It's Probably For The Best David Fincher's Seven Never Got A Sequel

Cinema is littered with terrible sequels, and everyone has their lowlights. "Jaws: The Revenge" is one of the worst, based on the bizarre idea of a vengeful shark tracking down the remaining Brody family all the way to the Bahamas, with Michael Caine literally in holiday mode as a pilot who romances the widowed Ellen (Lorraine Gary). Caine openly admitted that he only took the role for the cash to build his new house and have a nice week by the seaside.

If New Line Cinema had their way, we might have had a sequel to "Seven" that, on paper at least, could have topped "Jaws 4" on the list of dire, totally unnecessary sequels. I remember watching "Seven" for the first time in the theater. No movie before or since has had me squirming in my seat with such an intense feeling of dread and claustrophobia. I didn't know which way the fiendish plot twists would take us, and I had a constant breathless feeling of: "What the hell is going to happen next?"

Unlike its illustrious multi-Oscar winning predecessor, "The Silence of the Lambs," there was no sense that "Seven" was left open for a sequel. It felt definitively like a standalone movie. One thing I certainly wasn't wondering after that first screening, as I staggered out into the welcome sunshine, completely shaken: "I can't wait until the next one!"

New Line considered making a sequel to Seven

In the early 2002s, New Line Cinema bought a screenplay by Ted Griffin called "Solace," about a psychic doctor on the trail of a psychic serial killer. With an eye on the massive critical and commercial success of "Seven," the head honchos decided to retrofit the script to make it a sequel. It was tentatively titled "Ei8ht," shoehorning Morgan Freeman's Somerset character into the doctor role.

You may recall that Somerset was a world-weary pragmatic type, who notably displayed no signs whatsoever of possessing a sixth sense. Perhaps the trauma of the John Doe case and its grisly denouement shook something loose in his brain, awakening powers that previously didn't exist? Maybe in his retirement Somerset started tinkering about with a ouija board trying to contact Detective Mills' dead wife, inadvertently unlocking supernatural abilities? It sounds like a bloody awful idea.

While we're on the subject of mashing things together, let's consider another equally terrible concept for a "Se7en" sequel. Since the killer in Fincher's movie took the seven deadly sins for inspiration, how about another numerical theme? I've got "Se7en Brides for Se7en Nutters," a musical horror about a large family of murderous necrophilic out looking for their perfect wives.

That's pretty terrible too, but not a whole lot worse than the sequel we might have had if New Line's misguided scheme went ahead. Luckily, David Fincher put the kibosh on that idea in no uncertain terms.

From Solace to Ei8ht to Solace again

A rather misleading headline on Moviehole from 2011 read, "Hannibal Lecter will be the hero in 'Se7en' sequel!" That's pure clickbait, just referring to Anthony Hopkins taking the role of the psychic doctor in the film that eventually skulked into theaters under its original title, "Solace." I will say this, if they actually decided to make "Se7en" part of the Lecterverse and turn Hannibal the Cannibal into the protagonist, I would have probably paid to watch that. I'd need several beers first, but that could work on a dumb movie night with a few friends.

Back in the real world, the "Ei8ht" project finally stalled when David Fincher treated it with the contempt it deserved, stating (via Geeks):

"I would have less interest in that than I would in having cigarettes put out in my eyes."

So he wasn't very keen on the idea, to say the least, and "Ei8ht" was dropped. The script belatedly reverted to its original form of "Solace" (seen above) with Hopkins playing Dr. John Clancy, who uses his spooky abilities to help the FBI track down Colin Farrell's clairvoyant killer. From a few clips I've seen, it has picked up some of the visual language from "Se7en," but then again, what serial killer movie since hasn't?

I'm happy to admit I haven't seen "Solace" yet; I'll wait for a slow night on Netflix for that one. In the meantime, I've got another bad "Se7en" sequel idea for you. It's about a globetrotting maniac with a penchant for Victorian clothing who picks his victims up in a hot air balloon, called "Around the World in Ei8hty Slays." Anyone?