A Casablanca Sequel?

Alyssa Rosenberg leads us to discussions of a Casablanca sequel:

The New York Post is reporting that there’s some momentum behind a decades-old script treatment for a follow-up by one of the original movie’s screenwriters, Howard Koch, which would have focused on the son Ilsa ends up having after finding herself pregnant from her encounter with Rick in Casablanca. The sequel would cast older actors as the original stars, and would bring in the son as an adult character having adventures in the Middle East, a la Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

OK fine Republicans. You win. We surrender. You can have the presidency. For that matter, the Yankees retroactively win the 2012 World Series. Just don’t make this movie!

100 comments on this post.
  1. Leeds man:

    This could be the beginning of a fucking nightmare.

  2. Malaclypse:

    I think of this like I think of the remake of The Vanishing – some people tell me that there was one, but there is no reason that my reality should encompass such a monstrosity.

  3. Hogan:

    And you have lunch with Sarah Jane Smith every week, so who am I to argue?

  4. NonyNony:

    Yeah I think this will be about as popular as a shot-by-shot remake of Psycho. Which makes it slightly more popular than Atlas Shrugged The Movie, slightly less popular than the hypothetical Atlas Shrugged The Musical.

  5. scepticus:

    As long as there is a scene wherein Rick’s adult son reaches into Pinochet’s chest and pulls out a parasitic alien symbiote, I don’t see how this project could fail.

  6. rea:

    Oh, man, Atlas Shrugged, the Musical? Sounds like the plot of the long awaited sequel to The Producers

  7. wengler:

    Yeah, this makes no fucking sense.

  8. Malaclypse:

    Actually, my first adolescent crush was on the first Romana. She was totally hot.

  9. Warren Terra:

    Maybe they can put a shrek in it.

  10. Leeds man:

    I was young(er) and foolish, it had the same director, what could go wrong? Hoo boy.

  11. HP:

    “Of all the brewpubs in all the strip malls in all the world, she had to walk into mine.”

    “I am shocked — shocked – that there are 419 scams going on in this Internet cafe!”

    “It doesn’t take much to see that the problems of two little people don’t amount to a Super Value Meal in this crazy world.”

    @Renault: +1 Like

    [Etc., etc. Add your own! It's fun!]

  12. StevenAttewell:

    “a la Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.”

    Yeah, ’cause that worked so well last time.

    I really hope there’s a voice in the back of the heads of everyone associated with this enterprise that’s their 14-year old film geek selves screaming forever.

  13. joe from Lowell:

    This is like a terroristic threat. Is somebody going to demand a billion dollars now?

  14. joe from Lowell:

    This thread rocks.

  15. jeer9:

    Here’s the casting:

    Rick: Nicholas Cage
    Ilsa: Angelina Jolie
    Victor: Gerard Butler
    Renault: Pierce Brosnan
    Strasser: Rutger Hauer
    Ferrari: David Huddleston
    Ugarte: Seth Rogen

    That’s a movie that makes itself.

  16. RepubAnon:

    Perhaps Disney will combine this with the next Star Wars remake – Ilsa’s son can team up with Jar Jar and journey to Planet Casablanca…

    Who needs syrup of ipecac if you have this movie in your medicine cabinet?

  17. avoidswork:

    Frak. That list is as depressing as a GOP presidency.

  18. somethingblue:

    Keanu Reeves as the son!

  19. greylocks:

    When Rutger Hauer is far and away the best actor in the cast, you have issues.

  20. Warren Terra:

    I saw maybe Adam Sandler or Eddie Murphy, or both, playing a few roles each.

  21. jeer9:

    The flashbacks to Strasser/Hauer and Ugarte/Rogen are what lift it slightly above a Romney administration. Schumacher directs. The buzz is to die for.

  22. greylocks:

    I thought peak Hollywood stupidy had hit some years ago when there was serious discussion of doing a remake of Lawrence of Arabia.

    This tops that by a factor of at least twenty.

  23. Fighting Words:

    We can call it “Atlas Shrugged 2: Electric Boogaloo.”

  24. DrDick:

    Does Hollywood actually produce anything worth watching anymore? I seem to remember in my youth that there were lots of interesting movies.

  25. elm:

    Philistines! How can you remake Casablanca? I mean, the one starring Mira Bingleblat and Peter Beasley was definitive!

  26. somethingblue:

    Back off, dude. Roman is mine.

  27. Jameson Quinn:

    I’m shocked, shocked that Hollywood should be so crassly commercial!

  28. somethingblue:

    Sigh. Pre-empting the inevitable Polanski joke.

