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On the heels of last week's release of "Who Framed Roger
Rabbit" on Blu-ray, the internet
has been buzzing like Marvin Acme's hand buzzer with rumors that Robert
Zemeckis may be making plans to return to Toontown. To be specific, that this
Academy Award-winning director is finally getting serious about shooting that
often-talked-about and long-delayed "Roger Rabbit" sequel.
Most of this talk about a return to Toontown can be traced
back January 17th of this year when Robert's latest live-action feature (i.e. "Flight
starring Denzel Washington) had its UK
premiere at the Empire Leicester Square theatre in London. And as Zemeckis' producing partners
Jack Rapke & Steve Starkey were quizzed on the red carpet about a possible "Roger
Rabbit" sequel, Jack & Steve revealed that this long-delayed project was in
fact finally moving forward.
(L to R) Steven Starkey and Jack Rapke at the UK premiere of "Flight." Photo by Stuart Wilson. Photo courtesy of ImageNet. All rights reserved
To be specific, Starkey said this sequel " ... is going to
get made. Trust me. Yeah, we have a great script and we're just trying to pull
it together and see if we can pull it off. But we're ready to go. If somebody
says 'go,' we're there."
Mind you, where this story gets confusing is that -- at this
same event on the exact red carpet --
when Zemeckis was asked if "Roger Rabbit 2" was finally in the works,
he replied "No, there won't be a sequel."
Robert Zemeckis (L) chats with Josh Horowitz of MTV News. Copyright Viacom International Inc. All rights reserved
Well, which is it then? About a month later, during an
interview with MTV, Zemeckis did admit that "there is a ('Roger Rabbit' sequel)
script and it's good." But beyond that, the director of "Flight"
wasn't willing to offer up any details as to why this eagerly awaited project was
still in suspended animation. That said, in this exact same MTV interview,
Robert speculated that "... if I were to do the sequel, it would be done just
like the first one. It would look the same, except, we would obviously present
it in 3D in its release. But I would do all the animation hand-drawn." Zemeckis
also confirmed that -- should production of a "Roger Rabbit" sequel
actually go forward -- this film, like the 1988 original, would be a period
piece set in Hollywood in the
So what should we make of Robert's kind of contradictory
take on this project? Perhaps Kathleen Turner knows her former director better
than his producing partners do. In an
interview, Turner (who provided Jessica Rabbit with her sexy, smoky voice) said
that she'd welcome the opportunity to revisit this animated character but then
added "Yeah, I don't know if that's really going to happen."
Copyright 1988 Touchstone Pictures / Amblin Productions. All rights reserved
"I don't think Bob Zemeckis is going to do it because he
said it was one of the hardest jobs he ever took on." Turner continued. During
the production of the original "Roger Rabbit" more than 25 years ago
now, Zemeckis was faced with the daily challenge of "creating the technology of
integrating animation and live photography."
Turner said that she is not sure the director is still to
the task of handling that amount of " ... meticulous and endless work." That
said, Kathleen also said that she would welcome the chance to work again with
the man who directed her in 1984's "Romancing the Stone." And given
how projects that were long thought to be dead have this nasty habit of rising
from the grave in Hollywood, Turner
would be happy to voice Jessica Rabbit once more. But only if it's Zemeckis
calling the shots on "Roger Rabbit 2."
Michael Douglas, Robert Zemeckis and Kathleen Turner on the set of "Romancing the Stone." Copyright 20th Century Fox. All rights reserved
"If it was Bob, I would say yes (to this project,)"
So what is in fact going on with this rumored "Roger
Rabbit" sequel? Perhaps it's Rich
Moore, the director of "Wreck-It Ralph
," who can go down the rabbit
hole and finally get definitive answer to this question.
John C Reilly and Rich Moore talk up "Wreck-It Ralph" at the 2012 edition of Comic ConInternational. Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved
After all, Moore
will be introducing that "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" 25th anniversary
screening which the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will be
presenting at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills
on Thursday, April 4th at 7:30 p.m.
And once the screening of this digital restored version of that Oscar winner is
over, Rich will be joined onstage by Robert as well as several members of the "Roger
Rabbit" cast & crew. Among them actress Joanna Cassidy, voice actor
Charles Fleischer, supervising animator Andreas Deja, screenwriter Peter S. Seaman
as well as associate producers Don Hahn and Steve Starkey.
So perhaps during this post-screening discussion, Moore can
get Zemeckis to go on the record about whether that long-awaited "Roger
Rabbit" sequel is indeed finally in the works. Of course, there's always
the possibility that Robert could turn this question around on Rich. And then
Zemeckis could ask Moore if the
rumors coming out of Walt Disney Animation Studios are true and that
"Wreck-It Ralph 2" is already in development.
Copyright Touchstone Pictures / Amblin Productions. All rights reserved
Either way, I'm sure that "Roger Rabbit" & "Wreck-It Ralph" fans will
be waiting with baited breath 'til the end of this screening to find which
animation-related question get answered during that night's post-screening
Make it so Robert! P-P-P-PLEASE!
Would love to see a well-done sequel. However, they need to find a very good way to work around the retirement of Bob Hoskins (Eddie Valiant) due to Parkinson's, or go in such a different direction story-wise that Eddie wouldn't logically be involved. And avoid at all costs the idea of replicating the complicated relationship that existed between Eddie and Roger with another character or recasting the role of Eddie... you can't just drop in another actor and create the same dynamic.
I totally agree, and I think they've already got that base covered. I heard the big idea for the sequel would be a prequel of sorts about how Roger originally starred in WWII propaganda shorts (a la Mickey, Bugs Bunny, etc.) and at some point Jessica is actually captured by the Nazis. That's naturally only a rumor, but it's been the big one surrounding any proposed Roger Rabbit sequel :)
It's hard to believe its been 25 years. A sequel should have been made 15 years ago . . . but it would be great to make another visit to Toontown.
I wonder if the "yes . . . no . . . maybe" responses are because the deal is nearly done and they want to make a big announcement at the D23 Expo later this summer.
Perhaps Zemeckis would have been more open to the idea if Disney didn't mercilessly boot him after the "disappointment" of Christmas Carol and the shutdown of his ImageMovers company. If I was the guy, I'd take my business elsewhere.