

Near Dark

The vampire craze had a stake put in it by the hype of zombies, but Near Dark could prove theres more blood in the dying subgenre.

Escape From New York

Kurt Russell is the man and is on a role with recent movie choices. But for God sake, give us old Snake!

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Kyle Spishock

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