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10 Great Movies That Became Successful Despite A Lack Of Star Power, According To Reddit

Prey has become one of the biggest success stories of the year so far, as the Predator prequel has a higher Rotten Tomatoes score than the original and it has quickly become Hulu’s biggest movie ever. But what makes that an even bigger achievement is that the film managed all of that without a single big name attached. It’s a rare feat for a movie to become so successful without a bankable star, and only a couple of films achieve it every year.

Redditors have debated which movies they think were most successful despite their lack of star power, whether they became cult classics or were instant hits. Between a couple of teen comedies, a $30,000 black and white movie, and an action flick where the cars do the talking, these made the most out of their unknown casts.

American Pie (1999)

American Pie Stifler Seann William Scott

American Pie was like lightning in a bottle, and it’s the ultimate raunchy teen comedy of the late 90s and early 2000s. It was a huge trend at the time, and they all made hundreds of millions, but American Pie was the most successful, and that’s an even bigger achievement considering it had the least amount of star power too.
TempleToons notes, “Most of the cast of American Pie was relatively unknown when it came out in 1999.” Even after the movie’s release, the supporting cast became bigger movie stars than the lead actors. Sean William Scott starred in four major movies between the 1999 release and its sequel, and Eugene Levy became a fan favorite and is now having a second wave of success with the TV series Schitt’s Creek.

The Witch (2016)

The Witch Anya Taylor-Joy

Too_much_mustrd4 points out The Witch as being a huge success despite its lack of star power. After just three films, director Robert Eggers has quickly become an auteur and audiences know what to expect from him. His movies are generally jaw-droppingly beautiful with dark themes and some kind of psychological element. And while that’s the case with the newly released The Northman, which got Eggers has best reviews yet, the movie bombed at the box office.
However, the filmmaker’s debut movie, The Witch, was the exact opposite. The movie has a similarly dark tone and is one of the best films about witchcraft, and it was a huge hit at the box office, making $40 million, which is 10 times its budget. And it did so without any star power whatsoever. The movie stars Anya Taylor-Joy, who might be a bankable actor now, but that wasn’t the case six years ago, and the movie even help boost the actor’s profile.

My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002)

The wedding in My Big Fat Greek Wedding

AgentUpright recalls the unstoppable force that was My Big Fat Greek Wedding when it was first released. The Redditor comments, “Tom Hanks produced it, as I recall, but it was a runaway success despite the mostly lesser-known cast (Joey Fatone notwithstanding.)” The movie had an all but unknown cast, and it somehow became a huge phenomenon, making more than what some blockbuster superhero movies make today.
The 2002 release is one of the highest-grossing independent movies of all time, making a huge $368 million worldwide, and as it had a production cost of a tiny $5 million, it made over 70 times its budget, which is almost unheard of. If the film made as little as $30 million, that would still have been considered a huge success, and an extra $330 million is a huge bonus.

Avatar (2009)

Neytiri in the Pandora jungle in Avatar

Lostpatrol mentions Avatar, commenting, “Sam Worthington and Zoey Saldana were complete unknowns and Sigourney Weaver was doing voice work at the time.” Based on box office success, Avatar is the best example bar none. Avatar is the highest-grossing movie of all time and that’s thanks entirely to the high concept, the advanced digital effects, and the ahead-of-its-time 3D.
However, the movie was originally supposed to be led by a movie star, as director James Cameron wanted Matt Damon to play Jake Sully. According to Collider, Damon was even offered 10% of the gross profit, which would have been over $250 million, but he turned it down, and it’s a decision that he’s probably been kicking himself over ever since. But what’s interesting is that after Damon turned it down, the studio went in a completely opposite direction and cast an unknown.

The Fast And The Furious (2001)

The Fast and the Furious movie

Umbert360 recalls the success of that starless 2001 movie that started a billion-dollar, ten-movie-plus franchise. The Fast and the Furious had a huge ensemble cast and one that was impressively diverse at the time, but they were almost all unknowns. While the franchise went on to become all about the friendship between Brian (Paul Walker) and Dom (Vin Diesel,) nobody paid to see The Fast and the Furious for Walker and Diesel.

Walker had been in a couple of box office bombs beforehand, and though Diesel had some modest success with voicing The Iron Giant and starring in Pitch Black, the real stars of the movie were the souped-up cars. The 2001 film led a whole 2000s zeitgeist that bled into video games and the streets, as everyone who saw the movie wanted to be a street racer, and because of that, the 2001 movie became an instant classic.

