Who Framed Roger Rabbit 2
|Who Framed Roger Rabbit 2|
|Directed by||Robert Zemeckis|
|Based on||Who Censored Roger Rabbit?|
by Gary K. Wolf
|Distributed by||Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures|
Who Framed Roger Rabbit 2 is an upcoming American live-action/animated mystery comedy film directed by Robert Zemeckis and produced by Frank Marshall and Robert Watts. Loosely based on Gary K. Wolf's 1981 novel Who Censored Roger Rabbit?, it serves as a sequel to the 1988 film.
Steven Spielberg discussed a sequel to Who Framed Roger Rabbit in 1989 with J. J. Abrams as writer and Robert Zemeckis as producer. Abrams's outline was eventually abandoned. Nat Mauldin was hired to write a prequel titled Roger Rabbit: The Toon Platoon, set in 1941 to 1943. Similar to the previous film, Toon Platoon featured many cameo appearances by characters from the Golden Age of American animation. It began with Roger Rabbit's early years, living on a farm in the midwestern United States. With human Ritchie Davenport, Roger travels west to seek his mother, in the process meeting Jessica Krupnick (his future wife), a struggling Hollywood actress. While Roger and Ritchie are enlisting in the Army, Jessica is kidnapped and forced to make pro-Nazi Germany broadcasts. Roger and Ritchie must save her by going into Nazi-occupied Europe accompanied by several other Toons in their Army platoon. After their triumph, Roger and Ritchie are given a Hollywood Boulevard parade, and Roger is finally reunited with his mother and father, Bugs Bunny.
Mauldin later retitled his script Who Discovered Roger Rabbit. Spielberg left the project when deciding he could not satirize Nazis after directing Schindler's List. Eisner commissioned a rewrite in 1997 with Sherri Stoner and Deanna Oliver. Although they kept Roger's search for his mother, Stoner and Oliver replaced the WWII subplot with Roger's inadvertent rise to stardom on Broadway and Hollywood. Disney was impressed and Alan Menken was hired to write five songs for the film and offered his services as executive producer. One of the songs, "This Only Happens in the Movies", was recorded in 2008 on the debut album of Broadway actress Kerry Butler. Eric Goldberg was set to be the new animation director, and began to redesign Roger's new character appearance.
Spielberg became busy establishing DreamWorks, while Frank Marshall and Kathleen Kennedy decided to remain as producers. Test footage for Who Discovered Roger Rabbit was shot sometime in 1998 at the Disney animation unit in Lake Buena Vista, Florida; the results were a mix of CGI, traditional animation, and live-action that did not please Disney. A second test had the toons completely converted to CGI; but this was dropped as the film's projected budget would escalate past $100 million. Eisner felt it was best to cancel the film. In March 2003, producer Don Hahn was doubtful about a sequel being made, arguing that public tastes had changed since the 1990s with the rise of computer animation. "There was something very special about that time when animation was not as much in the forefront as it is now."
In December 2007, Marshall stated that he was still "open" to the idea, and in April 2009, Zemeckis revealed he was still interested. According to a 2009 MTV News story, Jeffrey Price and Peter S. Seaman were writing a new script for the project, and the animated characters would be in traditional two-dimensional, while the rest would be in motion capture. However, in 2010, Zemeckis said that the sequel would remain hand-drawn animated and live-action sequences will be filmed, just like in the original film, but the lighting effects on the cartoon characters and some of the props that the toons handle will be done digitally. Also in 2010, Don Hahn, who was the film's original associate producer, confirmed the sequel's development in an interview with Empire. He stated, "Yeah, I couldn't possibly comment. I deny completely, but yeah...if you're a fan, pretty soon you're going to be very, very, very happy." In 2010, Bob Hoskins stated he was interested in the project, reprising his role as Eddie Valiant. However, he retired from acting in 2012 after being diagnosed with Parkinson's disease a year earlier, and died from complications in 2014. Marshall has confirmed that the film is a prequel, similar to earlier drafts, and that the writing was almost complete. During an interview at the premiere of Flight, Zemeckis stated that the sequel was still possible, despite Hoskins' absence, and the script for the sequel was sent to Disney for approval from studio executives.
In February 2013, Gary K. Wolf, writer of the original novel, said Erik Von Wodtke and he were working on a development proposal for an animated Disney buddy comedy starring Mickey Mouse and Roger Rabbit called The Stooge, based on the 1952 film of the same name. The proposed film is set to a prequel, taking place five years before Who Framed Roger Rabbit and part of the story is about how Roger met Jessica. Wolf has stated the film is currently wending its way through Disney. In November 2016, while promoting his film Allied in England, Zemeckis stated that the sequel "moves the story of Roger and Jessica Rabbit into the next few years of period film, moving on from film noir to the world of the 1950s". He also stated that the sequel would feature a "digital Bob Hoskins", as Eddie Valiant would return in "ghost form". While the director went on to state that the script is "terrific" and the film would still use hand-drawn animation, Zemeckis thinks that the chances of Disney green-lighting the sequel are "slim". As he explained more in detail, "The current corporate Disney culture has no interest in Roger, and they certainly don't like Jessica at all".
In December 2018, while promoting Welcome to Marwen, his latest film, and given the 30th anniversary of Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Zemeckis reiterated in an interview with Yahoo! Movies that though the sequel's script is "wonderful", Disney is still unlikely to ever produce it, and he doesn't see the possibility of producing it as an original film for the upcoming streaming service Disney+, as he feels that it doesn't make any sense as there is no "Princess" in it.
- J. J. Abrams; Dan Trachtenberg (March 11, 2016). Episode 791: Nerdist Podcast - J.J. Abrams and Dan Trachtenberg. The Nerdist Podcast. Event occurs at 01:24:55. Archived from the original on June 24, 2016. Retrieved March 21, 2020. Unknown parameter
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- "Frank Marshall Talks WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT 2 Sequel, THE BOURNE LEGACY, THE GOONIES 2, More". Collider. Retrieved March 21, 2020.
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