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Welcome to All Movie Talk! In this audio podcast, Samuel Stoddard and Stephen Keller talk about old and new movies, famous directors, historical film movements, movie trivia, and more.

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Long Sequel Gaps

2022 seems like a good year to talk about long gaps between originals and sequels. Top Gun: Maverick was released to theaters earlier this year; it is, of course, a sequel to a movie made 36 earlier -- quite a hefty span of time, almost two generations. How does this stack up against other sequels made long after the previous film in its series?

  1. Mary Poppins (1964) and Mary Poppins Returns (2018) (54 years)
  2. Peter Pan (1953) and Return To Never Land (2002) (49 years)
  3. Top Gun (1986) and Top Gun: Maverick (2022) (36 years)
  4. Blade Runner (1982) and Blade Runner 2049 (2017) (35 years)
  5. The Maltese Falcon (1941) and The Black Bird (1975) (34 years)
  6. Coming To America (1988) and Coming 2 America (2021) (33 years)
  7. Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985) and Mad Max: Fury Road (2015) (30 years)
  8. Tron (1982) and Tron: Legacy (2010) (28 years)
  9. Hustler (1961) and The Color of Money (1986) (25 years)
  10. The Wizard of Oz (1939) and Return To Oz (1964) (25 years)
  11. Psycho (1960) and Psycho II (1983) (23 years)
  12. Wall Street (1987) and Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (2010) (23 years)
  13. Rambo III (1988) and Rambo (2008) (20 years)
  14. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989) and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008) (19 years)
  15. Bad Boys II (2003) and Bad Boys For Life (2020) (17 years)
  16. The Godfather Part II (1974) and The Godfather Part III (1990) (16 years)
  17. Escape From New York (1981) and Escape From L.A. (1996) (15 years)

If you count direct-to-video releases, Bambi (1940) and Bambi II (2006) becomes the winner at 66 years, and a lot of other cheap Disney sequels make the list. (Return To Never Land was a theatrical release for some reason, so it counts anyway.) If you count made-for-TV films, It's a Wonderful Life (1946) and Clarence (1990) land near the top at 44 years.

But 2022 offers more to offer along these lines than Top Gun. 2022 also establishes a new frontrunner in a related record (as well as extending the accomplishments of others near the top). A new movie this year is The Railway Children Returns, a sequel to a 1970 film and a 1968 mini-series. In all three, Jenny Agutter played the character Roberta, which makes her the person who has played the same role over the longest period of time (even if you don't count the mini-series). The top several in this category are as follows:

  1. Jenny Agutter as Roberta in The Railway Children films between 1970 and 2022 (52 years, or 54 if you count television)
  2. Nick Castle as "The Shape" (Michael Myers) in Halloween films between 1978 and 2022 (44 years)
  3. Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker in Star Wars films between 1977 and 2019 (42 years, or 44 if you count television)
  4. Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, and Anthony Daniels as Han Solo, Leia Organa, and C3PO in Star Wars films between 1977 and 2019 (42 years)
  5. Harrison Ford as the title character in Indiana Jones films between 1981 and 2023 (42 years after the next film comes out)
  6. Billy Dee Williams as Lando Calrissian in Star Wars films dated between 1980 and 2019 (39 years, or 42 if you count television)
  7. Ian McDiarmid as Emperor Palpatine in Star Wars films dated between 1983 and 2019 (36 years, or 39 if you count television)
  8. Desmond Llewelyn as Q in James Bond films between 1963 and 1999 (36 years)
  9. Tom Cruise as Maverick in Top Gun films between 1986 and 2022 (36 years)
  10. Leonard Nimoy as Spock in Star Trek films between 1979 and 2013 (34 years, or 47 years if you count television)
  11. Jeff Goldblum as David Levinson in Independence Day films between 1996 and 2016 (30 years)
  12. Jeff Goldblum as Ian Malcolm in Jurassic Park films between 1993 and 2022 (29 years)
  13. Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt in Mission: Impossible films between 1996 and 2024 (28 years after the next two films come out)

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