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A film or other literary work where a Sequel is released long, long after the original work. May sometimes be a Trilogy Creep, very often related to Development Hell. Does not apply to Sequels In Name Only, Sequel Series, or Franchise Reboots. This Trope is for honest-to-goodness sequels. See also Capcom Sequel Stagnation, and a related Webcomic trope, Schedule Slip. For this Trope to work, the Sequel itself must be made at least 5 years after the last one.

Examples of Sequel Gap include:


Anime and Manga

  • Slayers Try (1997) and Slayers Revolution (2008) -- 11 years.
  • Both in-universe and out-of-universe, there was a Sequel Gap between Mobile Suit Gundam and Mobile Suit Z Gundam. Real life: 7 years. In-universe, 5 years. This happened again later with Char's Counterattack, which came out 8 years after Z Gundam, and then after that, a couple of years later, came F91. Another, even bigger Sequel Gap is between Chars Counterattack and its direct sequel, Mobile Suit Gundam UC, which had its first episode launched about 17 years after CCA. The Universal Century certainly loves Sequel Gaps a lot.
  • Ghost in The Shell (1995) and Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence (2004) -- 9 years.
  • Whisper of the Heart (1995) and its spin off The Cat Returns (2002) -- 7 years.
  • Last Exile (2003) and Last Exile: Fam, The Silver Wing (2011) -- 8 years.
  • Gunbuster (1988-89) and Diebuster (2004-05) -- 14 years.

Eastern Animation

  • Music Up (我为歌狂) (2001) and Music Up Reborn (我为歌狂 第二季) (2020) -- 19 years.

Films -- Animation

  • Toy Story 3, a gap of 11 years from 2. Fellowed by a 9 year gap between 3 and 4
  • Monsters, Inc. (2001) and, Monsters University (2013) -- 12 years .
  • The Secret of NIMH (1982) and The Secret of NIMH 2: Timmy to the Rescue (1998) -- 16 years.
  • Cars (2006) and Cars 2 (2011) -- 5 years. Cars 2 (2011) and Cars 3 (2017) -- 6 years. Considering that Cars 3 is a closer and direct sequel to Cars 1, then its 11 years.
  • Finding Nemo (2003) and Finding Dory (2016) -- 13 years.
  • A number of Walt Disney Direct to Video examples:
  • And Disney theatrical ones:
    • Peter Pan (1953) and Return to Neverland (2002) -- 49 years.
    • The Jungle Book (1967) and Jungle Book 2 (2003) -- 36 years.
    • Fantasia (1940) and Fantasia 2000 (1999) -- 59 years.
    • The Rescuers (1977) and The Rescuers Down Under (1990) -- 13 years.
  • Cat City (1986) and Cat City 2: The Cat of Satan (2007) -- 21 years.


