Don't Hold Your Breath for a 'Roger Rabbit' Sequel, Says Robert Zemeckis

Roger Rabbit and Bob Hoskins in still from
Who Framed Roger Rabbit? (Photo: ©Buena Vista/Courtesy of Everett Collection)

This year has boasted a bevy of long-delayed sequels to old favorites, including Independence Day: Resurgence, Bridget Jones’s Baby, and Bad Santa 2. So why not revisit our toon pal from Who Framed Roger Rabbit? According to director Robert Zemeckis however, his 1988 live-action-animation hybrid won’t be getting a follow-up anytime soon.

In a new interview with the Telegraph (via Slashfilm) timed to the release of his Brad Pitt-Marion Cotillard World War II thriller Allied, Zemeckis talked about his unproduced script for Roger Rabbit 2. The original movie is set in a fantastical Hollywood of the 1940s where toons and humans live together and the bumbling Roger is accused of murder. The director described his follow-up concept as “more a continuation than a sequel” that follows Roger and Jessica — his very alluring toon wife — as they depart the noir-ish 1940s for the cinematic 1950s. Zemeckis also said he would have used a digitally created version of the late Bob Hoskins for the ghost of gumshoe Eddie Valiant.

Jessica Rabbit croons to Hoskins
Who Framed Roger Rabbit? (Animation: Disney)

Related: Bob Hoskins’s Toon Talents: Why the ‘Roger Rabbit’ Star Is Still Our Most Animated Actor

Even though the script exists, the director thinks it’s exceedingly unlikely it will ever be shot, since Disney owns the rights to it, and “the current corporate Disney culture has no interest in Roger, and they certainly don’t like Jessica at all.” While Zemeckis seems mildly frustrated by this situation, he’s also aware of the fact that making a sequel to a popular hit is a tricky proposition. He says:

Most sequels, you’re behind the eight ball on them. When audiences clamor for a sequel, what they’re really doing is expressing their enthusiasm for the movie they just saw. And that means they’ll have a love-hate relationship with whatever comes next, because they want it to be the same movie, but different. If it’s too similar, they don’t like it. And if it’s too different, they really don’t like it. There’s nothing more difficult.

This is a subject about which the auteur knows something, considering that he made two sequels to his hit Back to the Future, one of which turned out quite well (II) and one of which didn’t (III). Head over to the Telegraph to read more about what Zemeckis had to say about both Roger Rabbit 2 and Allied; the latter film is currently in theaters.

Watch a clip from Roger Rabbit: