Sure, let’s make a ‘Casablanca’ sequel
Why not? We already live in the worst possible universe. First we got Raging Bull II, and now the money-grubbing geniuses of Hollywood are going back to the well by making a sequel to one of the best-loved films of all time. Why? Because they can.
The New York Post is reporting that producer Cass Warner, the granddaughter of Warner Brothers co-founder Harry Warner, is pushing the studio to sign on Return To Casablanca, based on a script by Howard Koch that was written in the 80s. The problem with this mess is simple – Casablanca has one of the most satisfying and emotionally resonant endings in film history, with Rick sending Ilsa off to be with her husband, denying himself their love. There’s really nothing else that needs to be said there, but that never stopped moviemakers before.
The proposed sequel takes place 20 years after the original. Ilsa has given birth to a boy, conceived that fateful night in Casablanca. When he turns 20, he travels back to find out the truth about his father. There he meets and falls in love with a female resistance fighter based on Joan Baez. Yeah, topical.
This wouldn’t be the first time that people have tried to cash in on Casablanca – most distressingly in 1982 when a TV show was floated starring David Soul (better known as “Hutch” from Starsky & Hutch) and Scatman Crothers – but it’s by far the most high-profile. So far this is just a script in development, as no studio has pulled the trigger – and in fact, Warner Brothers passed on it last year – but just the prospect that we’re so out of good ideas that we have to reach back 70 years to make a sequel no one wants is troubling.