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’Twister’ Sequel Moving Ahead at Universal

Twister - Helen Hunt and Bill Paxton

After a couple of years in early development, Universal and Amblin are moving fast on a Twister sequel that aims to acquire major directing talent.

 

Most people had already forgotten about the original news that Universal and Amblin were actively developing a sequel to 1996’s classic disaster film Twister, so yesterday’s update via Deadline felt like a big surprise all over again. Following Steven Spielberg’s strong interest on the script by The Revenant scribe Mark L. Smith, the project — tentatively titled Twisters (hat tip to James Cameron) — is now being fast-tracked, hopefully landing a spring production start date. Top Gun: Maverick helmer Joseph Kosinski was going to direct (as mentioned in the original report), but he’s since committed to the Formula One racing film vehicle for Brad Pitt that Apple acquired last June.

 

Speed helmer Jan de Bont directed the original, so getting a practical action-oriented director on the film would make sense. However, Universal and Amblin are going wide with their search for a new captain, as among the directors under consideration are the Oscar-winning Free Solo team of Jimmy Chin & Elizabeth Chai Vaserhelyi, 10 Cloverfield Lane and Prey helmer Dan Trachtenberg, and Laika’s Travis Knight, who’s familiar with both animation (Kubo and the Two Strings) and sizable live-action blockbusters (Bumblebee).

 

Unsurprisingly, the hope is to bring Helen Hunt back for “a drama that focuses on the daughter she had with the character played by the late Bill Paxton.” Yes, that’s yet another legacy sequel coming from Hollywood. And one has to wonder whether they’ll also try to give Philip Seymour Hoffman’s character a son too. Whichever direction they are going with this one, both Paxton and Hoffman will be sorely missed.

 

A reinvention of Twister isn’t surprising now that Universal and Amblin’s Jurassic World franchise is going dormant for a while. The original film was a huge hit, grossing more than $494 million worldwide and pushing the envelope on visual effects, with a script by the late Michael Crichton. Moreover, it hatched a theme park attraction for Universal. With the topic of climate change and extreme weather timelier than ever, we could be looking at a big comeback of disaster tentpole films.

 

 

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