When executives have a hit on their hands, the first thing they tend to want is a sequel to cash in on the hype. But sometimes the creators don't cooperate. Maybe it would take a long time to really do a sequel justice and the execs want a quick turnaround. Maybe the creators have become tired of the franchise and want to move on to something new. Sequelitis Or maybe one or more key creators fell victim to Author Existence Failure.
Fortunately (or unfortunately as the case may be), there's a compromise solution: hand it off to the B-team and let the original creators either take their time to make the "real" sequel or move on to whatever they would rather be working on next.
This often happens in video game franchises. Since a totally new sequel with new assets and even a new engine can take many years to create, publishers will often task a different studio with making a quick-and-dirty Mission-Pack Sequel while the original studio takes their time to make the "real" sequel. Some annualized franchises even alternate years between the A-team and B-team.
In film, this often happens when the original director steps back into a producing or consulting role, and is sometimes accompanied by a "soft reboot" in which previous installments are still canon in Broad Strokes but there is a major tonal shift. As such, the line between this and a full Continuity Reboot can sometimes get fuzzy.
This is de rigueur in comic books, where (until much later) franchises very rarely stayed in their original creator's hands; thus, only especially notable comics examples should be listed.
Naturally, results vary, and many a Contested Sequel has come about due to this practice. Sometimes the B-team feels too beholden to the original, leading to cries of It's the Same, Now It Sucks!. Of course, if they stray too far, fans may cry that They Changed It, Now It Sucks! because Only the Creator Does It Right. Either way, it is a leading cause of the Sophomore Slump in video games and movies.
On the other hand, sometimes a fresh set of hands can lead to a Surprisingly Improved Sequel or Even Better Sequel; if and when the original creators do return to a franchise, they might be surprised to find that fans now consider the "B-team" to be My Real Daddy. In extreme cases, the cycle can continue with the B-team becoming the new A-team when the franchise is handed off to a third creator years or even decades down the road.
Another major cause of a sequel falling into different hands is when a group runs afoul of Creative Differences. If one vision contrasts with another, it may become a tug-of-war for creative control until someone wins out. In other situations, problems may arise that force one group to bail out, or sell off the rights to produce if they go bankrupt. Contracts can affect where these rights go and when, and if companies divide, it is possible the work will be handled by a replacement group, some of which may have divergent ideas from the original. There is also Sequelitis, the trend where works fall out of favor when new installments don't do the previous ones justice, and a lot of the time, it's because someone gets too fast and loose with the elements of a work and creates a big mess as they run out of ways to keep the magic going. The simplest fix is to hand it off to new blood with decent ideas to employ.
Compare Changing of the Guard, which is when a sequel focuses on different characters, and with which this sometimes overlaps.
- Dragon Ball: Although he occasionally did some minor consulting or character design work, Akira Toriyama largely left the Dragon Ball franchise in the hands of various other writers and artists after the end of the Dragon Ball Z anime; most notably, he had little involvement in Sequel Series Dragon Ball GT, which many fans treat as a Dork Age. This changed with the newer Sequel Series Dragon Ball Super, the first Toriyama-headed Dragon Ball series in almost two decades. However, the case of Super is a Zig Zagged Trope: for the anime, he provides most character designs and the plot outline to Toei, which they are able to adapt to their liking; for the manga, he's only slightly more involved, providing the same story outline and designs he gave to Toei, occasionally illustrating and writting some pages, but most of the work of illustrations, dialogue and adaptation of the outline it's mainly Toyotaro's work as he has expressed that Toriyama rarely gives him advice, something Toriyama does in an attempt to not make Toyotaro dependant on himself. Notably, Super finally showed GT being Canon Discontinuity to the mainstream not aware of Toriyama never considering the series a canonical sequel of his work. In a subvertion, Toriyama is the main writer of the movie Dragon Ball Super: Broly, which is considered canonical to both the anime and manga versions of Super.
- TNK lost the rights of the High School Dx D anime due to Creator Backlash based on huge changes to the storyline during the 3rd season. The studio that took over, Passione, makes the 4th season, about which Ishibumi can't be clearer that he considers it a Creator-Preferred Adaptation.
- Downplayed with Cute High Earth Defense Club LOVE!, which changed animation studios from Diomedea to Studio Comet, but retained some staff from the original (although quite a few notable production roles changed hands between staff).
- For the second season of Psycho-Pass, there was change in the animation studios (Production I.G to Tatsunoko Production* ) and main writer (Gen Urobuchi to Tow Ubukata). The end result became a Contested Sequel as Ubukata revealed that he had to "fill in the blanks" when he was told of the movie's plot. The movie had the original studio and writer back and was better-received than Season 2 was.
- The animated series of Tsubasa -RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE- was done by Bee Train but after the Rekord arc, the rest of the second season had a lot of fillers. This led to a change of animation studios from Bee Train to Production I.G. and staff with Nanase Ohkawa of CLAMP to adapt the rest of the arcs into two OADs, ignoring the filler material from the TV series.
- There was also a change in the animation studios and director in Hozuki's Coolheadedness because Wit Studio, who were in charge of Season 1, had been very busy with other shows which leaves Studio DEEN to do the OVAs and Seasons 2 and 3.
