16 Celebrities Who Turned Down Sequels And Reboots

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You won’t be buying tickets to Bridesmaids 2 anytime soon.


Will Ferrell turned down a $29 million paycheck to reprise his role as Buddy in a sequel to Elf, the 2003 Christmas classic that made over $223 million at the global box office.

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Ferrell told the Hollywood Reporter, “I would have had to promote the movie from an honest place, which would’ve been, like, ‘Oh no, it’s not good. I just couldn’t turn down that much money.’ And I thought, ‘Can I actually say those words? I don’t think I can, so I guess I can’t do the movie.’”

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Ferrell took particular issue with the proposed sequel script’s “rehashed premise.”

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Personally, I think any sequel should be about the origin story of the “I hope you find your Dad” narwhal.


Jennette McCurdy, who played the irascible Sam Puckett in the original six seasons of iCarly, decided not to take part in the reboot that premiered on Paramount+ in 2021.

McCurdy’s representatives explained the decision in a statement released to Newsweek, which read, “Jennette is busy working on her book which sold to Simon & Schuster as well as bringing her one-woman show back to the stage. She is also working on some other film & TV projects which have not yet been announced.”

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On the iCarly reboot, the character’s absence is explained as being the result of her cross-country travels with “a biker gang called the Oliberators.”

In addition, on a March 2021 episode of her podcast Empty Inside, McCurdy said that she was retired from acting, and that she was “so ashamed of the parts that I’ve done in the past,” partially because she was “embarrassed” by them. And in October 2021, McCurdy revealed to People that her experience as a child star was marred by the “‘intense’ physical and emotional abuse she endured at the hands of her mother, Debbie,” explaining that, “My mom had always dreamt of being a famous actor and she became obsessed with making me a star.” Said McCurdy, “It’s a risk to change your life, but I made it my mission.”

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One member of the foursome that made up Sex and the City won’t be seen in its reboot And Just Like That. Kim Cattrall, who played the hilarious, vulgar, and sex-loving Samantha Jones, decided not to return to the role.

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In 2019, when asked if she would be up for another Sex and the City movie, Cattrall told the Daily Mail, “Never. It’s a no from me.” And back in 2017, “Kim pulled out of the third movie just days before filming was set to start.”

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And when Piers Morgan asked her in a 2017 interview if she would ever want to play Samantha again, Cattrall replied, “Not for me. That was part of turning 60. That was a very clear moment of how many years do I have left and what do I want to do with it? What haven’t I done? I feel that the show was the best when it was the series and the bonus was the two movies.”

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In 2019, Gellar told BuzzFeed News’ AM to DM, “I’m not an adolescent anymore. … I’m all for them rebooting it. I think it’s an important story. I think there’s a way to modernize it and tell a different story now. I think the way we ended lends itself to it, but at the same time, I’m so proud of the show that we made.”

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Gellar continued, “What I think is even more impressive is that it’s still relevant today — that people find it and watch it for the first time, and it still means exactly the same if not more now that there’s more lessons to take, there’s more empowerment to take from it.” She added, “So does it really need to be done again?”

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Gellar further discussed the possibility (or lack thereof) of returning to the Buffyverse in a 2021 episode of the podcast On with Mario Lopez. She said she was a “wee bit…long in the tooth for that,” and added, “I don’t think it’s me, I don’t think I should be the one doing it,” especially since so much of the show was “a metaphor for the horrors of adolescence.”

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Adam Brody played Seth Cohen on The O.C., and would presumably have an open invite to come back should the show be rebooted, but he doesn’t think it should be.

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During a 2021 appearance on Welcome to the OC, Bitches!, a podcast hosted by his fellow O.C. alum Rachel Bilson and Melinda Clarke, Brody said, “I kind of don’t think it can be done because I feel like, socially, I think we’re in a different place. And I think we’re in a more conscious place.”

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He went on, “But I guess my point is like, for me, in a post-Donald Trump America, to go, ‘Let’s go to Orange County,’ I feel like you have to have a real reckoning politically and socially. And is that what people want to see with this show? I don’t know. And is there a way to do both? I mean, there is I suppose, but in my eyes, I’d probably want to torch it more than, like, the fans would want. So, I don’t know who would be happy.”

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Keanu Reeves was sent to “movie jail” after turning down the opportunity to star in Speed 2. Instead of reprising his role, Reeves played Hamlet in a Canadian production.

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Reeves told GQ that after turning down the role, “I didn’t work with [Fox] again until The Day the Earth Stood Still.”

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Speed was released in 1994. The Day the Earth Stood Still was released in 2008.

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Kristen Wiig, who co-wrote and starred in Bridesmaids, turned down the chance to make a sequel to the 2011 hit comedy.

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Wiig told Harper’s Bazaar, “It wasn’t a hard decision. We knew during the first one, this was it. We would have made a lot of money if there was a second one, but that’s not my goal in my creative life.”

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The first (and only) Bridesmaids made “almost $300 million at the box office.”

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Jodie Foster, who played Clarice Starling in The Silence of the Lambs, decided not to reprise her role in the 2001 follow-up Hannibal.

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Foster told Total Film in a 2005 interview, “The official reason I didn’t do Hannibal is I was doing another movie, Flora Plum. So I get to say, in a nice, dignified way, that I wasn’t available when that movie was being shot. But Clarice meant so much to Jonathan [Demme, the director of The Silence of the Lambs] and I, she really did, and I know it sounds kind of strange to say but there was no way that either of us could really trample on her.”

