10 Sci-Fi Movie Universes We Definitely Want To See More Of


  • Blade Runner, District 9, and Ready Player One are just a few sci-fi universes that deserve further expansion through new stories and media.
  • The fascinating worlds of movies like Alita and The Creator have the potential for franchise development in live-action, animation, and comics.
  • From artificial life forms to alien species to virtual reality, these sci-fi universes offer rich and thought-provoking concepts that can be explored in new and exciting ways.



Sci-fi is one of the most popular genres in film, and it has produced some amazing fictional universes that should be expanded upon as soon as possible. Sci-fi is an expansive genre with an inherently wide range of possibilities, and it has allowed some of the world’s most creative minds to build incredibly detailed and thought-provoking universes. Not every sci-fi franchise can be as popular as Star Wars or Star Trek, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of great sci-fi movies with universes worthy of a similar level of expansion.

Expanding a sci-fi universe can mean creating a sequel, but that’s not the only way to do it. Be it a new movie or in other media like comics and animated shows, the best way to expand a fictional franchise is by telling an entirely new story that has the opportunity to grow certain aspects of the universe that weren’t covered in detail in the original film or films. Whatever the best way of enlarging a particular sci-fi universe is, some commonly overlooked candidates deserve some sort of universe expansion.

Related: 25 Highest Grossing Movies Of All Time

10 Blade Runner (1982)

Artificial forms of life

Blade Runner

Release Date
June 25, 1982

Ridley Scott

Edward James Olmos, Rutger Hauer, Harrison Ford, Joe Turkel, Sean Young


The first Blade Runner movie was directed by Ridley Scott and released in 1982. The Blade Runner franchise is based on the 1968 novel, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, by Phillip K. Dick, and the universe built across the movies, novels, and comics inspired by Dick’s work is one of the most fascinating in the sci-fi genre. Full of android replicants, flying cars, and Voight-Kampff interrogation machines, the Blade Runner universe is more than worthy of further installments. Despite the number of Blade Runner movies and TV shows, there is still a lot of room for the franchise to be expanded, not just in live-action but also in animation and comics.

9 District 9 (2009)

An alien invasion universe that avoids all tropes

District 9 promo art featuring the alien ship hovering above their slums and a sign warning humans.
District 9

Release Date
August 14, 2009

Neill Blomkamp

Vanessa Haywood, David James, Jason Cope, Mandla Gaduka, Sharlto Copley


Terri Tatchell, Neill Blomkamp

$30 million


District 9 is a fantastic sci-fi movie from 2009 with a rich universe that is well worth expansion. Speculation about a District 9 sequel has persisted in the decade-plus since its release, but so far, there are no concrete plans for another movie. District 9‘s universe contains a fascinating insectoid alien species that deserves further exploration, and if a follow-up were to materialize in this movie’s universe, even if it wasn’t a direct sequel, it could turn this fascinating world into a franchise. That said, any sequels should maintain the film’s unique approach to the alien invasion genre, which is what made District 9 so good.

8 Ready Player One (2018)

Anything is possible in Ready Player One’s virtual world

Ready Player One

Release Date
March 29, 2018

Steven Spielberg

T.J. Miller, Hannah John-Kamen, Lena Waithe, Mark Rylance, Mckenna Grace, Letitia Wright, Ben Mendelsohn, Ralph Ineson, Simon Pegg, Olivia Cooke, Tye Sheridan


The 2018 film, Ready Player One, is based on Ernest Cline’s 2011 novel of the same name, and the wildly popular film is practically begging for universe expansion. Cline wrote a second novel in 2020, Ready Player Two, and though it has not been received well, the universe built in the novels and film is rich and engaging. Ready Player One focuses on OASIS, an advanced form of virtual reality that allows players to enter video games and virtual worlds. This premise is wide open and could be expanded in any number of ways, especially at a time when things like AI and virtual realities are dominating the conversation.

7 Ender’s Game (2013)

Classic YA tropes combined with sci-fi

Ender at attention in Ender's Game.
Ender’s Game

Release Date
November 1, 2013

Gavin Hood

Asa Butterfield, Ben Kingsley, Abigail Breslin, Viola Davis, Harrison Ford, Hailee Steinfeld


Ender’s Game is based on the extensive novel series by Orson Scott Card, sometimes referred to as the Enderverse, and the film continuity deserves a level of expansion similar to the lengthy novel series. Though Ender’s Game did not achieve the same level of success as the novels have, it introduces a sprawling universe that is more than worth another shot at big-screen glory. Following a war between aliens and humans, Ender’s Game crafts an incredibly thought-provoking and detailed universe that could be enlarged in any number of ways. Of course, the YA movie genre has struggled, but a TV show set in the world of Ender’s Game could work.