- FLCL Progressive & Alternative are spearheaded by new writers, but they stay firmly rooted in the spirit of the original FLCL and take many cues from it.
- Both the anime and the manga of Fairy Tail have been subject to many distinct changes of production. The first anime was criticized for being somewhat Off-Model from the manga's designs, featuring over-saturated colors, using magic circles for all the spells cast that weren't in the manga, and toning down a lot of the violence and Fanservice. This was the setup up before the anime went on hiatus in 2013. In 2014, the anime went under new production which toned the colors back to more like what is seen in the traditional ink colored art of the manga, removed the spell circles, made the characters accurate to their designs in the manga, and gained better reception. However, it also had some faults, coming at the cost of losing nearly all its signature songs (the rights of which belong to Ponycanyon) and replacing them with shaky imitations by the same composer. The second anime ran until 2016, with a third anime to cap off the run of the original manga to air in October 2018. On top of all this, Fairy Tail advanced over to a new author (Atsuo Ueda) while Hiro Mashima stayed on as a storyboard artist, co-creating Fairy Tail: 100 Years Quest while launching a new series, EDENS ZERO.
- Full Metal Panic! switched hands twice: It started at Gonzo but Fumoffu and The Second Raid were produced by Kyoto Animation instead. And then Invisible Victory was produced by Xebec.
- Ikki Tousen went from JC Staff in the first season to Arms Corporation in the second and third, with TNK co-producing the fourth.
- The final season of Attack on Titan is produced by an entirely different team at MAPPA. As such, it has a completely different look and feel compared to the Wit Studio-produced first three seasons.
- The Forgotten Darkness, a story that takes place in between Season 4 and Season 5 of The Flash Sentry Chronicles, is written by the series editor KingJoltik, rather than the series writer Banshee531.
- All of the Direct to Video sequels made by Disneytoon Studios fall into this, since they were Disney's animation sub-studio as opposed to their in-house animation department that makes the Disney Animated Canon films. In some cases, such as the two Cinderella sequels and Bambi II, this was out of necessity as almost all of the original artists that worked on the films had long since passed away or retired.
- Every single animated feature directed by Don Bluth likewise had almost all of their sequels shipped out to outside studios or departments, and Bluth had no involvement with them. Bartok the Magnificent was the lone exception since it was directed in-house at 20th Century Fox's animation department by Bluth himself to keep his animators busy between work on Anastasia and Titan A.E..
- Teen Titans Go! vs. Teen Titans, a crossover movie between Teen Titans and Teen Titans Go! follows this for both shows. None of the crew members from the former such as Glen Murakami and David Slack were involved due to the team for the series dissolving after Teen Titans: Trouble in Tokyo. As for the latter, while Michael Jelenic and Aaron Horvath are credited as executive producers, their role is still minimal, while no one else currently working on the series is involved.
- Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman had no involvement by Bruce Timm or Paul Dini. It was also left out from the complete Batman: The Animated Series bluray-set, unlike Batman: Mask of the Phantasm and Batman & Mr. Freeze: Sub-Zero.
- While there was no official reboot, the tone of the '90s Batman films shifted notably between the Tim Burtonhelmed Batman (1989) and Batman Returns and the Joel Schumacherhelmed Batman Forever and Batman & Robin. Most fans consider the latter of two films to be an irredeemable Dork Age, although a minority find it So Bad, It's Good. Fans are divided on Returns and Forever.
- After Richard Donner left partway through the filming of Superman II, Superman III and Superman IV: The Quest for Peace were helmed by the B-teams of Richard Lester and Sidney J. Furie, respectively. Reactions were so bad that Bryan Singer considered them Canon Discontinuity when he directed Superman Returns almost twenty years later, although that one fared only slightly better.
- Lester was supposed to direct Supergirl, but it didn't pan out.
- Ridley Scott had moved on by the time the producers got serious about making a sequel to Alien, so they tapped then-newcomer James Cameron for Aliens instead. Both films are well-regarded, although questions of which is the better film often become heated. Other B-teams took over for Alien³ and beyond.
- Bryan Singer left the X-Men Film Series for Superman Returns after directing the well-regarded X-Men and X2: X-Men United; the Brett Ratnerdirected X-Men: The Last Stand and subsequent spinoffs under various other B-teams were... somewhat more poorly regarded. The franchise got back on track with Matthew Vaughn's prequel X-Men: First Class, and Singer returned for X-Men: Days of Future Past and X-Men: Apocalypse.
- James Cameron declined to return to write and direct Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, saying that he had finished the story with the classic Even Better Sequel Terminator 2: Judgment Day. The rights having changed hands a couple times since T2, this didn't stop various B-teams from taking a crack at sequels anyway, with hotly contested but generally less-well-received results. Cameron returned to the franchise in a producer role for Terminator: Dark Fate.
- Star Trek:
- Star Trek went through this quite a bit. After the disappointing Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Roddenberry was Kicked Upstairs and largely locked out of the production process as essentially Producer Emeritus for about seven years (especially after the film ran way over budget and Roddenberry's pitch for a sequel had the Enterprise crew have to ensure the assassination of John F. Kennedy). The B-team consisted of producer Harve Bennett during these years, with Nicholas Meyer and then Leonard Nimoy helming the vastly improved Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, and Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. Roddenberry wouldn't return himself to the center seat until Star Trek: The Next Generation, with his death in the '90s necessitating another B-team, Berman and Braga, taking over.