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When asked if she’d seen Hannibal, Foster replied, “I saw Hannibal. I won’t comment.”

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Julianne Moore ultimately replaced Foster as Clarice.

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During a 2021 virtual reunion of the original cast of ER, George Clooney revealed that he didn’t think a reboot would be right for the show.

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Clooney said, “When you look at the show, over so many years, it would be hard to say you could do it at the level that we did it.” He added, “It’s hard to catch lightning in a bottle again.”

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Fellow cast member Julianna Marguiles harbors similar reservations. During the reunion, she said, “I don’t think you can reboot it. I think it’s what George said: You can’t capture lightning in a bottle twice. I think you have to leave what was so beautiful and move on. Because it just feels like it would cheapen it for me.”

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During a 2020 appearance on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, Cole Sprouse was decidedly ambivalent about the possibility of The Suite Life of Zack & Cody being revived.

Sprouse said, “There’s always the, ‘Oh, when are you going to go back?’ But I don’t think it should be done. … I think it’s really incendiary, there’s a huge potential to, kind of, demolish that perfect little golden memory of a program if you go back and revive it. … I’m not the biggest fan of the sequel and the spinoff thing. I think also, if time elapses, everyone who comes back to a program like that, they’re not really in the same headspace.”

However, he added that if some sort of spinoff or reboot came to fruition, “I don’t know how it would feel. I think it would be enjoyable to find a way to do it that has a lot of respect and captures the feeling that people are actually desiring from that, but I don’t know. I think it could be quite incendiary.”


Connie Britton doesn’t think the team behind Friday Night Lights will revisit the series anytime soon.

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Britton told Entertainment Tonight, “I heard inklings a few years ago that they were gonna make another Friday Night Lights. Now meanwhile, we know we’ve already had a movie, we already had this TV show, and then if they were to do it again with like a whole different iteration of it, I don’t know. I would think that would be sort of odd.”

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That being said, Britton added that the marriage between her character, Tami, and Coach Taylor definitely “worked out.”

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Steven Spielberg apparently responded with a “firm no” when Universal Pictures brought up the idea of rebooting Jaws, the 1975 horror hit that Spielberg directed.

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(Spielberg’s production company Amblin Entertainment has a production deal with Universal Pictures, as well as one with Netflix.)

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Pictured is Steven Spielberg balancing on the head of Jaws. 

Universal proposed that Spielberg would be an executive producer on the remake, but Spielberg wasn’t interested. According to Deadline, “Some at Universal and Amblin said this was already known and not a recent conversation.”

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There were a few sequels made, including Jaws 2, Jaws 3-D, and Jaws: The Revenge, but Spielberg didn’t have anything to do with any of them. In 2004, Spielberg told Total Film that he didn’t want to work on a Jaws movie ever again, “Because making the first movie was a nightmare! There were endless problems with the shark and it was an impossible shoot. I thought my career was over because no one had ever taken a movie 100 days over schedule. It was successful, but I never wanted to go near the water again.”

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In 2014, Tina Fey denied that there was a sequel to or remake of Mean Girls in the works.

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She told Access Hollywood, “If everyone’s around, we might try to do some kind of like panel discussion…But it’s not like, it’s not another movie. At most it would be a panel discussion with a plate of hot wings. … It’s definitely not a movie.”

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Fey did write the book for the Broadway musical version of the movie, though.

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While promoting his movie Welcome to Marwen in 2018, Steve Carrell confirmed that he doesn’t think there should be a reboot of The Office, the iconic NBC comedy in which he starred as the hapless Michael Scott for 7 seasons.

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Speaking to Collider reporter Christina Radish, Carrell said in part, “I just can’t see it being the same thing, and I think most folks would want it to be the same thing, but it wouldn’t be. Ultimately, I think it’s maybe best to leave well enough alone and just let it exist as what it was. You’d literally have to have all of the same writers, the same producers, the same directors, and the same actors, and even with all of those components, it just wouldn’t be the same. So, no.”

Carrell went on, “It’s really flattering that it’s somehow caught people’s attention, so many years later. But, I don’t think you can recapture that same magic. I really think it comes down to that. If it was magic. I don’t want to overstate it. It was just a TV show. I just wouldn’t want to make the mistake of making a less good version of it. The odds wouldn’t be in its favor, in terms of it recapturing exactly what it was, the first time.”


In 2021, Mo’Nique said that the death of one of her co-stars, Yvette Wilson, would make it impossible to properly reboot The Parkers, a sitcom which aired from 1999 until 2004.

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During an appearance on Fox Soul’s Get Into It With Tami Roman, Mo’Nique said, “You can’t reboot something without everyone to reboot it.”

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She added, “But that’s just the way I feel about it. I wouldn’t feel good about it if Andell wasn’t walking through the door. And for me, that was just a special moment in time.” Andell was the name of Wilson’s character, “a local restaurant owner who was best friends with Mo’Nique’s Nikki Parker.”

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And finally: Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, who both played Michelle Tanner in Full House, decided not to return for the Netflix reboot Fuller House.

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In 2016, Fuller House executive producer Bob Boyett told People, “Ashley said, ‘I have not been in front of a camera since I was 17, and I don’t feel comfortable acting.’ Mary-Kate said, ‘It would have to be me because Ash doesn’t want to do it. But the timing is so bad for us.’”

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And in 2021, Full House (and Fuller House) star John Stamos told Insider, I remember trying to get them on Fuller House and they didn’t want to come in or there was some miscommunication, or whatever it was — it was blown out of proportion.”

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