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Robert Zemeckis Says 'Roger Rabbit' Sequel Will Still Go On Despite Bob Hoskins' Retirement

by Edward Davis
October 15, 2012 12:25 PM
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Director Robert Zemeckis made his long-belated return to live-action filmmaking this weekend after a 12-year stint in the world of motion-capture with his latest drama, "Flight,” starring Denzel Washington as a commercial airline pilot struggling with alcohol (read our review here). It’s about as far away as you can get from the mo-cap world of "A Christmas Carol" with Jim Carrey. But with 300-some digital shots in the drama to pull off some of its dazzling aerial sequences, it’s not like Zemeckis has completely abandoned technology. A pioneer in the field of motion capture with "The Polar Express" and "Beowulf,” Zemeckis also blazed trails in the late ‘80s with his now-classic live-action animation hybrid, "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?"

A mooted sequel has been kicked around Hollywood for the better part of two decades (read more about that here). And while traction on the sequel has been tortoise-like for 20 years, fans wondered recently whether the project might get deep-sixed now that lead actor Bob Hoskins has retired from acting. The good news for the devoted is that it appears ‘Roger Rabbit’ can live on without Hoskins.

Asked about the project this weekend by Showbiz 411, the director refueled interest by giving a sliver of hope for it. “I have a script at Disney, and we’re just waiting for all the executive changes to settle down there,” he said, meaning of the transition former Warner Bros. chief Alan Horn has had to make to get up to speed over at Disney.

We're not sure this changes much. Zemeckis has been saying the same thing since at least 2010, but fans will dare to dream, such is their wont, so who are we to argue with them? And then again, the latest we had heard before then was from producer Frank Marshall, who told Collider in August that the sequel was "very close" to happening. Though it sounds like the original concept, a prequel called "Who Discovered Roger Rabbit?" won't be in the cards and the filmmakers will be trying another approach. "It was more of a prequel," Marshall said of that version of the screenplay. "It was all about how Roger came to Hollywood." We wouldn't hold our breath quite yet, but we suppose that sounds as promising as it's ever been. 

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More: Robert Zemeckis, Who Framed Roger Rabbit

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  • ABC | October 15, 2012 12:45 PMReply

    No!!!!!! Bad idea. The first one gave me fucking nightmares as a kid, just the whole idea of cartoons mixing with People (they're two dimensional so how does that work?) and not only that but the people actually want to fuck the cartoons and the cartoons are occasionally babies that smoke cigars? So goss. I know I'm kind of spitting on a classic for dumb reasons here but that movie did something weird to me psychologically when I was young and I still feel a weird mix of a bad salvia trip/car sickness when I think about it now. So. Yeah, definitely no sequel.

  • Joe | October 15, 2012 12:53 PM

    If "Roger Rabbit" had that much of a negative impact on you, I'm afraid you may have deeper issues.

  • Chris | October 15, 2012 12:37 PMReply

    Speaking as a "Roger Rabbit" fan (and one who knows many other "Roger Rabbit" fans), I'm pretty sure the consensus is that we DON'T want a sequel, have never wanted one, and feel no need for one. Especially considering he plans on going mo-cap with it. That movie does not need a sequel.

  • Juan Carlos Estrada | October 16, 2012 1:44 AM

    I'm a "Roger Rabbit" fan (a one who knows many other "Roger Rabbit" fans, which also happens to manage a WFRR fan community and a blog) and I DO want a sequel. A well-done sequel which not just makes justice to the original movie, but also surpasses it raising the bar for following features.

    I DO want more readily-accesible collectibles, not just that "exclusive", overpriced stuff they throw at the "fans" (hint at Disney merchandising honchos: actually a few collectors happen to be fans, while the rest are just speculators/resellers/hoarders).

    I DO want people to know who is Roger Rabbit, who are Jessica Rabbit, Baby Herman, Eddie Valiant, Judge Doom, the Toon Patrol, heck: even the squeaky shoe that *begins spoiler* gets executed in a huge dip container *end of spoiler*. At this moment, people just know that "Roger Rabbit" is some song from some hardcore rock band, or even worse: a sex toy.

    If Zemeckis does it and it turns into a complete failure, don't worry: you can negate its existence, just like George Lucas does with the "Star Wars: Holiday Special". If it turns to be decent (and not just decent: great), well, it might inspire another flourishing era at animation like the original did.

    It's true "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" does not need a sequel. It's a full, self-enclosed experience with wonderful characters and a noir-esque plot with a twist. But, just remember Roger Rabbit was for a time bigger than Mickey Mouse and everyone was talking about his movie and his theatrical cartoons.

    Just sayin'.

  • Edward Davis | October 15, 2012 12:40 PM

    I'm kinda relieved to hear that. I would just leave it lie too, but fans often want more and more.

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