William Shakespeare left many of his plays appallingly open ended. Look at Malvolio in Twelfth Night -- he storms off, swearing revenge, and no one seems unduly concerned. Don John the Bastard in Much Ado About Nothing is left unpunished until the weddings are over, and probably escaped once his brother's back was turned. All's Well That Ends Well does anything but end well, with Bertram demanding a DNA test of his wife Helena. But even the most bloody and tragic endings have a little bit of wiggle room -- and as this week's Hamlet 2 proves, all you need is a device, Jesus, and a can do attitude! In honor of Sexy Jesus and time machines, here are seven Shakespeare sequels that could make the Bard turn over in his grave. (And who says English Literature degrees are useless?)

(#7 added in, somehow it got lost between Notepad and Blogsmith. Sorry everyone.)

1. Cressida in the City

This sexy sequel to Shakespeare's bitter Trojan satire Troilus and Cressida finds the heroine living the life of a carefree and single Greek woman. She's not unfaithful, she's choosy – and why shouldn't she be when she has her pick of ripped warriors the likes of which 300 hasn't seen? Of course, this being Hollywood, she will eventually realize she loved Troilus all along – and he'll forgive her, buy her a really expensive apartment, and happily fund her addiction to expensive sandals.
2. There Can Be Only One

A sequel to "the Scottish play" is just dying to be fused with a certain sci-fi franchise. After cutting off Macbeth's head, MacDuff experiences "the quickening" and finds his immortality at odds with the beliefs of medieval Scotland. Obviously, he can't remain king without arousing suspicion, so he hands the throne over to Fleance, is schooled by Sean Connery, and wanders Scotland until the present day. Running a tourist shop on Edinburgh's Royal Mile, he is forced to confront a great evil of the past – the witches from the play, who want to bring about the final Gathering of the Immortals for their own ends.

3. Army of Andronicus

Titus Andronicus is as bloody and horrific as Nightmare on Elm Street -- so why shouldn't it have as many sequels? The death of the main characters or the murderous protagonist hasn't stopped a horror franchise yet. And Titus actually has one better -- Aaron the Moor was left alive, half buried, to die of thirst and starvation. Surely he can free himself and go on a maddened hunt to eliminate Emperor Lucius and all his kin? And helping him will be an army of zombies, starting with Tamora and Saturninus, who become zombies after greedily eating of cannibal pie.

4. Pirates of the Mediterranean

The Tempest closes with our entire cast, save one, on board a ship to Italy with only Ariel the spirit to guide them. Ships and water spirits are terribly unpredictable things and it's not long before Alonso, Miranda & Co are abandoned by Ariel, and set upon by pirates. Their foe is none other than Captain Barbossa, who's still looking for the Fountain of Youth. In exchange for her beloved Ferdinand's freedom, Miranda offers to lead Barbossa to Prospero, who knows where it is. But Prospero is already in the hands of the eyeliner wearing Captain Jack Sparrow – who might be willing to give him up to for all the treasure and booze of Naples.

5. Kill Friar Laurence

No one ever dies in a comic book – why should anyone die in Shakespeare? There's wiggle room. Juliet stabbed herself, yes, but she failed to get through her breastplate. But loss of blood and shock put her in a coma, and when she wakes up, she's mad as hell. She decides to hunt down that no good Friar Laurence, who was really just trying to politically manipulate the Capulets and Montagues for his own profitable ends. She goes on what the movie advertisements call a roaring rampage of revenge. Of course, it ends happy for Juliet, who finds Romeo working as a stableboy. It seems you should never trust strange substances made by a unregulated apothecaries. They leave you alive and suffering amnesia -- which is, luckily, cured upon finding your lost love.

6. Girls Just Want to Have Fun

Ha ha, joke's on Petruchio! Kate the Shrew was never tamed, it was all a ruse to win that big wager. Once her husband is asleep, she takes the money, and pairs up with Bianca and Mrs. Hortensio. They run off to Greece, pursued by Petruchio, Lucentio, and Hortensio. The girls rob banks, hook up with handsome drifters, kill unpleasant fellows, and leave a trail of mayhem behind them. It all ends well, though, when the three girls hop on board a ship and make it to a mythical land called Mexico.

7. Midsummer Nightmare

"If you pardon, we will mend." Be careful what you promise, Puck. Humankind decides they're tired of the fairies meddling in their sex lives, and a puritanical purge is threatened. As war threatens to erupt between fairies versus humans, Titania decides to take revenge on Oberon for that whole donkey affair, and the fairy kingdom is split into two just when it needs to be unified. Alliances are made and broken, and who do you trust when everyone is out for blood?
categories Cinematical