Gone In 60 Seconds: Sequels That Immediately Kill Off Main Characters

If a movie is successful at the box office, a sequel is all but assured. Sometimes, Hollywood studios will try to capture lightning in a bottle twice by replaying the hits. Other times, however, they’ll drastically change things up. This list focuses on the latter.

These sequels wasted no time by killing of main characters from the previous movies. Sometimes, it may be due to contract disputes. Other times, it’s due to the script going in a different direction.


X-Men Last Stand
Image Credit: 20th Century Fox.

The original X-Men films saw two successful entries, with 2000’s X-Men and 2003’s X2. The third entry in the trilogy, 2006’s X-Men: The Last Stand, was not as successful.

One possible reason? The unfortunate death of Cyclops, aka Scott Summers. His death at the hands of Jean Grey helps propel The Dark Phoenix storyline, but because of actor James Marsden’s strong performances in the previous films, his loss is noticeable throughout the movie.


Halloween Resurrectrion
Image Credit: Miramax Films.

A Halloween film without the iconic Jamie Lee Curtis as Laurie Strode? It’s real, and it happened in 2002’s Halloween Resurrection. The reason? Curtis said that after Halloween 2, she never intended to be in another film in the franchise. She did want to return for Halloween H20, but that was supposed to be it.

She does come back in the Halloween reboot trilogy, starting in 2018’s Halloween.


G.I. Joe Retaliation
Image Credit: Paramount Pictures.

I’m not afraid to admit that 2009’s G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra is a guilty pleasure of mine. Is it high-brow entertainment? Absolutely not, but it’s a good popcorn flick.

Channing Tatum, who starred as Duke in the first film, requested to be immediately killed off in the sequel. His wish was granted. Despite appearing in the film’s marketing, the main stars here are The Rock and Bruce Willis.


Mortal Kombat Annihilation
Image Credit: New Line Cinema.

It’s hard to imagine a Mortal Kombat movie franchise without Johnny Cage. The character’s backstory is that he is an action movie star well-versed in martial arts.

That didn’t do him any good in Annihilation, though; he dies at the hands of Shao Kahn in the opening moments.


Scream 3
Image Credit: Miramax Films.

Despite being an important part of the lore of the Scream franchise, actor Liev Schreiber requested to be killed off in Scream 3. His wish is granted as he’s the victim in the film’s opening sequence.

Flash forward to the future, and he regrets his decision. In an interview with GQ, he said the following:

“At that point in my career, I didn’t really fully understand the value of being in a franchise. To be frank, I was like, ‘Let me get out of this while I can. Get out while things are going well.’ And I just thought it would be fun to be one of the iconic kills from the top. I was working and doing a lot of stuff, a lot of other stuff in New York, and theater, and I was like, ‘How many times can I play this character?’ And now, I realize, that you can play that character as many times as they want you to.”


The Matrix
Image Credit:
Warner Bros.

The story here is that Marcus Chong, who played Tank in 1999’s The Matrix, was killed off-screen before 2003’s The Matrix Reloaded due to contract disputes.

In reality, Chong filed a lawsuit against Warner Bros and AOL Time Warner, saying they were in breach of contract regarding the pay of his character. The Wachowskis rejected this, and Chong was even arrested in October 2000 for alleged threatening phone calls against The Wachowskis.


Independence Day
Image Credit: 20th Century Fox.

Twenty years after the release of Independence Day, a sequel was finally released. However, Will Smith’s Captain Steven Hiller is nowhere to be found and is essentially replaced by Liam Hemsworth’s Jake Morrison.

Smith ultimately decided to take the role of Deadshot in 2016’s Suicide Squad instead. As a result, the film suffers without Smith’s presence. Director Roald Emmerich said he wished he had stopped production once Smith opted out.


American Psycho
Image Credit: Lionsgate Films.

Did you know that they made a direct-to-video sequel to American Psycho? They did! It stars Mila Kunis, William Shatner, and Christian Ba–

–oh, they killed Batemen immediately, and it wasn’t Bale playing him, but some unnamed, unrecognizable person.

The film was universally panned by critics and regarded as one of the worst movies ever made.


Newt Aliens
Image Credit: Twentieth Century Fox.

A major plot point in 1986’s Aliens is the character development between Ellen Ripley and Rebecca “Newt” Jordan. In the sequel, 1992’s Alien 3, Newt is immediately killed, and all of that development is thrown out the window.


Loki - Avengers Infinity War
Image Credit: Marvel Studios.

Okay, yes, an alternate Loki escapes the past timeline in Endgame and goes to star in a Disney+ series. Still, the death of Loki in the opening moments of Infinity War helps set the stage for the highly anticipated two-part conclusion to the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Infinity Saga.


Austin Powers
Image Credit: New Line Cinema.

The opening sequence of the first Austin Powers sequel reveals that Vanessa, Austin’s new wife, played by Elizabeth Hurley, is a fembot controlled by Dr. Evil.

While Austin briefly laments the loss of his love, he realizes he’s single again and celebrates in typical Austin Powers fashion.

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The Fugutive
Image Credit: Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.


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Image Credit: Universal Pictures.

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