Risky Business (1983)

Tom Cruise on a coffee table in Risky Business

Jackieirish points to what must have been impossible to market, Risky Business. The Redditor notes, “Risky Business had no bankable star at the time of release, but it was a huge hit and launched Tom Cruise.” Not only was there no discernable star, but the film is all about how a teenager inadvertently becomes a pimp, and it must have been the Warner Bros. marketing team’s nightmare.

But against all odds, it was a huge hit. With a box office gross of $63 million, that doesn’t sound like much by today’s standards, but it’d be a lot more when adjusted for inflation, and it’s especially impressive that the lead actor of the movie was unknown and 20 years old at the time. Risky Business made 10 times its budget, and it’s the first example of Cruise’s charisma and how audiences will show up in droves to see him on the big screen.

Clerks (1994)

Jay and Silent Bob smoke in Clerks

Jjohns0203 compliments the vulgar, profanity-filled low-budget comedy Clerks for its success despite its lack of star power. The Redditor notes, “Clerks was filmed with a really low budget with no name actors and developed a cult following and became very profitable”. Only a few movies can call a $3.2 million box office gross a success, but with a microscopic budget of less than $30,000, Clerks’ box office performance was phenomenal.

The film made a hundred times its budget, and that’s all despite being shot on 16mm black-and-white film stock, having extremely choppy editing, and, of course, absolutely no star power. The film was not only a box office success relative to its budget, but it has become a huge cult hit, the legacy sequel Clerks 2 was released in 2006, and the callback-filled trailer for Clerks 3 was just recently released.

Everything Everywhere All At Once (2022)

Jobu Tupaki in a white room in Everything Everywhere All at Once.

Medical-Pace-8099 refers to a very recent movie that did unexpectedly well at the box office, Everything Everywhere All at Once. The movie stars Ke Huy Quan, who played Short Round in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom and Data in The Goonies, but has been in almost nothing else in the 37 years since. It also stars Stephanie Hsu, who has never had a prominent role before.

However, the film is led by Michelle Yeoh, and while she isn’t the actor anybody would expect to lead a complex and abstract movie to a box office gross of $100 million, she was a Bond girl in Tomorrow Never Dies and starred in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. And Jamie Lee Curtis is one of the most prolific actors working today. But Everything Everywhere was almost going to have a lot more star power, as Daniel Radcliffe was almost cast in an unknown role.

Superbad (2007)

Michael Cera in Superbad Greg Mottola’s ‘Superbad’

Corpsefire77 believes Superbad was a huge success without any star power, commenting, “Never heard of any of those actors, now they’re all famous. Mostly Jonah Hill, but Michael Cera too to a lesser extent.” The movie isn’t entirely absent of big names in its cast, as it does feature Bill Hader and Seth Rogen. Hader was enjoying a successful run on Saturday Night Live at the time, and Rogen’s profile was ever growing due to cropping up in seemingly every single Judd Apatow-produced or directed movie.

However, those actors are in relatively small roles, and the three main actors were almost completely unknown at the time. Some viewers might have recognized Cera from playing George Michael on Arrested Development, but other than that, the cast was full of seemingly extremely talented teenagers who came out of nowhere. But one thing’s for sure, the movie’s success skyrocketed them to stardom.

Mad Max (1979)

Joks_away points out the 1979 movie as one of the biggest ever successes despite not having any big name actor behind it. Though Mel Gibson is a huge movie star and is known for fronting the Lethal Weapon series and being the face of countless action thrillers, that wasn’t the case in 1979. The then unknown actor starred in Mad Max, a micro-budget movie about a dystopian future set in the Australian desert.

The movie unexpectedly made $100 million dollars, and it started a huge franchise too. Since then, the series has gone from win to win, but it’s a wonder if Mad Max: Fury Road had been as much of a success if it didn’t see Tom Hardy in the lead role.
NEXT: The 10 Best Movies Set In Australia, According To Ranker

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Fast & Furious 11 Release Delay & Filming Start Date Confirmed By Director


Fast and Furious 11
is facing a release date delay to Summer 2026 due to strikes, with director Louis Leterrier confirming the sequel will not be hitting its April 4, 2025 date.
Leterrier also confirms that filming starts in Fall 2025 after finishing a horror movie in September.
The final installment in the
Fast Saga
reunites Vin Diesel’s Dominic Toretto for one last ride, while also leaving the door open for other spinoffs.