- After nearFranchise Killer Star Trek: Nemesis, the torch was passed again, this time to J. J. Abrams, who used some Timey-Wimey Ball magic to softly reboot the franchise with Star Trek (2009) and follow up with Contested Sequel Star Trek Into Darkness.
- The Force Awakens is the first full-fledged Star Wars film not to directly involve George Lucas, instead created by J. J. Abrams. Due to the severely Broken Base over the Prequel Trilogy, this is a rare case of the B-Team Sequel being more anticipated because of a changing of the guard from the original creator.
- Marvel Cinematic Universe:
- Iron Man: Iron Man and Iron Man 2 were both directed by Jon Favreau. Favreau refused to direct the third installment thanks to all the Executive Meddling he put up with on the first one, so Iron Man 3 ended up being directed by Shane Black.
- Captain America: Captain America: The First Avenger was directed by Joe Johnston. The two sequels, Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Captain America: Civil War, were both directed by Joe and Anthony Russo.
- Thor: Thor was directed by Kenneth Branagh. Patty Jenkins was brought in to direct Thor: The Dark World but was fired and replaced with Alan Taylor. Taylor criticized Marvel's Executive Meddling, so Thor: Ragnarok was directed by Taika Waititi.
- The Avengers: The Avengers and Avengers: Age of Ultron were both directed by Joss Whedon. However, once again, Executive Meddling reared its ugly head during filming of the second film, and Whedon declined to direct the third installment. The above-mentioned Russo brothers replaced him as the directors of Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame.
- Doctor Strange: Doctor Strange (2016) was directed by Scott Derrickson, who stepped down from Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness due to Creative Differences. Sam Raimi stepped in as director.
- Planned for the The Pink Panther film series. Originator/Director Blake Edwards and star Peter Sellers were not getting along during the production of Revenge of the Pink Panther so Sellers was in the middle of arranging for another Pink Panther to be made without Edwards' involvement. But then Sellers died, and Edwards made the sequel without Sellers instead.
- The first Jaws is largely regarded as a great movie and was directed by a young Steven Spielberg. Jaws 2 was a mediocre sequel helmed by Jeannot Szwarc, but it has its fans, and then the series went downhill with Jaws 3D and Jaws: The Revenge being helmed by Joe Alves and Joseph Sargent, respectively. Additionally, Roy Scheider and John Williams returned for Jaws 2, but left the series after that. In fact, Scheider signed onto Blue Thunder just so he would be contractually unavailable for Jaws 3D. Richard Dreyfuss didn't do any of the Jaws sequels, having made Close Encounters of the Third Kind with Spielberg while Jaws 2 was in production.
- A similar creative team were behind both Jurassic Park and The Lost World: Jurassic Park: both were based on novels by Michael Crichton, adapted for the screen by David Koepp, directed by Steven Spielberg and scored by Spielberg's regular composer John Williams; none of these people were involved with Jurassic Park III. A second B-Team took over for Jurassic World, then another took over for Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.
- Exorcist II: The Heretic was made without director William Friedkin or writer William Peter Blatty. The results spoke for themselves. Blatty did write and direct The Exorcist III, which was a vast improvement. Friedkin and Blatty also had no involvement with Exorcist: The Beginning.
- Damien: Omen II was made without director Richard Donner or writer David Seltzer. Donner was busy directing Superman: The Movie, while Seltzer wasn't interested in doing a sequel.
- Neither John Milius nor Oliver Stone had any involvement with Conan the Destroyer. The result was a sequel that went for a PG rating by toning down the violence and nudity.
- Neither John Hughes nor Harold Ramis had any involvement with National Lampoon's European Vacation. Ramis was busy with Ghostbusters (1984), while Hughes had no idea the film had even been made until he saw a TV spot. Hughes did return to write National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, which is widely considered to be the best in the series.
- Predator 2 was made without Arnold Schwarzenegger or director John McTiernan. Arnie didn't have much confidence in the idea, while McTiernan was busy directing The Hunt for Red October.
- McTiernan didn't return for Die Hard 2 for the same reason.
- Not only did Grease 2 fail to get back John Travolta or Olivia Newton-John, but also the original director and screenwriter.
- The Next Karate Kid was not only made without Ralph Macchio, but without the director and screenwriter of the first three films.
- Paul W.S. Anderson had no involvement with Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, as he was busy working on Event Horizon.
- The sequels to RoboCop (1987) were made without Paul Verhoeven or the original screenwriters.
- While John Hughes returned to write Home Alone 3, Chris Columbus did not and neither did John Williams.
- James Whale didn't return to direct Son of Frankenstein, as he had wanted to move away from horror films.
- Kick-Ass 2 was made without Matthew Vaughn and Jane Goldman, as they had moved on to Kingsman: The Secret Service.
- The Mission: Impossible films have been through several directors, with only Christopher McQuarrie lasting more than one film:
- Tom Cruise attempted to get Brian De Palma to return for Mission: Impossible II, but he declined.
- J. J. Abrams was unable to return for Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol, as he was committed to Star Trek (2009).