  29. James E. Powell:

    This is the best idea since Godfather III

  30. Jameson Quinn:

    For three years, I lived in the natal house of the composer of “Perfidia,” the song they danced to in the Paris scene. So maybe I could compose the music for this new one. Why, just yesterday, I played “this old man” on my daughter’s recorder — by ear!

  31. avoidswork:

    Do not dare drag beloved K into the casting clusterfrak ;)

  32. Murc:

    You only remember the good ones.

    I guarantee you Hollywood made as many shitty movies in their youth as they do now.

  33. Richard:

    The facts

    “In this day and age of remakes and sequels, hardly anything is sacred anymore, with classics such as Raging Bull and Scarface getting new versions. Today, we have word that Warner Bros. is considering moving ahead with a sequel to Casablanca, based on a treatment written more than 30 years ago by screenwriter Howard Koch.

    Warner Bros. had originally planned to make a sequel entitled Brazzaville shortly after Casablanca’s release, where it was revealed that Rick (Humphrey Bogart) and Captain Renault (Claude Rains) were actually secret Allied agents. The project never moved forward. Now, Peter Koch, the son of Casablanca writer Howard Koch, is working on a new version that centers on the child of Rick and Ilsa (Ingrid Bergman), set 20 years after the original film. Here’s what the producer had to say about this follow-up’s story.

    “After leaving Casablanca for America, Ilsa learned she was pregnant. She gave birth to a boy who grew up in America. The real father of the boy, it turns out, was not Laszlo but Rick. He was conceived the night Ilsa came to Rick’s place to plead for the Letters of Transit. The secret was not kept from Laszlo, but being the kind of man he was and owing so much to Rick, he adopted the child and treated him as his own son. The boy was named Richard, and he grew up to be a handsome, tough-tender young man reminiscent of his father. He had been told the truth about his origin and has a deep desire to find his real father, or at least more about him, since Rick’s heroic at actions in Casablanca have become legendary.”

  34. parrot:

    sam: samuel l. jackson
    victor: will ferrell + cowbell

  35. parrot:

    how could i overlook the obvious …
    carl: kevin bacon

  36. sparks:

    They were just more literate.

  37. Jonas:

    I think Starlight Express was originally titled Atlas Shrugged: The Musical. It had trains, it was mind-numbingly boring, it had unbelievable characters saying ridiculous stuff. But at least the trains sang and danced.

  38. parrot:

    ishtar (the prequel) will crush everything … screenplay by Zizek! …

  39. parrot:

    focused on the son Ilsa ends up having after finding herself pregnant from her encounter with Rick in Casablanca.

    this is what the world looks like when women don’t have control over their reproductive decisions and are denied contraception … half-baked sequels …

  40. somethingblue:

    “Laszlo never told you what happened to your father …”

  41. Kyle Huckins:

    If they let Tommy Wiseau write and star while James Ngyuen directs this could be very entertaining. Not good, but entertaining.

  42. mch:

    I confess to finding great beauty in romantic fragments, and to believing that they may be, curiously, quite “realistic.” “What might have been” is more inspiring (and what living life feels like) than some actual love-child seeking whatever it is this version might imagine.

    Hollywood’s weakness (so very often but not always, thank god): don’t leave the audience any work to do for itself. That’s what this sequel sounds like: let’s do Casablanca’s audience’s imaginative work for it! (Quite different from spun-out alternative fantasies, like all the Sherlock Holmes’ stuff.)

  43. zolltan:

    Right. Something something Threatles what.

  44. Kryten:

    I believe this is an appropriate juncture for you to give me five.

  45. Stan from Colorado:

    South Park used that bit four years ago.

  46. ajay:

    Oh, man, Atlas Shrugged, the Musical? Sounds like the plot of the long awaited sequel to The Producers

    The sequel to The Producers will be The Consultants. A couple of political campaign managers realise that, under the right circumstances, you could make more from losing an election than from winning one. Because you can sell your candidate over and over, to lots of different interest groups, and keep most of the money. But they have to lose; if they win, you’ll never be able to keep all your promises to all your backers.

    Step one! We find the worst candidate in Washington.
    Step two! We find the worst vice-presidential candidate in the country.
    Step three! We raise two billion dollars…

    (Max departs into Little Old Bigot Land.)

  47. Eric:

    Did they mention this in The Player?

  48. mark f:


  49. mark f:

    . . . still incompetent. Also I’m still bummed Keith Richards died near the end of recording Exiled on Main Street. They were just hitting their stride!

  50. Major Kong:

    The building used as the airport terminal in the ending scene of Casablanca still exists.

    It’s next to the FedEx ramp at LAX.