After facing multiple delays due to the 2023 SAG-AFTRA and Writers Guild of America strikes, Fast and Furious 11 is seeing its release date delayed. The next installment in the Vin Diesel-fronted franchise is expected to be the last mainline sequel, while development continues on the Dwayne Johnson-led spinoff Hobbs & Reyes, a mysterious standalone movie penned by Fast X’s Zach Dean and a potential female-led spinoff. While a filming start date was never confirmed, Universal had previously set the movie for an April 2025 release date.

During a recent interview with Collider at a CCXP MX panel, Louis Leterrier was asked for an update on Fast and Furious 11. The director went on to confirm that the final mainline installment in the action franchise will no longer be making its April 4, 2025 release date, instead now aiming for a Summer 2026 release window with the filming start date being set for this fall. Check out what Leterrier said below:

It’s happening. It’s happening very, very soon. I’m able to shoot a little horror movie this summer. I’m finishing my horror movie on September 15th, and I start Fast on September 16th.

Will Fast 11’s Multiple Delays Help Or Hurt The Sequel?

Much like the tenth film before it, Fast and Furious 11 has faced a few behind-the-scenes hardships in its road to getting off the ground, namely the delays stemming from the 2023 strikes. While the latest movie seems to have retained its core creative team in comparison to the shift in directors from franchise vet Justin Lin to Leterrier on Fast X after reported creative differences between the former and Diesel, this change didn’t seem to help much with the continued downward trend recent sequels have seen from critics. Check out how the franchise’s Rotten Tomatoes scores compare below:

Title RT Critical Score RT Audience Score The Fast and the Furious 54% 74% 2 Fast 2 Furious 37% 50% The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift 37% 69% Fast & Furious 28% 67% Fast Five 78% 83% Fast & Furious 6 71% 84% Furious 7 81% 82% The Fate of the Furious 67% 72% Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw 67% 88% F9: The Fast Saga 59% 82% Fast X 56% 84%

Even looking outside the Fast and Furious franchise, many movie sequels have found themselves hurt by various delays, be they from creative changes, general release shifts or other factors. The action genre in particular is one in which lengthier development periods can lead to diminishing returns, be it A Good Day to Die Hard, Rambo: Last Blood or Diesel’s own xXx: The Return of Xander Cage. While Fast and Furious 11 may only be getting pushed back by a year, the delay is nonetheless a concern that the final installment could find itself in trouble.

Dom Toretto (Vin Diesel) looking angry with Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) looking unimpressed in Fast & Furious

Related 10 Most Exciting Things To Expect From Fast 11 Fast & Furious 11 will pull all the strings to become bigger than the previous installments, and here is why the film is worth being excited about.

On the other hand, the longer wait for Fast and Furious 11 to close out the mainline series of movies could actually prove beneficial for the sequel. Though Leterrier may be busy with another project in the lead-up to filming the next installment, writers Oren Uziel and Christina Hodson should now have more than enough time to really look back at the script and ensure it learns from the critical missteps of recent installments to deliver a satisfying conclusion to the Dominic Toretto saga.

Source: Collider

Fast and Furious 11 temp poster Fast and Furious 11 Fast and Furious 11 is the final movie in the Fast Saga. It reunites Vin Diesel’s Dominic Toretto with the rest of the cast for one last ride. However, the franchise is open for spinoff films like Hobbs & Shaw afterward.Director Louis Leterrier Release Date April 4, 2025 Distributor(s) Universal Pictures Writers Christina Hodson , Oren Uziel

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Vin Diesel Already Has His Perfect Fast & Furious Replacement Franchise With 51-Year-Old Remake


Vin Diesel’s dominance in Fast & Furious is ending, but Kojak could kick off a new action franchise for him.
Kojak’s reboot faces an uncertain future, but its similarity to Fast & Furious makes it a worthy project for Diesel.
Diesel’s potential shift from criminal racer to cop signifies a fresh start in a possible Fast & Furious-like series.

Vin Diesel’s days of playing Dominic Toretto are numbered, but the actor has already found his perfect Fast & Furious replacement. Diesel found a major breakout role in the early 2000s thanks to participating in The Fast and the Furious. The original 2001 street racing crime movie became the springboard for a sprawling franchise that has lasted for over two decades. The success of the Fast & Furious movies transformed Vin Diesel’s career, turning him into an even bigger star, especially in the action movie genre. But, Fast & Furious 11 is planned as the final chapter for him and the franchise.

