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JJ Abrams recalls how he worked with Steven Spielberg on a “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” sequel

in Disney, Movies

Oh what might have been.

Earlier this week, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” director J.J. Abrams discussed how he was briefly onboard a project to craft a potential sequel to “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” alongside Steven Spielberg back in 1989.

As reported by NME, Abrams was then an up-and-coming screenwriter who met with Spielberg to hash out ideas for the sequel to the classic 1988 film.

“It was for a Roger Rabbit sequel. It was a whole thing. I actually have some storyboards for a Roger Rabbit short.

“We were writing an outline [for a sequel], but it honestly went away before it was anything,” Abrams added. “This was a long time ago. [Robert] Zemeckis probably would’ve been a producer on it. This was 1989.”

Abrams made the comments as a guest on the Nerdist podcast last week, where he was promoting his latest Bad Robot project “10 Cloverfield Lane”.

“Roger Rabbit” director Robert Zemeckis has been wanting to make a sequel to his movie for several years and revealed back in 2012 that he had a complete script ready to go.

“I have a script at Disney, and we’re just waiting for all the executive changes to settle down there.”

It’s interesting that with so many reboots, sequels and remakes in development that a sequel to such a popular movie would not be able to get off the ground, although a proper follow-up would require not only a sizable budget but many clearances from other studios to incorporate such a variety of cartoon characters. Bob Hoskins, the star of the original, retired from acting in 2012 and sadly passed away in 2014.

What do you think? Should there still be a sequel or has its time passed? Sound off on the comments below!

15 Comments

  1. EricJ

    Ah, 1988, the days BEFORE we associated the name “Robert Zemeckis” with “Mars Needs Moms” and/or “Barking lunatic”. And back when we associated Spielberg with fun things, and not “Lincoln” and “Bridge of Spies”.
    A 1989 Roger Rabbit sequel would have been nice. It’s not 1989. 🙁

  2. Reagan greer

    i hope they make a sequel i would love that so much

  3. Tom JK

    After seeing The Force Awakens and several movies that rebooted a franchise, I don’t think a Roger Rabbit sequel will satisfy anyone, mostly for the previous generation. However, since Disney basically has Roger Rabbit, he should be featured in a movie that brings him back into the spotlight, later leading to TV projects, graphic novels, and maybe a whole lot more for the fans. If you can’t do it one way, do it in another. Heck. I heard about a film project based on the 1950s film “The Stooge” that was set to star Mickey Mouse and Roger Rabbit. I haven’t heard much from that recently. My only hope is Roger does collaborate with the mouse in at least something. It doesn’t have to be a sequel to the 1988 classic. It may not have to feature Mickey, even though that would be cool. Just give us the rabbit, and we’ll be happy.

    1. EricJ

      But nobody LIKED Roger! We just focused our love of the movie in general onto Disney’s marketing of the character–because he was all they had back in 1988–but in the movie itself, we identified with Eddie, who found him an obnoxious Toon Cliche’ From Hell…Wasn’t that supposed to be the idea?
      And back then, it was all about the classic cameos, which seemed all nostalgic back when we thought Disney was dying, just before the 90’s Renaissance hit.

      1. Reagan greer

        roger was awesome i think you got him mixed up with that sponge from hell

  4. Chris

    Yeah, I thought the technology was cool back in the day, but I never liked this movie or the main character. Actually no character in it really. The technology has moved beyond this obviously, so why bring back the character no one really cares about. It’s a little like Avatar, although in that case the characters were forgettable, in this case, obnoxious.

  5. Tom JK

    Believe it or not, there are people who may still care. Look at Funko’s Pop Vinyls. Their “Roger Rabbit” line proved popular. I still kick myself, because I can’t seem to find them in stores anymore. And maybe I don’t want to believe that nobody cares about him. If you were a kid, and you saw him for the first time, you probably would like him immediately because he’s so toony. But even as an adult, you appreciate him for his sense of humor and good heart. I know I do. And I think he really needs a good comeback. There have always been the annoying, but likeable, comic reliefs in TV and movies. Roger is one of those guys. Some may argue Olaf is, too, and he’s grown on me. But alas. Ever since the birth of the regressive Spongebob Squarepants and racist stereotype Jar Jar Binks, they have ruined all the good comic reliefs’ reputations. They have given them a bad name. That’s why Roger needs to come back, or maybe someone should create a character that gives hope to comedy again.

    Lastly, I can never compare this to “Avatar.” “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” is far more superior over James Cameron’s version of the Smurfs.

  6. Jones

    Only a dead J.J. Abrams project is a good J.J. Abrams project.

  7. Tom JK

    As someone who has enjoyed the original Star Trek films (favorite being “The Undiscovered Country”), I didn’t think J.J.’s Star Trek wasn’t bad. The first movie feels more like a thank you letter to Gene Roddenberry, while “Into Darkness” was a different take on “Wrath of Khan.” I admit. It’s not as good as the original, but there are things out there that are worse than that. You can hate his work. That’s fine. I just don’t like when people use name-calling on him and his movies.

    I just want to know what his idea was for a sequel. Here’s hoping it was not the first film again, but with more characters that were less interesting than the originals. Yes, that’s right. I didn’t love Force Awakens. I didn’t hate it, but it could have been better. We can at least say that maybe something better will come along for Star Wars. As for this, I don’t think we need a sequel. If anything, just bring Roger, Jessica, Herman, and Benny back in something else to have these characters recognized again. If they can appear on the Mickey Mouse cartoon as cameos or supporting characters, then so be it. Let it happen.

  8. A new Roger Rabbit, PPPPPPPPPPlease

  9. Nate

    I feel like a new Roger Rabbit movie would be amazing but I wouldn’t want it all to be computer generated. In Who Framed Roger Rabbit you can just feel the love that went into this movie because of how every frame with a cartoon was hand drawn. Since that is the case you know people tried so hard to make it because that’s hours long of footage to be drawn frame by frame. If it was all just CGI then it doesn’t have the same feel to it. Also there shouldn’t be newer cartoon characters because sadly now when a new cartoon comes out it is either really stupid or it only goes for 1 season then dies. I truly miss the old cartoons and now there isn’t many cartoons because all of the shows are real people and that can only last for so long before something happens to the actors and the show is done. Sorry for the rant 😛 but yes a new movie would be nice just it would need the love just like the first.

  10. Nate

    Also forgot to mention this but It needs to have amazing emotions in it, remember the scene when Roger is looking at his wallet and he is crying? That is what I mean we need to be able to know what he is feeling to the point where we might cry ourselves and like the end we need to feel the happiness of the toons when it is all over.

  11. Tom JK

    I always wonder what would happen if Benny was killed off. Roger wouldn’t just be sobbing, but he might get angry and have a slight moment of wanting to kill someone like Smarty Weasel. But here’s something I want to point out. Since these cartoons like Mickey Mouse are drawn by their creators, couldn’t the dead toons be re-drawn and live again?

  12. you guys all know that roger rabbit has a series of books, right? the sequels already exist.

  13. Tom JK

    I prefer not to think of those books connected to the movies. Sometimes, these stories feel like storyboards to rejected ideas. Besides, I can’t seem to think they’re sequels to the first book, because “Who Censored Roger Rabbit?” is nothing like the film or the books after it. It’s all disorganized, if you ask me. I could say the Roger comics that were once out may work like they’re shorts or episodes for a TV show. I don’t know. I’m still waiting for something good to come in the end.

    Also, I do have a question: Did that “Stooge” project with Mickey and Roger turn into “Zootopia” in the end?

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