Because Americans, especially those responsible for making movies, can never leave well enough alone, there is a script for a sequel to Casablanca. Even worse? There is someone who wants it made.
Producer Cass Warner, the granddaughter of Warner Bros. co-founder Harry Warner, has a script and the 1980 treatment to a sequel written by Howard Koch, the original screenwriter of Casablanca. Warner told Entertainment Weekly, that Koch showed her the work when she was a student in his screenwriting class.
“It was just gold, “ Warner said. “When he pulled out and showed it to me, I almost fainted.”
I wish she had. Maybe she would have conked her head on Koch’s coffee table and forgotten everything.
Here’s how Yahoo! Movies describes this … this … this … thing.
Return to Casablanca is the working title of Koch’s treatment. The story revolves around Ilsa (originally played by [Ingrid] Bergman) and Victor Laslo’s search for Rick ([Humphrey] Bogart) who had joined Free French forces that opposed a Nazi general in North Africa. Turns out, Ilsa had Rick’s son. Nope, the kid wasn’t her husband Laslo’s. According to the treatment, Ilsa’s son, now in his twenties, is “handsome, tough-tender young man reminiscent of his father.”
For those who haven’t seen Casablanca (1942), timeless and smooth and romantic, do so immediately. It’s a wonderful heartbreak of a movie with a perfect ending. That’s not why a sequel is ill advised. Most great movies, especially those made after 1970, have sequels, but most were first revealed a few years later, not 70, like the looming storm that is Return to Casablanca.
In a painful twist, New York Post film critic Lou Lumenick, who broke this sequel story, wrote that shortly after Casablanca won the Academy Award for Best Picture, “Warner Bros. announced a sequel called Brazzaville— after the location of the Free French garrison mentioned in the last scene. But this ‘beginning of a beautiful friendship’ only got as far as a treatment by Frederic Stephani.”
This isn’t about lost momentum, but a violation of common sense—what shaved-chest smoothie is going to pass himself as Humphrey Bogart’s progeny, never mind the poor soul who plays Rick?—and the desecration of a national treasure.
If Return to Casablanca gets made, it’s only a matter of time before more perfectly resolved movies get destroyed by perfect idiots.
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