  51. LeeEsq:

    And more charming and delightful. Hollywood made bad movies since it began but the standards at the time sort of prevented them from being too bad or at least too crass.

  52. Bart:

    And the son will be played by Toby McGuire.

  53. Hogan:

    Seth Rogen gets shot? I’m in.

  54. paleotectonics:

    I could get on board with Bruce Campbell as Rick, with deadites trying to steal the Millenium Falcon, special appearence by Kathy Ireland as the plucky comic relief with the enormous head.

  55. NonyNony:

    I seem to remember in my youth that there were lots of interesting movies.

    Damn kids! Get offa my lawn!

    Remember – when you’re young there is a whole lot more of the world that is novel because, well, you haven’t experienced as much of it yet.

    I guarantee you that 50 years from now there will be grumpy old men saying “they don’t make movies like they did when I was a kid” – and they will be referring to movies that came out this year.

  56. John:

    Blade Runner?

  57. John:

    How on earth would they know that he was Rick’s son and not Laszlo’s? I mean, they would know that there’s the possibility, but how would they know for certain?

  58. NonyNony:

    Oh hell – if they did a sequel to Casablanca that had Bruce Campbell as Rick I’d go see it, with or without the Millennium Falcon.

    Hell if Disney put Bruce Campbell into their upcoming Episode VII basically playing Han Solo’s down-and-out drunken ex-smuggler younger brother, you couldn’t stop me from buying a ticket no matter how bad the rest of the movie was.

  59. paleotectonics:

    Not many things would get me to see Ep. VII. That would be one.

    Or, Ep. VII – Bloodbath On Endor

    Or, Ep. VII – George Lucas and Hayden Christiansen Are Being Held Incommunicado A Long F’IN Way From This Lot.

  60. Lee:

    I don’t know, I’m much younger than Dr.Dick and I think that a lot of the movies from the 1960s and 1970s are better than most of the ones from the 1980s and 1990s for the most part. Although the teen movies from the 1980s, when I was in elementary school, are probably some of the best ever made.

  61. Lee:

    Your making me very sick and I have full day of work.

  62. snarkout:

    Shirley Temple’s blackface number from The Littlest Rebel would like a polite word with you.

  63. Paul Clarke:

    I’m pretty sure that should be “Peter Beardsley”. This is Peter Beardsley – doesn’t that just scream “leading man”?

  64. Leeds man:

    I’m two years younger than Dr. Dick, and I’ve come to the conclusion that cinema hit its peak in the late 30s to late 50s. It just seems to have gradually become more wankish since then. Notable, and noble, exceptions of course.

  65. ajay:

    Hell with the sequels. Time for a remake.

    Han Solo: Bruce Campbell
    Obiwan Kenobi: Bill Bailey
    Grand Moff Tarkin: Eddie Izzard

  66. Leeds man:

    Bloody good player, and Bogart was hardly standard leading man material.

  67. paleotectonics:

    Read both mark f comments in Shatnervision – peachy!

  68. paleotectonics:

    Well-played. +3.1415629…

  69. paleotectonics:

    Izzard snarking at Campbell – I am so damn there!

  70. Grep Agni:

    I actually saw Starlight Express on Broadway when I was middle-schoolish. I mostly remember being impressed with the engineering of the set — roller skaters could access three or four different levels and there were even parts that surrounded part of the audience. Also the noise from the skates didn’t overwhelm the music, which is impressive as well.

    I think there may have been a plot, but I couldn’t tell you anything about it.

  71. Jon:

    I’d watch if he spent the entire movie growling at his alien sidekick, the grandson of Jar-Jar Binks.

  72. Left_Wing_Fox:


  73. elm:

    Fair enough. I can’t always figure out what Lister is saying exactly, anyway. But, tell me, who’s Mira Bingleblat?

  74. Grep Agni:

    Only if they are voice actors and and the movie is a lego animation.

  75. Keaaukane:

    The good people at Comics Curmudgeon did a hilarious riff on Galt! The musical!

    I’m not skilled at internets, among other things but

    may get you there. Among the highlights, it had Meatloaf playing John Galt, the book was broken into 9 performances, 4 on which are Galt’s radio address, and only Nathaniel Branden and Alan Greenspan were at the final performance (though they did give it a standing ovation)

  76. Keaaukane:

    He hasn’t made a good movie Bill and Ted.

  77. Just Dropping By:

    Please, we should be so lucky. Shia LaBoeuf is probably the frontrunner.

  78. Just Dropping By:

    Have you had middle school sex education? Depending on the timing of certain events, it would be pretty easy to work out….