- Brad Bird was unable to return for Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation as he was busy with Tomorrowland.
- John G. Avildsen was unable to return to direct Rocky II, as he had moved on to Saturday Night Fever...which he was later fired from. Sylvester Stallone wound up directing. He attempted to persuade Avildsen to return for Rocky III, but Avildsen convinced him to do it himself. Avildsen did return for Rocky V, the only sequel not directed by Stallone.
- Rocky IV is the only film in the series not to be scored by Bill Conti, as he was busy working on The Karate Kid Part II, also directed by Avildsen. Vince DiCola scored instead the film instead.
- Ryan Coogler didn't return for Creed II, as he was busy working on Black Panther (2018). Steven Caple Jr. directed instead.
- Zack Snyder had no involvement with 300: Rise of an Empire, as he was busy working on Man of Steel.
- Stephen Sommers had no involvement with The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor.
- Guillermo del Toro didn't return for Pacific Rim: Uprising as he was busy with The Shape of Water.
- David Ayer wrote and directed the 2016 movie Suicide Squad. A followup titled The Suicide Squad is being written by James Gunn for release in 2021 which is envisioned as a soft reboot focusing on a largely new cast with little or no connections to the prior film.
- Johnny English changed directorial hands three times: The first film was directed by Peter Howitt; Reborn was by Oliver Parker; Strikes Again was by David Kerr.
- The Beverly Hills Cop trilogy had different directors. The first had Martin Brest, the second had Tony Scott and the third had John Landis. The third also wasn't produced by Jerry Bruckheimer and Don Simpson, nor was it scored by Harold Faltermyer.
- James Bond:
- Terence Young didn't return to direct Goldfinger after directing Dr. No and From Russia with Love due to a dispute with the producers that saw him denied a percentage of the film's profits. He did The Amorous Adventures of Moll Flanders instead.
- Martin Campbell didn't return to direct Tomorrow Never Dies after directing GoldenEye, as he didn't want to do two Bond films in a row. He did The Mask of Zorro instead. This is most likely the reason he didn't return for Quantum of Solace after directing Casino Royale (2006). He was also offered The World Is Not Enough and Die Another Day, but declined.
- Roger Spottiswoode didn't return to direct The World Is Not Enough due to the Troubled Production of Tomorrow Never Dies.
- Sam Mendes stepped down from directing No Time to Die after directing Skyfall and SPECTRE (in fact, it was reported that it took some convincing for him to direct the latter).
- Because David Cronenberg and his Production Posse had moved on to Dead Ringers, The Fly II was directed by Chris Walas, the makeup/special effects designer from the first film, and written, scored, etc. by other hands. Crosses over with Changing of the Guard as it deals with a mostly new set of characters headed up by the Spin-Offspring of the first film's protagonist.
- For obvious reasons, Roman Polański had no involvement in Chinatown's sequel The Two Jakes. Jack Nicholson directed it himself.
- John Woo didn't return for A Better Tomorrow: Love and Death in Saigon, due to a falling out with producer Tsai Hark.
- Jerry Zucker, David Zucker, and Jim Abrahams initially agreed to make Airplane II: The Sequel, and then balked at the idea at a later date. The movie went ahead without their permission, and despite their protests - thus, they refused to watch a single frame of it upon its release - and still have not over twenty years later.
- Wes Craven refused to work on A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2: Freddy's Revenge because he never wanted or intended to have the first film become an ongoing franchise (and even wanted it to have a happy ending). He also didn't like the idea of Freddy manipulating the protagonist into committing the murders.
- Tim Burton stepped down as director on Alice Through the Looking Glass, though he still produced. James Bobin took over.
- Burton also had no involvement with Big Top Pee-wee, as he was transitioning from completing Beetlejuice to beginning pre-production on Batman (1989).
- Stephen Herek declined to return as director for Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey, because he thought it was "almost a parody of a movie that was already a parody".
- Blade Trilogy:
- Ridley Scott was said to be helming Blade Runner 2049 himself back in 2011, but his work on Prometheus, The Counselor, Exodus: Gods and Kings, The Martian and Alien: Covenant resulted in him taking a step back into an executive producer capacity only.
- The only ones to return for Caddyshack II were Chevy Chase and Kenny Loggins. Harold Ramis was involved, though his script was heavily rewritten.
- Death Wish:
- Michael Winner showed no interest in directing Death Wish 4: The Crackdown because he had heard that Charles Bronson had a terrible experience filming Death Wish 3. He was also pre-occupied with filming Appointment With Death.
- He was available to direct Death Wish V: The Face of Death, but was never asked to do so. According to Winner, his lack of interest in directing the previous film may have led Menahem Golan to count him out.
- The Fast and the Furious:
- Neither Rob Cohen nor Vin Diesel returned for 2 Fast 2 Furious, as they worked on xXx at the time.
- Justin Lin didn't return for Furious 7, as the studio wanted to produce the film on an accelerated schedule for release in summer 2014. This would have required Lin to begin pre-production on the sequel while performing post-production on Fast & Furious 6, which he considered would affect the quality of the final product.
- Diesel attempted to get Cohen to return for The Fate of the Furious.