Films -- Live-Action

  • Tron (1982) and Tron: Legacy (2010) -- 28 years.
  • Wall Street (1987) and Money Never Sleeps (2010) -- 23 years.
  • The Hustler (1961) and The Color of Money (1986) -- 25 years.
  • Psycho (1960) and Psycho II (1983) -- 23 years.
  • Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989) and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008) -- 19 years.
  • Star Wars: Return of the Jedi (1983) and The Phantom Menace (1999) -- 16 years.
  • Revenge of the Sith (2005) and The Force Awakens (2015) -- 10 years.
  • Return to Oz was made 46 years after The Wizard of Oz. The stylistic differences are great enough that by some standards it's more of a thematic sequel than a direct one.
  • An American Werewolf in London (1981) and An American Werewolf in Paris (1997) -- 16 years.
  • Rocky V (1990) and Rocky Balboa (2006) -- 16 years. Rocky Balboa (2006) and Creed (2015) -- 9 years.
  • Rambo III (1988) and Rambo (2008) -- 20 years. Rambo (2008) and Rambo: Last Blood (2019) -- 11 years.
  • The Blues Brothers (1980) and The Blues Brothers 2000 (1998) -- 18 years.
  • War Games: The Dead Code. 1983/2008 -- 25 years (with some non-trope-fitters in between).
  • Common with the Terminator series: 7 years to the second, 12 to the third, and 6 to the fourth fellowed by a anthour 6 years the the fitih.
  • Also common with the Alien series: 7 years to the second, 6 to the third, and 5 to the fourth. And if you count the Alien vs. Predator films in the series, another 7 years to the first of those. And a 5 year gap between Prometheus (2012) and Alien Covenant (2017).
  • Speaking of which -- there's a fourteen-year gap between Predator 2 (1990) and Alien vs. Predator (2004). Or, not counting the Alien vs. Predator films as legitimate, there's a twenty-year gap between Predator 2 (1990) and Predators (2010), and a 8 year gap between Predators and The Predator (2018).
  • The Beastmaster and Beastmaster 2: Through The Portal of Time -- 9 years. It may seem short for this list, but by some accounts, it had the longest Sequel Gap as of 1991.
  • Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles, released 13 years after the second.
  • The Godfather Part II (1974) and The Godfather Part III (1990) -- 16 years.
  • Superman Returns (2006), released nineteen years after the last Superman film -- and chronologically following the second film, released 26 years before. There is also a 7 year gap between Returns and the reboot, Man of Steel (2013).
  • The Three Musketeers 1973 & The Four Musketeers (1974) and The Return of the Musketeers (1989) -- 15 years. (Not unreasonable considering the latter is an adaptation of the book Twenty Years After.)
  • Bean (1997) and Mr. Bean's Holiday (2007) -- 10 years.
  • An obscure film noir movie Strange Bargain (1949) was given a sequel 38 years later in 1987 -- in an episode of Murder, She Wrote, where Jessica Fletcher investigated the original crime.
  • Scream 3 (2000) and Scream 4 (2011) -- 11 years.
  • Die Hard With a Vengeance (1995) and Live Free or Die Hard (2007) -- 12 years. Live Free or Die Hard (2007) and A Good Day to Die Hard (2013) -- 6 years.
    • Also, the book that the first movie is based on was a sequel to The Detective, which was made into a film starring Frank Sinatra in 1968. Die Hard didn't come out until 1988.
  • There's a 14-year gap between Basic Instinct and its sequel.
  • Johnny English (2003) and Johnny English Reborn (2011) -- 8 years, and 7 years between Reborn and Returns (2018)
  • Escape from New York (1981) and Escape From L.A. (1996) -- 15 years.
  • Counting only the main American Pie films (the direct-to-DVD spinoffs are borderline In Name Only anyway), it's 9 years between American Wedding and the 2012 American Reunion.
  • Before Sunrise (1995) and Before Sunset (2004) -- 9 years. Fellowed by second 9 year gap between Sunset and Before Midnight (2013)
  • Bad Boys (1995) and Bad Boys II (2003) -- 8 years. Bad Boys II (2003) and Bad Boys for Life (2020) -- 17 years.
  • Brazilian filmmaker made a trilogy about his Alter Ego character Coffin Joe. The movies are At Midnight I'll Take Your Soul (1963), This Night I'll Possess Your Corpse (1967), and finally Embodiment of Evil (2008), only 41 YEARS after the second one. Of course, that doesn't mean he did nothing at all after these years, even using Coffin joe in minor roles in his other projects.
  • Spy Kids 3D: Game Over (2003) and Spy Kids 4D: All the Time in the World (2011) -- 8 years, by which time Fleeting Demographic had set in. The franchise was more-or-less remarketed as though new.
  • The Naked Civil Servant (1975) and An Englishman In New York (2009) -- 34 years.
  • Men in Black 3 came 10 years after its predecessor Men in Black II (2002), which itself was made 5 years after the first film. Then, there is a 7 year gap between Men in Black 3 and Men in Black: International.
  • Harold Lloyd's The Sin of Harold Diddlebock (1947) was a sequel to his hit film The Freshman (1925).
  • The Hobbit had its first part released 9 years after The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003) (see also the Literature entry below).
  • Trainspotting (1996) and T2 Trainspotting (2017) -- 21 years.
  • Mission Impossible 2 (2000) and Mission Impossible 3 (2006) -- 6 Years. Then a 5 year gap between 3 and Ghost Protocol (2011).
  • The Mask of Zorro (1998) and Legend of Zorro (2005) -- 7 years, with the latter to date being the last Zorro movie, given its status as a Franchise Killer.
  • Jimangi (1995) and Jimangi: Welcome to the Jungle (2017) -- 22 years, with a 12 year gap between the latter and the spiritual successor Zathura: A Space Adventure (2005). Averted with Jimangi: The Next Level (2019), which came 2 years after Welcome to the Jungle.
  • Hey Arnold The Movie! (2002) and Hey Arnold!: The Jungle Movie (2017) -- 15 years.
  • Blade Runner (1982) and Blade Runner 2037 (2017) -- 35 years.
  • The Ring Two (2005) and Rings (2017) -- 12 years.
  • 300 (2006) and 300: Rise of an empire (2014) -- 8 years.