6 The Creator (2023)

Fresh sci-fi concepts combined with classic genre tropes

Joshua looking down at the kid in The Creator
The Creator

Release Date
September 29, 2023

Gareth Edwards

John David Washington, Gemma Chan, Ken Watanabe, Sturgill Simpson, Allison Janney, Madeleine Yuna Voyles


The Creator is a 2023 film that follows a war between humanity and artificial intelligence, and it is full of fascinating sci-fi technology, including ships, weapons, and space stations that should be explored further in future installments. This movie builds a fascinating dystopian version of Earth that could easily be expanded into a broader fictional universe with the right creative direction and proper consideration. Though The Creator is a relatively new release, its interesting fictional technology makes it worthy of further exploration. The Creator created an engaging world with a relatively small budget, something that a sequel would be smart to replicate.

5 Alita: Battle Angel (2019)

Anime meets sci-fi in live-action

Alita: Battle Angel

Release Date
February 14, 2019

Robert Rodriguez

Christoph Waltz, Rosa Salazar, Jennifer Connelly


Alita: Battle Angel was released in 2019, and its engrossing universe deserves to be expanded in new ways through future stories. Following a cyborg in the year 2563, the film lays some of the groundwork for its universe with things like The Fall, a catastrophic war that devastated the planet several centuries before the events in the film, but much of it remains to be properly explored. Exploring the Fall itself could be a great way of expanding this universe and nurturing it into a saga. From Alita herself to the world around her, Alita: Battle Angel has all the ingredients to become a franchise, yet Alita 2 has yet to happen.

4 Dredd (2012)

Karl Urban’s movie got the comic books right

The Judges in Dredd (2012)

Release Date
September 21, 2012

Pete Travis

Domhnall Gleeson, Lena Headey, Wood Harris, Karl Urban, Olivia Thirlby


Dredd is a 2012 dystopian sci-fi movie that takes place in a vast metropolis called Mega-City One, which essentially makes up the eastern seaboard of the United States. This movie’s universe is enthralling, but Dredd mostly takes place in a single city block, which leaves much of its world to be explored. Dredd doesn’t take full advantage of its fascinating premise and world-building, and that’s just another reason it should be expanded. An original film for the movie’s world would be a great way of doing it, but anything that gives a broader perspective of this beguiling premise based on the original comics would be enough.

3 Ex Machina

Released In 2014

Ex Machina promo poster featuring programmer Caleb Smith, the robot Ava, and billionaire Nathan Bateman.
Ex Machina

Release Date
April 10, 2015

Alex Garland


108 minutes

Ex Machina tells a fairly self-contained story, but its fictional universe is so engrossing that it deserves a new story to delve into unexplored regions of its world. Ex Machina‘s use of humanoid robots powered by artificial intelligence could be used to set up a world full of these robots, which further films could explore to a greater extent. Ex Machina could then be used as the foundation for a franchise, essentially turning it into a prequel/origin story for a universe dominated by robots similar to Ava, one of the movie’s central characters.

2 Looper

Released In 2012

Bruce Willis holding Joseph Gordon Levitt in a headlock in Looper

Release Date
September 28, 2012

Rian Johnson

Bruce Willis, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Emily Blunt, Paul Dano, Noah Segan, Piper Perabo


Looper follows a group of time-traveling assassins who must go back in time to kill their targets because it has become nearly impossible to get away with murder in the modern version of the movie’s universe. Looper‘s fascinating premise is perfect for spinoffs, as each new film could explore a different assassin. That is not to mention the endless possibilities offered by time travel. Further, the crime syndicates that dominate Looper‘s world are extremely fascinating and could do with further exploration. It would also be fun to learn more about the Loopers themselves, so there are plenty of ways this universe could be expanded.

1 Tron

Released In 1982

Jeff Bridges and Cindy Morgan in Tron (1982).

First Film

Jeff Bridges, Bruce Boxleitner, David Warner, Cindy Morgan, Barnard Hughes, Garrett Hedlund, Olivia Wilde, Michael Sheen

TV Show(s)
TRON: Uprising

Kevin Flynn, Alan Bradley, Ed Dillinger, Dr. Lora Baines, Dr. Walter Gibbs, Samuel Flynn, Quorra, Zuse

Tron takes place in a world where it’s possible for a person to enter the software world of a computer and interact with the programs therein. Tron‘s fascinating premise helped it gain a cult sci-fi movie following that has sparked a multimedia franchise, and this beloved world should be expanded by further films. A sequel, Tron: Legacy, was released in 2010, but there is still plenty of uncharted territory that could be traversed in further installments. The idea of entering a computer world provides countless possibilities for future works in this universe, and it would be a joy to see it expanded accordingly. Fortunately, Tron 3 is happening.


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