The sequel craze strikes again. In the current landscape of superheroes, animated features, Christmas movies, or lame streaming content, all get hit with the sequel bug, so of course, a natural disaster flick is going to get in on this cash cow trend. That lucky victim this time around is Twister, a 1996 film with Helen Hunt, Bill Paxton, and Cary Elwes. The synopsis of the original film is as follows:
During the approach of the most powerful storm in decades, university professor Dr. Jo Harding (Helen Hunt) and an underfunded team of students prepare the prototype for Dorothy, a ground-breaking tornado data-gathering device conceived by her estranged husband, Bill. When Harding tells Bill that Dorothy is ready for testing — and that their privately funded rival, Dr. Jonas Miller, has stolen the idea and built his own — Bill rejoins the team for one last mission.
The general consensus surrounding the disaster film was more positive than not, with Twister boasting a solid 63% rotten tomatoes score. John Ferguson of Radio Times summarizes the movie best overall, “Don’t worry about the labored storyline or the lack of chemistry between Paxton and Hunt; just sit back and gape at the wondrous special effects that allow cars, houses, and even the odd farm animal to be sent spiraling through the air.”
More importantly, Twister made a killing at the box office, collecting a strong $495.7 million at the box office. In general, disaster flicks typically perform well at the box office. The Day After Tomorrow ($552.6 million), 2012 ($791.2 million), and San Andreas ($474 million) are just some examples of the money that these types of films bring in. However, Roland Emmerich – the king of disaster features – recently came out with Moonfall, which is a film about the world on the brink of destruction when a mysterious force knocks the moon from its orbit and sends it barreling toward Earth. Unfortunately, Moonfall only made $59.1 million worldwide, based on a production budget between $138 – $146 million.
Despite that setback, Twister is a known intellectual property that’s generally liked, though it’s uncertain how many were
clamoring for a sequel. However, this isn’t the first time that a Twister sequel has been pitched. Helen Hunt herself tried to get one started several years ago by co-writing and directing it, but she was instantly shut down, “I tried to get it made.” Hunt said on Watch What Happens Live. “With Daveed [Diggs] and Rafael [Casal] and me writing it, and all Black and brown storm chasers, and they wouldn’t do it. I was going to direct it.”
However, the reason behind the sudden interest in a sequel is due to Steven Spielberg. The filmmaker read Mark L. Smith’s script for the movie and fast-tracked it to Universal Pictures and Amblin Entertainment. The feature will be produced by Frank Marshall, and it’s scheduled to start filming in the spring. At the moment, a director isn’t attached to the film. Originally, Joseph Kosinski (Top Gun: Maverick, Tron: Legacy) was set to direct the feature, but his conflicting schedule with Apple’s Formula One racing movie forced him to drop out.
The studio is currently interviewing numerous directors, with Jimmy Chin and Elizabeth Chai Vaserhelyi (Free Solo), Dan Trachtenberg (Prey, 10 Cloverfield Lane), and Travis Knight (Missing Link, Kubo and the Two Strings, Bumblebee) as some of the candidates. In terms of actors, no one’s been cast for the upcoming film, but there’s hope that Helen Hunt will reprise her role as Dr. JoAnne ‘Jo’ Thronton-Harding. Unfortunately, Bill Paxton passed away in 2017. There’s no word on the exact plot of the upcoming sequel, but we’ll give you updates when more information about Twisters is revealed.
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I love movies and television. Whether it’s timeless classics such as Psycho or The Wire, to modern greats such as Parasite or Brooklyn Nine-Nine, I’ve spent countless of hours watching (and writing) any movie or television show that I could find. Writing and entertainment is in my blood and I’m happy that I get a chance to share discuss these topics on a daily basis.