  79. sparks:

    FFS, I watch a lot of older films and the amount of cringeworthy racist stereotyping is off the charts compared to now, and everyone was embarrassed by it even in the ’70s. That’s one thing. The elevation and enshrinement of assholery in today’s action entertainment is something else again.

    Difference is, very few seem to cringe at that. It’s even being enshrined in commercials. Or, IOW:

    Yippie-ki-yo, motherfucker.

  80. ajay:

    And introducing Sarah Silverman as Leia!

  81. Jonas:

    Lawrence or Arabia, in order to be less boring, should be set on Tattooine. Jar Jar Binks will be agent Lawrence, sent to Tattooine to lead an attack on the stormtrooper stronghold. He will be trying to unite the Sand People and the Jawas against the Empire. There will be a new race of cuddly elves introduced to also be part of this coalition. Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru were some of his contacts. I can see the dramatic plot point of Jar Jar and comrades riding Banthas on the main assault out of the desert and into Mos Eisley.

    Oh, and Jar Jar needs a love interest.

  82. RedSquareBear:

    After a great deal of consideration I have decided that I will continue to go with my initial reading of this and assume you were talking about the kid from the (Canadian? Filmed-in-Canada? Full-of-Canadian-actors?) Ramona Quimby series that aired on PBS in the late 1980s.

  83. Jestak:

    Your royalties, sir. :)

  84. Lee:

    I recognize that there was a lot of very evil racist and sexixst stereotypes in older movies. However, like sparks noted being a jerkass or immature wasn’t seen as an endearing trait. Nor did we have a the cult of the badass to deal with.

    Plus there was a nice subtlety to film that can’t be done these days. Consider the movie Heaven Can Wait. In that movie Don Amechee’s character is an adulterer who also deeply loves his wife. However, Henry Van Cleese’s womanizing ways are implied rather than shown. If Heaven Can Wait was made today than we’d see Henry Van Cleese having sex with woman after woman in endless sex scenes.

  85. Lee:

    The 1960s and 1970s produced some rather good movies. Even the 1980s had some classics. Otherwise, I’m heavily inclined to agree with you.

    I wonder if the increasing easiness of special effects had anything to do with the decline of genre. Special effects technology for most of movie history wasn’t all that great. Its why a lot of fantasy and science fiction movies looked really sucky all the way till Star Wars. The ones that looked good like 2001 were very low-key on the special effects.

    Once special effects became easier than Hollywood could focus more on spectacle and not so much on the story. The rising triumph of genre movies from the B-list to the A-list hasn’t hurt.

    I like special effects and genre movies. That doesn’t mean you can sacrifice plot and characterization.

  86. njorl:

    Difference is, very few seem to cringe at that. It’s even being enshrined in commercials. Or, IOW:

    Yippie-ki-yo, motherfucker.

    I’m much happier being ashamed of my species than I am being ashamed of my race. I consider it progress.

  87. njorl:

    “Of all the chest cavities in all the Latin American Dictator’s in all the world, he had to reach into mine!”

  88. njorl:

    I think it’s assumed that Ilsa is banging Victor all along. You can’t nail it down to the exact day.

  89. KadeKo:

    Hide me, Reek! You’ve got to hide me!

  90. NonyNony:

    Justin Beiber in his first role on the Silver Screen!

  91. NonyNony:

    … actually.

    Goddamn it – I’d watch that. Put somebody funny on the script and somebody else funny in the Binks role and I’d watch the hell out of that.

  92. burritoboy:

    Though we should note that the director of Heaven Can Wait, Lubitsch, was world-renowned precisely for such subtlety – implying pretty strongly that most others of his time didn’t have that skill.

  93. Paul Clarke:

    True on both points, but I don’t think Bogart would have made the Sun’s list of the ten ugliest footballers.

  94. Paul Clarke:

    She’s on Facebook!.

  95. Leeds man:

    If he were a footballer, I’m pretty sure he would have. Picture him running at an Italian defense, grimacing, rather than exchanging double entendres with Bacall.

    Oh, and fuck The Sun.

  96. Leeds man:

    As a side note, it’s fascinating to me how “unusual” or “different from underwear models” has become synonymous with “ugly”. Maybe I’m just a bitter ugly bastard.

  97. dick gregory:


  98. elm:

    Ditto. I loved it when I saw it in middle school. Couldn’t for the life of me tell you what it was about beyond singing trains. I think, maybe, there was a sad caboose that was integral to the story or something.

  99. Yastreblyansky:

    Sam in a bit of nontraditional casting is Alicia Keyes.

  100. Yastreblyansky:

    “Monsieur Rick, there is no entertainment in this thread!”
    “I was misinformed.”

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