The Dreamworks feud has killed both Roger Rabbit features. Spielberg
owns half of RR and the Katzenberg trial has soured relations. When
it was cancelled it the screenplay was complete and the film was in
pre-production and the easriest future release date was Summer
Roger Rabbit gets amnesia (one too many anvils dropped
on his head) and wanders around Toon Town and the "real"
world in a silly daze
Originally it was reported that Robert Zemeckis and Bob Hoskins was
involved but they were never involved in this project
A report in Daily Variety has Alan Menken, Disney's
in-house, Oscar-winning composer (The Little Mermaid,
Beauty and the Beast, etc.), already completing a
musical score for the movie, described as an
old-fashioned Busby Berkeley-style song-and-dance
flick. And maybe even joining the project as a
January 1, 2003
Why A Roger Rabbit Sequel Won't Happen Anytime Soon
Jim Hill explains that since Disney and Amblin own half of the copyright on the characters created for Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, both sides have to agree exactly on the terms of the contract every time Roger appears in a film or a theme park attraction or even on a toy. Back in 1989, both Disney and Spielberg were anxious to cash in on the first film's popularity: the director okayed the production of Disney's first Roger Rabbit short Tummy Trouble. The Mouse quickly cut a deal with Spielberg to co-produce a sequel to the first film, before announcing that they'd be following up Tummy Trouble with a whole new series of Roger Rabbit shorts. But the next installment, Roller Coaster Rabbit, started all the problems. Spielberg wanted the second short to be shown in front of Amblin's Arachnophobia, while Disney preferred and ended up attaching it instead to copies of its own Dick Tracy. In the light of Arachnophobia's disappointing box-office results, Steven Spielberg--a man used to getting what he wants--was upset and, as a co-owner of Roger Rabbit, felt that he should have had more of a say in how the character was being used, particularly concerning which short got put in front of which movie. So he decided to make his position regarding Roger Rabbit and Disney clear. He waited 'til Disney actually had a new short, Hare in My Soup, in production. Then Spielberg announced "I don't like the story for the new short. Without my approval, you can't go forward with this film. Shut down production." Given that these were indeed the terms of the Roger Rabbit deal, Disney reluctantly halted work on Hare in My Soup. None of the other story ideas for shorts the Mouse pitched to Spielberg met his fancy either. It would be two years before Spielberg would allow work to proceed on a new Roger Rabbit short, Trail Mix-Up. By then, Steven was also holding up production on a proposed prequel to the original feature film, Who Discovered Roger Rabbit?, which dealt with Roger's early days as he struggled to make it as a star, his coutship of Jessica and the search for his long-lost mother. After several rewriting, Sherri Stoner and Deanna Oliver's version of Who Discovered Roger Rabbit? (which for a short time was considered as a direct-to-video project) was a funny and affectionate tribute to those old movie musicals that impressed a lot of people at Disney. In fact, someone liked the screenplay so much that they slipped a copy to Disney's house composer, Alan Menken. Menken was so impressed with what he read that in addition to writing five songs for the film, he signed on as executive producer. This brings us up to 1997. The Mouse is anxious to finally get production underway on their Roger Rabbit prequel. But now there's another hitch. Jeffrey Katzenberg now works with Spielberg at Dreamworks SKG. Given Jeffrey's animosity toward Disney in general (and Eisner in particular), Michael worries that Katzenberg could deliberately bad-mouth the project, compelling Spielberg to pull the plug on the prequel. But Eisner tricked Spielberg into keeping his mouth shut and allowing pre-production work to proceed on Who Discovered Rogert Rabbit? by recruiting two of his long-time Amblin associates and friends--Frank Marshall and Kathleen Kennedy--to serve as producers on the Roger Rabbit prequel. Test footage to see whether new animation techniques could keep costs down quietly went underway in the spring of 1998 at Disney Feature Animation in Florida. Master animator Eric Goldberg put together a new model sheet for the wacky rabbit, making Roger younger looking as well as easier-to-draw. While computer generated props didn't mesh well with more traditionally animated characters, a second production test with CG characters was met with a lot of enthusiasm--until Michael Eisner learned that it would drive the cost of the Roger Rabbit prequel well north of the $100 million mark. As soon as he heard that, Uncle Mikey pulled the plug on the project. Since then, the box-office failure of both Monkeybone and The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle did not help reviving the project. A couple of months ago, producer Frank Marshall said that the movie had been "so much work" that there were no plans to do a sequel or a prequel, or even produce new Roger Rabbit animated shorts.
This is from Coming Attactions on June 15,1999
"Word from Disney is that the sequel to Roger Rabbit
has been canned. Escalating animation costs cited
as one reason as well as demographics for a sequel
may be slipping away. For now the project is
definitely not happening. It is believed that the
executives at Disney believe too much time may have
elapsed for a sequel to happen. It is also believed
that the character has lost alot of its appeal with
the movie going audience. Have also heard the script
itself - one of dozens of drafts over these many
years - never seems to spark enough excitement to
warrant the huge costs for the animation."
From Source Lampwick's Disney News on June 26, 1997
Here's what's official: Yes, a sequel is planned,
says Steven Spielberg's Amblin Entertainment, which,
with Disney, produced the first movie. But that's
not news. A sequel has, more or less, been "planned"
since Roger Rabbit took in $400 million at theaters
worldwide nearly a decade ago. Whether the elusive
sequel will get made before the impending millennium
--well, nobody's saying. Officially.
Eddie will be in a future sequel. Disney bought the
rights to my Roger Rabbit sequel novel Who P-p-p-plugged
Roger Rabbit from Gary Wolf that takes the story forward
from the end of the last movie.
Who P-P-P-Plugged Roger Rabbit movie will mix existing
Disney characters with other non-Disney Studios
characters. Gary Wolf said that it's become a tradition.
Droopy has been in all of the Roger cartoons. It has
also been said that it can safely said that there will
be other studio characters in the pre-sequel.
From Lampwick's Disney News, date unknown
Once, the Roger Rabbit sequel was going to be a
direct-to-video cartoon (no humans, set in Roger's
native Toontown). Then, a contingent lobbied for
a return to the big-screen in the form of a prequel,
according to Gary Wolf.
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