It sounds exceedingly obvious to say so, but it’s worth repeating that the easiest way to ensure a movie gets a sequel is to pay for a ticket to watch it on the big screen, with Matthew Vaughn’s Stardust one of many prominent examples to have ended as a one-and-done cult favorite instead of a potentially lucrative multi-film series.
The fantasy blockbuster exists on the same pedestal as the likes of Solo: A Star Wars Story and Alita: Battle Angel, in that it only continues to grow more popular with each passing year, long after any chances of a direct continuation on the big screen have fallen by the wayside.
Matthew Vaughn admitted he was planning on a 1960s-set second installment, but cold water was poured all over those hopes when the star-studded Neil Gaiman adaptation ended up earning a mere $137 million at the box office against production costs estimated to be around $90 million.
That being said, the whirlwind romance between Charlie Cox’s Tristan and Claire Danes’ Yvaine proved to be immensely popular on home video, and it continues to be a regular performer on a variety of streaming services to this day. A large part of that is due to how the ambitious epic wormed its way into the hearts and minds of the populace, a sentiment that remains as strong as ever.
You know Stardust can genuinely be regarded as truly beloved when a Reddit thread in support of the film finds commenters acknowledging that despite making some sweeping changes to Gaiman’s source material, it doesn’t dilute or dampen the enjoyment in the slightest.
That’s about the highest praise any literary translation can find, serving only to further underline a Stardust sequel as one of the many missed opportunities that got away.