Spec sequel a real battle for Rapier
Update!! The writer of “Ferris Bueller 2″, Rick Rapier, has dropped us a line. Here’s his two-cents on the whole shebang : “Hi, Clint! Thanks for not referring to me as a schmuck, as more than one film blogger chose to do. LOL I’m Rick Rapier, screenwriter of FB2: ANOTHER DAY OFF. I appreciate what you wrote about the whole situation. But to clarify: I don\’t expect John Hughes to direct, were a sequel to be made from my script. I told Steve Spears it would be fantastic, but as I said in my Q&A with him, I know Mr. Hughes to be in semi-retirement. I did research on the whole ball of wax before writing anything. But I honestly couldn’t ascertain if a sequel would be contingent on him; that’s for Paramount Studio insiders to know and for outsiders like me to speculate on. As for the producer who “passed” on the script, he also runs a management company, and what I’d hoped to accomplish was to gain him as a manager. He had the clout to choose me as a client, not whether Paramount would make a film from my script. Instead of considering the talent it took to pull off the script that had been recommended to him by a trusted associate, he chose instead to focus on his own hopes for Ferris and the slim chance that a sequel would be made from my script (but one of many I’ve written as a professional screenwriter for several years, sadly without any screen credits yet). Anyway and all in all, I enjoyed your fair article. Good on you!
Every couple of years there’s a new rumour suggesting one of John Hughes’ classic 80s teen movies is about to be either sequelized – “Sixteen Candles 2” has been spoken about before, and it looked like even happening at one point (if even as a telemovie) – or remade – for a while there, “The Breakfast Club” was being eyed for a redo, I shit you not! – and another has just been put into rotation. It’s probably about as likely to happen as Paris Hilton being sexual-disease-free one day, but never the less, it’s an interesting tale… and shit, I don’t really see why it can’t happen?!
Granted, this isn’t the first we’ve heard of a “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” sequel – they’ve been talking about doing one for years. Matthew Broderick is asked in near every interview he does whether he’d be keen to do it. And Paramount have apparently been pitched about a hundred times by different writers all confident they’d be able to do justice to Hughes’ original (I doubt any of them were much chop). From the very moment Cameron trashed his pop’s sports car, people have wanted more – well, everyone but one person.
John Hughes is some sort of recluse these days. He lives in the woods somewhere. Doesn’t come out of his shack – unless it’s to throw some bread crumbs out for the birds – and though he still writes from time to time, does it on the back of toilet tissue under the pseudonym ‘Edmond Dantes’. As much as people would love if he showered, shaved, left the house and knocked on Paramount’s door looking for work – it ain’t gonna happen. The royalty cheques on “Home Alone” alone are seeing to that.
There’s a new “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” sequel in bindered form called “Ferris Bueller 2: Another Day Off”. Its penned by someone named Rick Rapier (a quick Google discovers he sold a comedy called “Devils Playground” in the late 90s), according to Stuck in the 80s and Cinematical. But no, Paramount hasn’t bought it. So yes, the man may have scored blisters on his typing fingers for nothing.
The script sounds OK – near every one of the characters from the original film are in it – but there’s just one problem, besides the whole ‘Paramount don’t want it’ thing – the guy wants Hughes to direct. Hmm…He’s gonna need to send Emilio Estevez in a red dress around to the man’s home then, because nothing else is going to get him off his butt, out the door and onto a film set anytime soon.
If, however, Rick Rapier can convince Paramount to make the movie – he’s already sent them the script, and it doesn’t sound like they’re biting yet – then he’ll have already won, and there’s really no reason (other than it’d be a better film if he did) for Hughes to direct. Frickin’ Dennis Dugan could do it. Even Savage Steve Holland. Getting Hughes’ interested in directing the film should be the last thing on his mind.
He has to convince the powers-that-be to make it first. I can’t tell you how fuckin’ hard it is to get a spec script up – let alone one that’s based on someone else’s movie. It’s almost impossible. When they say no, that’s it – you either re-write the movie as a stand-alone piece or you use the paper to wipe the frost from your icy car window the next day.
I’ve known writers who have spent months writing sequels on spec – things like new “Die Hard”, “Predator”, “Bladerunner” and “Rambo” sequels only to see their scripts tossed away like a dud mouse with conjunctivitis. They’re sweat blood and tears for the script – probably tried everyone in town to get it made – but at the end of the day, there’s nothing they can do to save their baby if the man with the healing hand doesn’t think it’s worth saving.
Rapier tells the site that he tried “Matthew Broderick and Execs at Paramount. Neither worked. Most recently a well-known producer passed on the script … because he felt Ferris trading on his persona in adulthood was to ‘lose the power of his character.’ As a huge fan of the original and of Ferris in particular, I feel he couldn’t be more off the mark.”
That’s right – he is off the mark, but the thing is pal, he’s the guy that makes the decisions. He may be a butt clown, but he holds the power. So unless you can get Mia Sara on your side and send her into the office wearing nothing but a copy of the script around her thin waist… then, this is going to be a harder sell than a “Super Mario Bros” sequel.
Not to say I don’t think there’s some possibility here. Firstly, everything else – Rambo, the “Die Hard” series, the fuckin’ ‘Transformers – is making a comeback, I’m sure people would go nuts for a new “Ferris Bueller” movie.
Secondly, the script is apparently pretty damn good.
Says Stuck in the 80s, “Is it good? I thought it was a blast. I read it in a single afternoon and was impressed with the care Rapier took with the original story and characters. The story has the same feel, humor and pace as the 1986 movie, which should please hard-core Ferris fans.
The movie fast-forwards Ferris’ life about 20 years. In the years since high school, Ferris has turned his carefree “Life Moves Pretty Fast” motto into a motivational self-help career — think Tony Robbins, only with a beret and sweater vest. His best friend Cameron is still at his side, managing his massive business.
But despite his phenomenal success, Ferris is a bit distracted on his 40th birthday (which, considering his massive fame, is being watched on pay-per-view TV by millions of devoted fans). He decides to take the day off, sending Cameron, his business associates and family into a frenzy.”
Matthew Broderick would be back, Alan Ruck too – and also Jeffrey Jones, Charlie Sheen, Jennifer Grey, Mia Sara and even Ben Stein.
* Ferris’ sister Jeannie (Jennifer Grey) is married to the boy she met in the police station (Charlie Sheen).
* No longer a school administrator, Rooney is still stalking Ferris for revenge.
* The economics teacher played by Ben Stein now is an airline gate representative.
* Ferris’ girlfriend Sloane Peterson (Mia Sara) is a Hollywood star going through a rough marriage.
Sounds OK to me, too. I’d see it. I’d probably even pay to see it. If I was Paramount, I’d get Hughes’s signature to do it. Recruit the original cast. Hire a capable director. And get shooting. I think this’d do well. But what do I know… I thought “Bobby” was going to win an Oscar. I thought “Donnie Darko” was going to be Patrick Swayze’s comeback movie. I thought “300” was shite.
Rapier knows he’s going to have his work cut out for him though – he tells the Stuck in the 80s site that “I had never thought of writing a sequel to someone else’s movie. Getting a spec script sold is a monumental feat, and it’s even rarer to see one made. Add to that the hole-in-one this would have to be. But I did some research and learned that no one, including the great John Hughes or Broderick — at least in any published information — had ever thought of a possible Ferris’ future as I had. And again, I just really wanted to see this as a movie one day.”
We’ll wish him luck and if Rapier is reading, please keep us posted with any developments.