This week Disney opens Race to Witch Mountain 31 years after the last Witch Mountain movie, which, to give you a sense of the time, opened in 1978 and featured the top-billed Bette Davis and Christopher Lee as the bad guys! That's a long time ago, but there are lots of other belated sequels to consider. In order of waiting time:
1. Belle Toujours (2006)
Duration between sequels: 39 years
Luis Bunuel made Belle de Jour in 1967 and died in 1983. Lots and lots of years later, the 98-year-old Portuguese director Manoel de Oliveira picked up the story thread and re-united the two lead characters. Sadly, original star Catherine Deneuve was either unwilling or unable to re-create her role as the icy Severine, and so Bulle Ogier had to stand in for her. Michel Piccoli once again plays Henri Husson, who years earlier caught Severine in an awkward position -- secretly working daytime hours at a Paris brothel. Now the two elderly characters meet for an equally awkward dinner to discuss -- or not discuss -- what actually happened. Oliveria's work is far more austere than Bunuel's, but it has some delightful and thought-provoking moments.
2. Saraband (2005)
Duration between sequels: 30 years
Bergman created his final masterpiece with this film, re-uniting the now-divorced characters from Scenes from a Marriage (1973), played once again by the great Liv Ullmann and Erland Josephson. But as in real life, the drama quickly moves on to the younger characters. Bergman shot the film in 2003, but it was not released here until 2005.