Robert De Niro says one of his buzzed about sequels is progressing, while he wasn’t aware of another that has long been rumored. At a Tribeca Film Festival panel with the Oscar-winning actor & award winning writer/director/producer Judd Apatow to mark the 100th anniversary of Universal Pictures, De Niro talked about follow-ups to the studio’s 1988 hit comedy Midnight Run and the film which won him a Best Actor Oscar, Raging Bull.
Hit the jump to see which is likely and which is, well, more complicated.
Midnight Run is about to get Ratner-fied. Development on a sequel to the 1988 buddy action-comedy began in early 2010 when word came that Universal was working on a follow-up with star Robert De Niro attached to reprise his bounty hunter role from the original. Now comes word that Mr. Brett Ratner is in talks to direct the sequel and screenwriters David Elliot and Paul Lovett (G.I Joe: The Rise of Cobra) have been tapped to perform a rewrite. For those unfamiliar, the first film starred De Niro as a bounty hunter tasked with escorting an embezzler (Charles Grodin) across the country. Hit the jump for more on Midnight Run 2.
Universal Studios is in the process of developing a sequel to Midnight Run, with Robert De Niro set to star. De Niro will return as Jack Walsh, a bounty hunter tasked in the original film with escorting an embezzler across the country. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the sequel will pair De Niro’s character with a “younger comedic foil.” Timothy Dowling, who recently penned Role Models and the upcoming Knight and Day and She’s Out of My League, will write the script. De Niro will produce the film along with Jane Rosenthal of Tribeca Films. The original 1988 action comedy, though not a huge commercial success, was critically well-received and it’s considered a classic among film buffs.
As a huge fan of Midnight Run, both Universal and De Niro are playing with fire when talking about making a sequel. If they can come up with a story that justifies why a sequel needs to be made, I’m open to it. But if the sequel does anything to damage the original film like the prequels did to Star Wars, I hope they just leave it alone.
Nikki Finke at Deadline may be fascinated with the comings and goings of stars between agencies, but her story about Robert De Niro leaving William Morris Endeavor Entertainment (WME) and returning to Creative Artists Agency (CAA) speeds right through the fascinating info about De Niro’s upcoming projects. Deadline reports that De Niro will play the showy role of infamous Alabama Governor George Wallace in Lee Daniels’ (Precious) next film, Selma, which is about the 1965 march in Alabama that was “the political and emotional peak of the civil rights movement.” Wallace famously said in his 1963 inauguration speech, “segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever.”
Deadline also reports that De Niro is in “mid-development on another Midnight Run,” and that’s…interesting. The original is a fantastic flick that holds up today and is a touchstone of the action-comedy genre. However, I’m not sure how I feel about a sequel. I think there’s potential, but De Niro has been phoning it in for a while now. The only performance he’s really nailed in the past decade was his supporting role in The Good Shepherd. Other than that, his films have been mediocre to cringe-worthy. I hope that his upcoming roles in Stone and Robert Rodriguez’ Machete signal a turn in his career where he actually gives a damn again and showcases the acting talent we all know he still has in him.