The Fast & Furious franchise’s end will put Vin Diesel in an unfamiliar position of not having a major franchise to lean back on. This presents the actor with various options, such as changing the course of his career to pursue non-franchise roles. However, the more likely outcome is that Diesel will attempt to find a new IP that can replace Fast & Furious. He has had trouble in that regard recently, with franchises like xXx or Riddick running cold and Bloodshot and The Last Witch Hunter failing to launch franchises. There is another option for Diesel, though.

2:03 Vin Diesel as Dominic Toretto from The Fast & Furious Franchise

Related Vin Diesel May Have Spoiled Fast & Furious 11’s Ending With $2.7 Billion Movie Comparison Dom’s death happening in Fast & Furious 11 may have been spoiled already, with Vin Diesel comparing the upcoming movie to another big franchise.

Kojak Can Be Vin Diesel’s New Action Crime Franchise After Fast & Furious
Diesel Has Been Developing The Reboot Since 2015

The impending conclusion of the Fast & Furious franchise means it is finally time for Vin Diesel’s Kojak reboot to get off the ground. The project was announced back in 2015 with Diesel re-teaming with Universal Pictures, the studio behind Fast & Furious, to develop a movie based on Kojak. The original TV series starred Telly Savalas as Theo Kokaj and ran for three seasons after debuting in 1973. The series revolves around Kojak, a New York detective known for being willing to go beyond the law and a love for cars and lollipops, and follows him as he investigates different cases.

Kojak was rebooted in 2005 as a TV show starring Ving Rhames, but it only ran for six episodes

Development on Vin Diesel’s Kojak movie has not been very active in the nine years since it was announced. However, it still maintains the base similarities to Fast & Furious, which makes the project a worthwhile endeavor for Diesel in terms of finding a new action franchise. He would now have another big action series about cars and crime, essentially making Kojak into a newer version of Fast & Furious. The irony here is that Diesel takes on the role of a cop after playing criminal racer Dominic Toretto.

Vin Diesel’s Involvement Can Morph Kojak Into A Major Action Franchise
Kojak Could Be A Fast & Furious Clone
Telly Savalas talking on the phone in Kojak

Looking at the original TV show, Kojak might not necessarily project to be a major blockbuster action franchise akin to Fast & Furious. The TV series was relatively grounded and small due to the nature of its production. However, the fact that Diesel and Universal pinpointed this property as something they wanted to revive together is telling. The announcement of Kojak’s reboot came months after Furious 7 debuted in theaters and took the franchise to new heights at the box office and in terms of how ridiculously big the action and story could get.

It’s sometimes difficult to remember that Fast & Furious started off with a story about DVD thieves who were also street racers before Diesel helped turn it into something much bigger. With that experience and success already behind him, it would be understandable if a similar path was envisioned for Kojak. The series could then morph into a Fast & Furious clone, one that gives Vin Diesel a new franchise to headline and Universal a “fresh” action franchise to grow.

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The Rock’s WWE Run Means Fast & Furious 11 Must Make 1 Major Hobbs Change


Hobbs from Fast & Furious 11 needs a gritty edge like The Rock’s WWE character to keep the franchise fresh and exciting.
The Rock’s time away from the Fast & Furious universe provides the perfect reason for Hobbs to return with a personal vendetta and a more savage attitude.
While Hobbs shouldn’t become a full-fledged villain in Fast & Furious 11, adding some edginess and dirty tricks could make his character more intriguing and dynamic.

Fast & Furious 11 must make one major Hobbs change after The Rock’s incredible WWE run. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s WWE return surpassed his recent movies, with the actor creating some of the best work of his career. Having returned to a thunderous reception, The Rock was able to flip the crowd’s reception by becoming a heel and playing a major part in WrestleMania’s main events. The Rock hasn’t played a villain on screen for years, as even his depiction of Black Adam lent more into the character’s anti-hero side, which made his wrestling run all the more refreshing.

While his wrestling character may not perfectly translate into the Fast & Furious universe, there is one aspect of The Rock’s WWE run that the franchise should attempt to implement. After debuting in Fast Five, The Rock’s best Fast & Furious scenes helped contribute to the movie series becoming so popular, with Luke Hobbs becoming an instrumental part of the story. He was even given his own spinoff alongside Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) and is set to get a solo movie in the future. Despite this, Hobbs would still benefit from adding one key aspect of The Rock’s WWE run.