- Friday the 13th Part 2:
- The first six Godzilla films were all directed by Ishiro Honda, scored by Akira Ifukube, and featured special effects by Eiji Tsuburya, with the exception of the second film, Godzilla Raids Again which was directed by Motoyoshi Oda and scored by Masaru Sato. Beginning with the seventh film however, directorial duties were handed over to Jun Fukuda and the music was provided by Sato once more, after which Tsuburaya became less involved with the series to focus on Ultraman. Since then the series has never held onto a main creative team for more than a few movies at a time, with directors, composers and special effects supervisors coming and going on a regular basis.
- John Carpenter left the directing reigns on Halloween II (1981) to Rick Rosenthal, though he did co-write and score the film, as well as directing additional scenes.
- Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers was where Carpenter bailed on the series. He wanted to turn Halloween to an anthology series, as opposed to continuing the Michael Myers story.
- Carpenter was originally considered to direct Halloween H20: Twenty Years Later. But Moustapha Akkad balked when he asked for $10 million as his directing fee - which he believed was compensation for the revenue he had never received from the original. Supposedly he stayed on as an uncredited producer.
- The original creative team behind The Silence of the Lambs (primarily Jonathan Demme and Jodie Foster) was enthusiastic about working on Hannibal... right up until the book they would be adapting was finally published. Demme declined to helm the film early on in pre-production, finding the source material excessively "lurid". Screenwriter Ted Tally (who hadn't been as vocal in his enthusiasm for working on a sequel, but had worked well with Demme and did subsequently adapt Red Dragon) also took a pass, simply deeming it "excessive". Foster was more equivocal initially, but finally declined to return as well, officially citing scheduling conflicts (with her film Flora Plum). Some years later, she also revealed that she was displeased with Clarice's character arc in the novel, as was Demme. Demme and Foster turned down massive paychecks, with talks of a $15 million salary for Foster (and Anthony Hopkins), and as much as a $20 million director's fee for Demme. Obviously that was enough to entice Hopkins, who (as noted above) subsequently expressed misgivings about the finished film anyway. Had Harris written a more... "acceptable" version of Hannibal, it does seem much likelier that Demme, Foster and Tally might have all returned alongside Hopkins.
- Harry Potter:
- Chris Columbus stepped down as director on Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban due to family commitments. He stayed on as producer and then vacated the series.
- Alfonso Cuarón was offered the chance to direct Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, but declined, as he would still be working on the post-production for the previous film. Also, John Williams was unable to score the film, as he was working on Memoirs of a Geisha.
- Mike Newell decided not to return to direct Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, leaving David Yates to helm the rest of the series.
- Joe Dante was never offered the chance to direct Howling II: Stirba: Werewolf Bitch. The rights to the book The Howling II was owned by one of the producers and by Gary Brandner, the author of the book. Brandner, who was not a huge fan of Dante at the time, was not likely going to consider him to make the sequel after his displeasure with the director loosely adapting the first The Howling novel.
- Tobe Hooper was originally going to be involved in Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III. He had submitted a treatment to New Line execs, but bowed out of the project due to scheduling conflicts concerning his film Spontaneous Combustion.
- Antoine Fuqua refused to direct London Has Fallen because he didn't like the script.
- Pirates of the Caribbean:
- Gore Verbinski was unable to return for Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides due to his commitment to Rango. He passed on Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, feeling that "there's no reason other than financial" in making the film.
- Rob Marshall didn't return for Dead Men Tell No Tales, as he was busy with Into the Woods. Hans Zimmer also didn't score the film, as he was busy working on Dunkirk.
- Denis Villeneuve could not return to direct Sicario: Day of the Soldado due to scheduling conflicts with Arrival and Blade Runner 2049.
- Hal Needham and Burt Reynolds were not interested in making Smokey And The Bandit Part 3 as they were developing Stroker Ace. Reynolds ended up making a very brief cameo appearance though, in the final scene.
- Luc Besson still wrote and produced Taxi 5, but no director nor main actor from the first batch of films (bar two supporting roles, Bernard Farcy and Edouard Montoute) returned.
- Hammer Horror stalwart Terence Fisher was originally slated to direct The Evil of Frankenstein and Dracula: Prince of Darkness, but had to bow out after an automobile accident, leaving cameraman Freddie Francis at the helm.
- Stanley Kubrick was offered the chancet to direct 2010: The Year We Make Contact, but had zero interest in doing it.
- Penelope Spheeris was approached by Paramount to direct Wayne's World 2. Spheeris immediately declined the offer due to the fact that Mike Myers had been so difficult to work with during the making of the first film. Instead Stephen Surjik was chosen to direct. Spheeris would not make peace with Myers until after the release of Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery.
- Vin Diesel and Rob Cohen signed on for xXx: State of the Union two months before the first film opened. Both ended up leaving the project as Diesel disliked the script, while Cohen worked on Stealth. Cohen remained as an executive producer.
- John McTiernan was initially attached to direct Patriot Games, but departed when Alec Baldwin dropped out. He moved on to Medicine Man, which reunited him with Sean Connery, the star of The Hunt for Red October.