Literature

  • Vernor Vinge's A Fire Upon the Deep came out in 1992; the sequel, The Children of the Sky, was released in 2011 (19 years). A Deepness in The Sky -- set in the same universe but not a direct sequel -- came out in the interim.
  • C. J. Cherryh's Cyteen and Regenesis (1988/2009) -- 21 years. Similar to the Vinge example above, Cherryh had other Alliance Union books come out between the two.
  • The Time Ships, an official sequel to The Time Machine was published to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the first book (1895/ 1995).
  • There was a 12-year gap between the third and fourth book in The Demon Princes series. The series was always planned to have 5 books.
  • The Earth's Children series had a 12 year gap between The Plains of Passage (1990) and The Sheltes of Stone (2002). Assuming The Land of the Painted Caves comes out as scheduled in 2011, that will have been another 9 year gap.
  • Part I of Goethe's Faust was first published in 1808. Part II (a sequel in all but name) was released in 1832 (24 years).
  • The Unicorn Chronicles had something like almost 10 years between the 2nd book and the 3rd book being published.
  • Peter And Wendy (1911) and its authorised sequel Peter Pan in Scarlet (2006) -- 95 years.
  • Closing Time, the sequel to Catch-22, was published in 1994; 33 years after the original novel.
  • In the Magic Kingdom of Landover series, there was a fourteen year gap between the fifth book, Witches' Brew, and the sixth, A Princess of Landover (for reference, there were nine years between the release of the first book and the fifth).
  • Gone with the Wind (1937) and its authorised sequel Scarlett (1991) have a gap of 54 years and then an officially authorized POV Sequel Rhett Butler's People (2007) 16 years later.
  • My Side of the Mountain (1959) by Jean Craighead George had its sequel On the Far Side of the Mountain published in 1990, leaving a gap of 31 years. The third book, Frightful's Mountain, came nine years after that.
  • Julie of the Wolves (1972) by Jean Craighead George got its sequels Julie and Julie's Wolf Pack in 1994 and 1997, respectively (22 and 25 years).
  • Psycho, the original Robert Bloch novel (1959), and Psycho II also by Bloch (1982), which was totally unrelated to the film sequel -- 23 years.
  • Magicians of Gor (book 25 in the series): 1988 -- Witness of Gor (book 26): 2001. 13 years.
  • Fans of Isobelle Carmody's Obernewtyn series waited 10 years for the fifth book in the sequence; the fourth book, The Keeping Place was originally published in 1998, The Stone Key in 2008.
  • In Clare Bell's The Named series, the release of the first four books was spread between 1983 and 1991. Seventeen years later, the series started its re-issue because of its new fifth book, Ratha's Courage (2008). The next year also saw a novelette written on Twitter and a short story in an anthology of speculative fiction.
  • The fourth book in Isaac Asimov's Foundation series, Foundation's Edge, was published in 1982, 29 years after the original trilogy.
  • The third book in his "Robot Trilogy", The Robots of Dawn was published in 1983, 26 years after the second.
  • The Hobbit (1937), followed by The Lord of the Rings (three volumes, 1954-1955) -- 17-18 years.
  • The Pit Dragon Chronicles by Jane Yolen was originally a trilogy that was published 1982-1987. The fourth book came out in 2009 -- 22 years.
  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy books: 8 years between So Long and Thanks For All The Fish (1984) and Mostly Harmless (1992), and 17 years between Mostly Harmless and And Another Thing (2009). Though the latter was due to Author Existence Failure.
  • The Iliad and The Odyssey were likely composed some time around 850 BC. The Aeneid, a Continuation Fic, was finished in 19 BC. If both are taken as part of Classical Mythology, that's a Sequel Gap of over 800 years.
  • The Egypt Game (1967) and The Gypsy Game (1997) -- 30 years. Both are set in The Present Day through the use of Comic Book Time.


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