The Rock’s WWE Run Proves Fast & Furious 11 Needs To Give Hobbs More Of An Edge
Fast & Furious Would Benefit From Hobbs Adopting Some Of The Rock’s WWE Tendancies
Dwayne The Rock Johnson in Black Adam, WWE, and Hobbs and Shaw

Given how electrifying The Rock’s recent WWE run was, there is no doubt Fast & Furious 11 needs to give Hobbs more of an edge. Although the character has had his more serious moments, like most of the Fast & Furious cast, Hobbs tends to mix action with comedy. Hobbs and Shaw are supposed to be two of the more stoic heroes, yet they are constantly at each other’s throats and cracking jokes to help maintain the franchise’s lighthearted core. However, giving Hobbs a grittier side would help the character thrive upon his return.

The Rock’s Fast & Furious return may redeem Fast X’s box office, but the character needs to come back stronger than ever. By allowing him to be more ruthless, he can still maintain some elements of comedy but also become more interesting in the process. Johnson proved that despite being a detestable heel, he was still as hilarious as ever during his recent WWE tenure. This proves that he can maintain Fast & Furious’ tone and humorous style while being more layered; therefore, Hobbs adopting some of The Rock’s WWE characteristics could make him even more entertaining.

Fast & Furious Already Has A Reason For Hobbs To Be More Savage
Hobbs Has Been Away From The Franchise For Several Years

Making a major change to Hobbs’ character could be tough to explain, but Fast & Furious 11 already has a great reason to make him more savage. His four-year absence from the franchise gives him a perfect excuse to come back with a vengeance and potentially have a personal attachment to Fast & Furious 11’s villains. Hobbs’ time away from the main story could be explained through a connection to Fast X’s secondary villain, Aimes. Aimes’ villain twist in Fast X was well executed and suggests he’ll be around for the sequel, which is the perfect reason to bring back Hobbs.

Having a more personal story with one of the villains could allow Hobbs to continue his great quips and one-liners, but it would also give him more of an edge.

Fast X never explained why he’s back, but having a personal vendetta against Aimes could be an intriguing reason. Given Dom and Dante are the focal point of the franchise’s conclusion, Hobbs returning to take down Aimes would avoid overshadowing the main story while still giving him an interesting role. Having a personal story with one of the villains could allow Hobbs to continue his great quips and one-liners, while also giving him more of an edge. This provides The Rock with the perfect reason to implement some of his heel traits while still portraying a morally good hero.

2:34 Image 147 Related Predicting The Ending Of All 13 Fast & Furious Characters In Fast 11 The Fast Saga is set to conclude with Fast & Furious 11 – or Fast X 2 – but how will Dom Toretto and his family’s stories come to a definitive end?

Why Fast & Furious Can’t Bring The Rock Back As A Villain
Hobbs Already Appeared As An Antagonist In Fast Five
A custom image featuring Dwayne Johnson as Luke Hobbs in the Fast and Furious movies Custom image by Debanjana Chowdhury

Although The Rock’s villainous tendencies worked well in the WWE, Fast & Furious can’t bring him back as an antagonist. Johnson already played the main villain of Fast Five, as Hobbs was originally an enemy of Dom and his crew before becoming an ally. Hobbs’ role in Fast Five was one of his best, but despite being the main antagonist, he always had a level of integrity. Dropping all of this to make him a villain in the final movie would be completely unnecessary, especially as the franchise needs him to remain a hero for his spinoff.

Fast & Furious 11 may end the main story, but The Rock will be part of the franchise beyond this, and altering his character so drastically wouldn’t make any sense. Instead, adding some extra edge to his character would have the same effect and would avoid stealing the thunder from Dante and Aimes. Although Fast & Furious 11 shouldn’t make him a villain, the film can still allow Hobbs to play dirty and pull some cheap tricks in order to show a grittier side, while letting him taunt his enemies when he inevitably helps save the day.

Fast & Furious 11
is scheduled to be released in theaters on April 4, 2025.

Fast and Furious 11 temp poster Fast and Furious 11 Fast and Furious 11 is the final movie in the Fast Saga. It reunites Vin Diesel’s Dominic Toretto with the rest of the cast for one last ride. However, the franchise is open for spinoff films like Hobbs & Shaw afterward.Director Louis Leterrier Release Date April 4, 2025 Distributor(s) Universal Pictures Writers Christina Hodson , Oren Uziel

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