J.J. Abrams Worked on a ‘Who Framed Roger Rabbit?’ Sequel… Kinda


by: S. Scott Stanikmas – Senior Staff Writer

It seems like these days J.J. Abrams can do no wrong. While he has had his share of misses his hits far outweigh them. But I think if this latest bit of news had come true it might have been one of those misses.

While on the Nerdist Podcast to promote 10 Cloverfield Lane with director Dan Trachtenberg. Abrams brought up his past cleaning and repairing Steven Spielberg’s old 8MM films he made when he was a kid and how that almost turned into a sequel of a classic:

I’ve told this story before, but when I was 16 Kathleen Kennedy called Matt Reeves (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes) and I, to ask if we would repair these 8mm films Steven had made when he was a kid. It happened because we were in a film festival and she had read about us in the LA Times. So, of course, we said yes and did the repairs. Years later I got to meet Steven. I went into a meeting…actually, it was for a Roger Rabbit sequel. It was a whole thing. I actually have some storyboards for a Roger Rabbit short. Honestly, we never really got to that phase [where it got serious]. We were writing an outline, but it honestly went away before it was anything. This was a long time ago. Zemeckis probably would’ve been a producer on it. This was 1989.

We were talking about the movie, but they had an idea for this short. I remember going to the animators — and I had never seen an animation pitch before — and they took me through it. There were three giant boards, and with a stick, they’d point to one of the storyboards and perform every frame. For someone who knows animation, you think, ‘Yeah, that’s what they do,’ but having never seen it before, it was unbelievably entertaining watching these two men perform, doing the voices.

As interesting as Abrams thinks this is I don’t think a sequel would have been good. Who Framed Roger Rabbit? is a great film that says everything it needs to in one shot. This would have been the case of an unnecessary next chapter, or a cash grab by the studio to put it bluntly. I’m glad this never made it out of the “short story / planning” phase.

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