Update! The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed that Robert De Niro is indeed starring in and producing a sequel to “Midnight Run”. The new script, which will team Jack Walsh (De Niro) with a younger comedic foil, will be written by “Role Models” scribe Timothy Dowling. No word on whether Charles Grodin, Joe Pantoliano or John Ashton will cameo as of yet.
I assume everyone reading the site has not only seen, but counts Martin Brestâ€™s â€œMidnight Runâ€ as one of their favourite movies. I know I do â€“ itâ€™s right up there, belong-side Billy Friedkinâ€™s â€œFrench Connectionâ€, Coppolaâ€™s first two â€œGodfatherâ€ flicks, and â€“ donâ€™t chortle! â€“â€œEndless Loveâ€ (We all have that one guilty pleasure in our tower, right!?).
When I saw it at the theater in 1998 (in fact, I was working – as an usher â€“ the night I saw it; believe only 3 or 4 people were at the screening, so as was the case with films with low-attendance, I got to watch the whole thing) I enjoyed it â€“ a lot, but honestly, I never thought Iâ€™d become one of my favourite films. And I assuming a lot of people felt the same way. I guess itâ€™s because cinemagoers imagined weâ€™d be seeing thousands and thousands for films over the coming years that would be just as good, if not better. Thing is, thatâ€™s not exactly what happened. Instead, quality seem to take a backseat to quantity at the end of the Reagan-era, and instead of seeing more, original, imaginative pieces like â€œMidnight Runâ€ â€“ weâ€™d start seeing a swarm of sequels, feature film adaptations of old TV series, and, as is the case in 2010, so many film remakes itâ€™s driving most critics to drink. Films like â€œMidnight Runâ€ seem to have disappeared along with VHS.
Speaking of, I remember watching â€œMidnight Runâ€ many times on VHS (Picked it up for about $30, if my memoryâ€™s correct, a year or so after it hit stores) â€“ and it was one of a few films Iâ€™d always bring with me on holidays (the others? likely â€œMad Maxâ€, â€œCaddyshackâ€, the â€œBack to the Futureâ€ films, and â€œStakeoutâ€). Itâ€™s an old reliable. Something I can guarantee will raise a smileâ€¦ and a goosebumpâ€¦ and make me believe in the movies again.
Written by George Gallo , â€œRunâ€ told of a Bounty hunter, Jack Walsh (De Niro) who is sent to find and return bail jumper and former Mafia accountant, Jonathan “The Duke” Mardukas (Grodin). The FBI have had no success it locating The Duke, so when Jack finds him in next to no time, they are a little embarrassed. In order to collect his $100,000 fee, Jack must take The Duke from New York to Los Angeles. Easier said than done.
Aside from the superb De Niro and Grodin (one of the best on-screen duoâ€™s since Lemmon and Matthau in â€œThe Odd Coupleâ€), the supporting cast included the always-dependable John Ashton (reuniting with â€œBeverly Hills Copâ€ director Brest) as gruff, manipulative bounty hunter Marvin Dorfler, Yaphet â€˜itâ€™s all in the eyesâ€™ Kotto as FBI Agent Alonzo Mosely, gangster-film vet Dennis Farina as Jimmy Serrano, Joe Pantoliano as Jackâ€™s employer, bail bondsman Eddie Moscone.
They never did do a theatrical sequel â€“ quite surprisingly (even though it never did big business at the country cinema I worked at, it did well in the metropolitan multiplexes; more so, it became even more popular once it hit VHS â€“ likely due to good word-of-mouth) to â€œMidnight Runâ€, probably because Robert De Niro didnâ€™t need to be doing sequels back then, but they did do a couple of straight-to-video telemovies. Starring Christopher McDonald (then best known as Geena Davisâ€™s scumbag husband in â€œThelma & Louiseâ€), â€œAnother Midnight Runâ€, â€˜â€™Midnight Runaroundâ€™â€™ and â€˜â€™Midnight Run for Your Lifeâ€™â€™ were more or less bearable time-passers that kept your attention, if only because they featured characters from the beloved 1988 movie (McDonald was Jack, Dan Hedaya was bail bondsman Ernie, Ed Oâ€™Ross was Dorfler). Still, pretty average they were.
But whaddyaknow? All these years later, De Niroâ€™s said to be circling a big-screen sequel. Buried in a news item at Deadline Hollywood Daily (which also states that De Niroâ€™s attached to play Governor George Wallace in Lee Danielsâ€™ â€œSelmaâ€) is a note that De Niro isâ€œmid-development on another Midnight Runâ€.
It ainâ€™t much to go on, but weâ€™ll have to make do for now. Considering theyâ€™re developing it, not to mention De Niroâ€™s fruitful relationship with Universal Pictures, itâ€™ll likely come to fruition.
Hereâ€™s hoping Marty Brestâ€™s involved in some capacity… and of course they bring back Joey Pants, Yaphet Kotto, and â€“ if it makes sense â€“ Charles Grodin.