- After Douglas Adams died with his The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series finishing on an unsatisfactory note, Eoin Colfer was brought in to write a final book, which was released to mixed reviews. Although Adams said in interviews that he eventually intended to write a sixth book, what few notes he left on the subject are unrelated to Colfer's ...And Another Thing and were instead packaged together with a half-finished Dirk Gently manuscript and various other scraps and musings and posthumously released as The Salmon of Doubt.
- The Millennium Trilogy was originally supposed to be a ten-book series, but Stieg Larsson died after completing only three books. Another writer was hired to continue the series with The Girl in the Spider Web. Although Larsson reportedly left behind partial manuscripts for a fourth and fifth book, they are in the possession of his girlfriend, who does not approve of the continuation of the series by ghostwriters, and these materials are not used in Spider Web.
- Gene Roddenberry, the father of the Star Trek franchise, passed away partway through Star Trek: The Next Generation's seven-year run. Star Trek: Deep Space Nine was the first Trek Sequel Series to be created without any direct input from Roddenberry, being largely helmed instead by Rick Berman and Michael Piller. Rick Berman, another TNG alum, went on to produce Star Trek: Voyager and Star Trek: Enterprise.
- Assassin's Creed: Syndicate. The game was made by Ubisoft Quebec after Ubisoft Montreal took a break following the infamous Assassin's Creed: Unity, making them rethink the future of the series.
- After Batman: Arkham Asylum and Batman: Arkham City, A-team developer Rocksteady wanted plenty of time to create the last game in the trilogy, Batman: Arkham Knight. To keep the series going, WB Games Montreal was given a turn at the wheel with the prequel Batman: Arkham Origins, using modified assets from the previous games. note General consensus is the gameplay is too derivative of Arkham City but the story takes the series in an interesting direction.
- Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time, the fourth game in the series, was developed by Sanzaru Games, the company that handled the HD Trilogy re-release, rather than Sucker Punch. While the game itself was well-received for staying true to the series, what pissed the fanbase off was the Shocking Swerve that was Penelope's FaceHeel Turn and ending the game on a Cliffhanger with Sly stuck in the past and then announcing that they weren't making a sequel for it. These wound up tainting Sanzaru's reputation and lead to many fans disowning the game.
- Dark Souls II falls square into this. Series creator Hidetaka Miyazaki supervised the production of the game, but most of his attention and that the original Dark Souls team was on making Bloodborne, which was in development around the same time. To add to this, the original director, Tomohiro Shibuya, left the project under uncertain circumstances (though it's been alleged that the original version didn't feel very much like a Souls game) and a new director took over from there, around the halfway point in production. This goes some way toward explaining why Dark Souls II is considered the weakest game of the franchise by many.
- When Dizzy creators Philip and Andrew Oliver decided to concentrate on developing games for the Nintendo Entertainment System, Codemasters sought another developer to continue the series on home computers. Big Red Software's Magicland Dizzy went over well enough that Codemasters made Big Red their new A-team, and let them develop almost all subsequent Dizzy games aside from the few that the Oliver Twins coded for the NES. Crystal Kingdom Dizzy, however, was assigned to another B-team, Visual Impact.
- Stuntman is an interesting double example in that the sequel had both a different developer and publisher. The original was developed by Reflections and published by Infogrames under the Atari brand name. The sequel, Stuntman: Ignition, was developed by Paradigm Entertainment and published by THQ. Also interesting is that the companies that worked on the first game outlasted the companies that worked on the sequel.
- Lunar: Dragon Song: Primary development duties were outsourced by Game Arts to Japan Art Media, the same company that developed Lunar: Silver Star Story.
- The first five games in the Sakura Wars series were first developed by Red Entertainment and Sega. Sakura Wars (2019) is the first game not to involve Red Entertainment; instead, it was developed by Sega in their first solo outing.
- In general, ever since the Persona series rise to fame, the mainline Shin Megami Tensei series fell to this with most of the recognized and talented names either working on the Persona series or stepped down to let others forward. During the development of Shin Megami Tensei IV, Team Maniax was undergoing a shift in their workforce, and when Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse began development, practically the entire team was now new people.
- After Kingdom Hearts II, all future development for the Kingdom Hearts series save for the DS games was handed off from Square Enix's main studio in Tokyo to a secondary studio in Osaka (the developers of Einhänder, Parasite Eve 2, Brave Fencer Musashi and Musashi Samurai Legend). Unfortunately, many of the Osaka-developed games in the series prior to Kingdom Hearts III Re Mind suffer heavily from Contested Sequel due to II Final Mix being held to such a high standard among fans and attempts to shake up the gameplay not being very well designed or implemented.
- After the success of BioShock, creator Ken Levine and developer Irrational's ambitious plans for what eventually became BioShock Infinite made for a six-year wait. In the meantime, publisher 2K tasked B-team 2K Marin with creating BioShock 2, which turned out to be a Contested Sequel. Detractors criticized the recycled setting, derivative premise, slow start, and shoehorned multiplayer; proponents cite the improved gameplay and mechanics and excellent third act, and even the solid-but-forgettable multiplayer found an audience. The Minerva's Den add-on is lauded as one of the best pieces of DLC ever made by those who actually played it, although a late PC release doomed it to relative obscurity.
