From ‘Top Gun 2’ to ‘Trainspotting 2’: The nostalgia sequel is upon us
Top Gun 2 has entered into production. Bill & Ted 3 is happening. We’ve had Tron: Legacy, Zoolander 2, Creed, and – unfortunately – Dumb and Dumber To. There’s no point denying it any longer: a new type of film has arrived. Let’s call it the Nostalgia Sequel.
Nostalgia Sequel, noun: A sequel to a film or TV show released at least 10 years prior that has a perceptible sentimentality and/or affection for the preceding film/TV show. Origin: Late 20th Century – see The Phantom Menace, Blues Brothers 2000.
This hot new trend is based on something older, like side-stripe trousers and being angry at the Russians. Nostalgia sequels aren’t normal sequels though, oh no! They can’t be churned out left, right and center. Instead, they need time to mature before reappearing on our screens like cherished old friends.
The intriguing part is how each film deals with its nostalgia. You could knock up a decent Nostalgia Sequel scale, running from Independence Day: Resurgence (Dripping In It) and Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (Heavily Showered), to Creed (Wet Through) and Star Wars: The Last Jedi (Damp).
Two of the most interesting nostalgia sequels arrived last year in the form of Trainspotting 2 and Blade Runner 2049. While some nostalgia sequels rely on hitting the same old beats (Rogue One and The Force Awakens), Trainspotting 2 and Blade Runner 2049 aren’t so much about rehashing the original films, and instead, they are about the originals films. How very meta.
Here’s how. Trainspotting 2 is a sequel about long-awaited sequels: aging and not living up to the hype. Blade Runner 2049 is a film dealing with consequences of looking decades into the past and creating a mythology and was made as a consequence of film fans continuously looking into the past and mythologizing the Ridley Scott‘s original Blade Runner. See? It’s all very meta.