Hollywood’s fear of original ideas and new concepts is seemingly limitless and totally paralyzing, so instead of taking a risk of course they are falling back on the 1990s canon in two of the latest projects announced.
Yes, multiple sequels for 1996 summer blockbuster Independence Day are in the works, Vulture reported last week. Also in development, as of last week, is a lone sequel for the 1994 comedy classic Dumb & Dumber — still one of the most quotable movies of all-time in my book.
The good news, we suppose, is that the creative forces behind both hits will be returning for the follow-ups. Director Roland Emmerich and screenwriter Dean Devlin, who gave us such wonderful dialogue as “Welcome to Earf,” and the Bill-Pullman-as-President “We’re going to live on” speech I’ve embedded below, are finishing up a pair of scripts for the sequels, says Vulture.
The Farrelly Brothers, meanwhile, are on board to direct the Dumb & Dumber sequel, and they’ve even got the guys who wrote Hot Tub Time Machine (and, paradoxically, Mr. Popper’s Penguins) — Sean Anders and John Morris — in the fold.
The bad news is, well, pretty much everything else.
Roland Emmerich, in case anyone hasn’t noticed, sucks at making good movies. Seriously, folks, he’s responsible for 2012, 10,000 BC and Godzilla. Twentysomethings seem to have great nostalgia for ID4, myself included, but it’s not because the film was any good, certainly. Rather, it’s because it was laughably bad and somehow became a cultural phenomenon anyway — probably because we just liked seeing famous landmarks get blown up.
Oh, and let’s not leave one other important detail out of the picture here. Will Smith hasn’t signed on to be welcoming anyone to earf — the sequels set to go forward either way. Smith, who’s apparently demanding $50 million, wasn’t the most memorable part of the movie for me (Jeff Goldblum and Brent Spiner, folks!), but he would bring something to the table on a project that, near as I can tell right now, has exactly nothing going for it.
As for Dumb & Dumber, there’s no confirmation that Lloyd (Jim Carrey) or Harry (Jeff Daniels) will be returning (though there are positive signs). Moreover, Peter and Bobby Farrelly haven’t exactly been on a winning streak themselves this, um, millennium. Dumb & Dumber, There’s Something About Mary and Kingpin remain classics, but Mary, the last of those films to be released, came out in 1998.
The Farrelly Brothers as offensively untalented as Emmerich, but they’ve certainly been passed by the likes of Judd Apatow et al. when it comes to making culturally relevant comedies, even if some of their more recent movies, like Stuck on You, have been enjoyable.
Anyway, to answer the question in the headline, I think any of the sequels could wind up being good, but that’s with the underlying understanding that there’s miles between could and will.
I have more hope for the Dumb & Dumber sequel, ostensibly, but the Farrelly Brothers simply have to get Carrey and Daniels to sign on for it to work. Emmerich, on the other hand, doesn’t necessarily need Will Smith to make a suitable ID4 sequel, but the mere notion of a “suitable ID4 sequel” makes it sound like it’s going to be a pretty godawful movie by default.