- After "finishing the fight" with Halo 3 and performing a few victory laps with Halo 3: ODST and Halo: Reach, A-team Bungie officially handed the Halo franchise over to B-team 343 Industries starting with Halo 4. 343 was spun off from Microsoft Studios specifically to shepherd the franchise after Bungie's departure from Microsoft in 2007.
- Metroid Prime Trilogy:
- Nintendo's decision to entrust the then-unknown American developer, Retro Studios, with the task of creating a successor to the immensely acclaimed Super Metroid was quite controversial when first announced. The revelation that they were going to bring the series into 3D by way of First-Person Shooter didn't help matters. Of course, this reaction was totally flipped around when the game, Metroid Prime, actually came out, with it receiving high praise from both fans and critics, and gaining two direct sequels. The studio came to be seen as the Metroid developer and, after the failure of Other M, more trusted than series co-creator Yoshio Sakamoto to handle the property.
- Zig-zagged with Metroid Prime 4. It was initially announced that it was not being developed by Retro Studios, but by a new, unknown development team. Then Nintendo decided to restart development from scratch and have Retro Studios make it. However, in the years since making the original Metroid Prime Trilogy, much of the staff who made those titles had left the company, meaning Metroid Prime 4 will still largely be made by a new team.
- The Call of Duty series was created by developer Infinity Ward. However, after the success of the second game, Activision tasked developer Treyarch and later developer Sledgehammer Games to make their own installments so that a Call of Duty game could be released every year. After Jason West and Vince Zampella were fired from Infinity Ward in 2010, which studio is the A-Team became a lot more arguable.
- Sonic the Hedgehog:
- The aborted Sega Saturn game Sonic X-Treme, which was intended as the Sonic series' major leap into the third dimension, was developed by the western based Sega Technical Institute and was made with no involvement by Sonic Team at all, who were burned out on the series after making a quadrology of games for it, and were wrapped up working on the games Ristar, NiGHTS into Dreams... and Burning Rangers anyway. After X-Treme went through a disastrous production that ended with both its cancellation and the dissolution of the Sega Technical Institute, Sega used NiGHTS and an upgraded port of the Traveller's Tales spin-off game Sonic 3D Blast to fill in as the Killer App for the Saturn while Sonic Team were forced to take the reigns back on the series, beginning work on a prototype 3D engine (later used for the Sonic World hub of Sonic Jam) that would end up becoming the basis for Sonic's real 3D debut, Sonic Adventure.
- Starting in 1999, Sega started commissioning a series of handheld 2D Sonic platformers developed by Dimps. They got their start as the B-team of Sonic with Sonic Advance for the GBA, leading to a string of successful 2D Sonic games from 2001 to 2007 (quite notable in that the main Sonic Team-developed games were going through a notorious Dork Age towards the end of this period). However, this string ended with the underperformance of Sonic Rush Adventure on the DS, and Sega relegated Dimps to making adaptations of Sonic Team's games for handhelds. Dimps was also tasked with creating Sonic the Hedgehog 4, which sadly turned out to be one of the most divisive 2D games in the series.
- Sonic Mania was created by PagodaWest Games and Headcannon, including experienced Sonic fangame creators and with a soundtrack by Tee Lopes, well known for his Sonic remixes. The result is one of the most well-received Sonic games.
- Donkey Kong Country Returns: After finishing their work on the Metroid Prime Trilogy, Retro Studios were tasked with reviving yet another Nintendo series, Donkey Kong Country, which again received high approval from fans, with their follow-up Tropical Freeze dethroning DKC2 as the best entry in the franchise for many. This was also a case of the original creators being unavailable to take the job, as Rare (developers of the SNES DKC games and Donkey Kong 64) had left Nintendo to be a first-party developer under Microsoft years prior.
- Mega Man:
- While Keiji Inafune and his team at Capcom created the story and characters for Mega Man X3, most of the actual game development was palmed off to Minakuchi Engineering — who had previously handled the line of Mega Man (Classic) games on the Game Boy — as Capcom were in the process of transitioning their development systems from 16-bit to 32-bit. The end result was generally considered to be fairly mediocre, though still better than the later, Capcom-developed Mega Man X6 and X7.
- The Game Boy Mega Man (Classic) games (otherwise known as the Rockman/Mega Man World series) qualifies on its own, with I and III through V being developed by the aforementioned Minakuchi Engineering. While these games turned out to be respectable in their own right, since the director assigned to them was a fan of the series and wanted to do it justice, the second game was developed by a B-team of the B-team—Biox (then Japan System House), whose programmers were used to working on the Game Gear and were relatively unaccustomed to the Game Boy's hardware, and on top of that knew very little about what makes the Mega Man series fun to play. The results show badly, and Mega Man II is generally viewed as the weakest of the Game Boy titles by far.
- Mega Man 11 zig-zags with this trope. While development for it moved back to in-house at Capcom (9 and 10 were both made by Inti Creates), it's the first main entry in the classic timeline to not be made with Keiji Inafune's involvement due to him leaving the company, instead being made by those who worked on Mega Man Star Force.
- Super Mario Land and Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins were both helmed during development by the mentor of Shigeru Miyamoto, Gunpei Yokoi, instead of Miyamoto himself. New Super Mario Bros. 2 was developed by a younger team, as the veterans were working on New Super Mario Bros. U at the time. While the former two games were very well-received, the latter one garnered mixed reactions (though all of them have been commercial successes).
