Robert Zemeckis has been trying for years to make a Who Framed Roger Rabbit? sequel, to little avail. And while Zemeckis has been more than happy to talk up the project in the past, he doesn’t sound all that optimistic about it these days. In a recent interview, the filmmaker suggested a Roger Rabbit 2 was unlikely to happen, and explained exactly why.
Zemeckis touched upon his unmade Roger Rabbit sequel during a conversation with The Telegraph. The script, which Zemeckis describes as “magnificent,” is “more a continuation than a sequel.” It follows Roger and Jessica Rabbit “into the next few years of period film, moving on from film noir to the world of the 1950s.” Also involved is the ghost of Eddie Valiant, played by Bob Hoskins in the 1988 film. Were the Roger Rabbit sequel to happen, Zemeckis says, they’d use a digital version of Hoskins, who died in 2014.
But Zemeckis thinks the odds of getting Roger Rabbit 2 off the ground are basically nil. Disney owns that script and, as Zemeckis explains it, “the current corporate Disney culture has no interest in Roger, and they certainly don’t like Jessica at all.”
It’s true that Roger Rabbit doesn’t really seem like it’d fit into Disney’s current slate. It’s darker and (particularly with regard to Jessica Rabbit) much sexier than the brand is known for these days. Plus, while it’s fondly remembered by thirtysomethings and up, I’m skeptical that a lot of younger people are familiar enough with the brand to be interested in a follow-up. For that matter, I’m not even sure older people want another one after all these years. After all, if there’s one thing we learned this summer, it’s that even sequels to really popular movies can bomb hard.
Besides, as Zemeckis points out, sequels are really freakin’ hard to get right:
Most sequels, you’re behind the eight-ball on them. When audiences clamor for a sequel, what they’re really doing is expressing their enthusiasm for the movie they just saw. And that means they’ll have a love-hate relationship with whatever comes next, because they want it to be the same movie, but different. If it’s too similar, they don’t like it. And if it’s too different, they really don’t like it. There’s nothing more difficult.
He’s not talking specifically about Roger Rabbit there, but it’s not difficult to see how the same difficulties might apply. A Roger Rabbit sequel would have to live up not just to the original movie itself, but to the three decades’ worth of legacy and memory that surround it now. That’s not to say it couldn’t be done. But honestly, maybe it wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world if we just let Roger Rabbit rest for now.
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Source: Slash Film