- Switch Blade was developed over several years as almost a solo project for Simon Phipps. Having left Gremlin Graphics for Core Design before the game was released, Phipps had no involvement with the sequel, which Gremlin assigned to the team previously responsible for the Platform Game Venus the Flytrap.
- Ratchet & Clank: Size Matters and Secret Agent Clank were developed by High Impact Games instead of Insomniac Games, who worked on the Ratchet & Clank Future trilogy during this period.
- Crash Bandicoot started at Naughty Dog for the first four games, then switched hands numerous times. Crash Bash was developed by Eurocom. Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex and Crash Twinsanity were developed by Traveller's Tales. Crash Nitro Kart was by Vicarious Visions. Crash Tag Team Racing, Crash of the Titans and Crash: Mind Over Mutant were by Radical Entertainment. Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy brought development back to Vicarious Visions, followed by Crash Team Racing: Nitro-Fueled by Beenox, and now Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time by Toys for Bob. And that's not even getting into the various handheld games.
- After A-team Harmonix was purchased by Viacom and left to develop Rock Band, the Guitar Hero franchise was purchased by Activision and given to B-team Neversoft starting with Guitar Hero III.
- The first Marvel Ultimate Alliance game was published by Activision and developed by Raven Software, with Vicarious Visions helping with the PSP and Wii versions. For the second game, it was more complicated: while all versions were once again published by Activision, the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions were developed by Vicarious Visions, while the Wii, PS2 and DS ones were handled by N-Space, and the PSP one by Savage Entertainment.
- A-team Neversoft handed the keys to the Tony Hawk's Pro Skater series over to B-team Robomodo in 2007. The series was already the poster child for Sequelitis, but Robomodo managed to make it even worse by tying their debut effort, Tony Hawk Ride, to a barely-functional skateboard peripheral, resulting in record lows for the series in both review scores and sales. Ironically, Neversoft left its signature franchise to itself become a B-team, first for Guitar Hero and then briefly for Call of Duty before being absorbed into Infinity Ward.
- Just Cause 3 was developed by a new American branch of Avalanche Studios, as the Swedish studio responsible for the previous game was busy with a Mad Max game adaptation.
- Homeworld received a very literal Mission-Pack Sequel in the form of Homeworld: Cataclysm; it was allegedly supposed to be an expansion pack but the new visual effects and game mechanics that B-team developers Barking Dog wanted to add required some major modifications to the game engine. Gameplay-wise it was quite well-received but the Genre Shift into Cosmic Horror was not universally popular with the fans, to put it mildly.
- Another Relic example: Dawn of War's third expansion pack, Soulstorm, was developed by Iron Lore Entertainment, whose previous credentials included the Titan Quest series, as Relic themselves had moved on to development of Dawn of War II. The end result produced enough backlash after Soulstorm was filled with bugs and had very Narmy dialogue, even by 40k standards. It proved enough to shutter Iron Lore.
- Age of Empires III's second expansion, The Asian Dynasties, was developed by Big Huge Games (known for Rise of Nations and Rise of Legends) as Ensemble Studios was busy with Halo Wars at the time.
- A-team Epic Games handed the Gears of War franchise over to B-team People Can Fly for the fourth installment, Gears Of War: Judgment. PCF's previous effort, Bulletstorm, could almost be seen as an elaborate application for the job.
- Played With regarding Postal III: while it was supposedly co-developed by franchise creator Running With Scissors and Russian developer Akella, RWS later distanced themselves from it due to the game turning out as an utter trainwreck.
- Zig-zagged by the Fallout series. It's a little difficult to tell who exactly is the A-team and who's the B-team. Fallout and Fallout 2 were created by Black Isle Studios, which had dissolved by the time Bethesda bought the rights and released Fallout 3, which is almost more of a reboot than a sequel. The follow-up, the Obsidian-made Fallout: New Vegas, would be a straight example, filling a blank spot on the release schedule until Bethesda could get done with Skyrim and move onto the long-rumored Fallout 4... except that Obsidian hired several exBlack Isle creators to make it, and they reused several concepts from Black Isle's cancelled version, codenamed Van Buren. Whether Only the Creator Does It Right or My Real Daddy is just as good or better, or even who the "creator" and "my new daddy" ARE at this point, are points of debate among the fandom.
- Obsidian Entertainment started off by making sequels to two BioWare games: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords to Knights of the Old Republic and Neverwinter Nights 2 to Neverwinter Nights. They later picked up the Dungeon Siege series from Gas Powered Games and created its third installment.
- Gothic: due to some misunderstandings between the creators (Piranha Bytes) and the publisher (JoWood Productions), the latter ended up taking away the rights to the series from the creators and gave them to two different studios: Spellbound Studios was to make the actual fourth installment of the series, whereas Trine Games was to quickly whip up an expansion pack to the third game. While it's a point of debate whether Arcania (the fourth installment by Spellbound) is good or not, the results of Trine Games working under unrealistic time constraints were... not pretty.
- Mass Effect: Andromeda was developed by BioWare Montreal, a team that only previously developed multiplayer components and DLC content.