When it came out in 1996, Twister was a game-changer — a blockbuster that favored special effects-heavy spectacle over story, character development, even its impressive cast of over-qualified thespians. The future director of Tár is even in it! What it didn’t do was inspire sequels, because franchises weren’t yet a staple of Hollywood thinking. But now, over a quarter of a century later, a follow-up is belatedly in the offing, and it has an incredible no-brainer of a title.
As per Deadline, Universal Pictures and Amblin Entertainment are teaming up for another round of storm chasing action. There’s a new script by The Revenant’s Mark L. Smith, which is apparently so good that Amblin’s own Steven Spielberg flipped over it, to the point that it’s being fast-tracked.
Directors’ names are already being bandied about. Top Gun: Maverick’s Joseph Kosinski has already dropped out of the production. They’re already meeting with such people as Jimmy Chin and Elizabeth Chai Vaserhelyi, of the terrifying mountaineering doc Free Solo; with Dan Trachtenberg, of 10 Cloverfrield Lane and this year’s lean, mean Prey (another spin-off with a much more creative title); with Travis Knight, of the Laika stop-motion films Missing Link and Kubo and the Two Strings, as well as Bumblebee.
Oh, and the title, at least for now: It’s Twisters.
There’s an old, possibly apocryphal story about James Cameron’s pitch for Aliens, the sequel to 1979’s Alien. As the tale goes, Cameron simply walked up to a whiteboard, wrote “Alien,” then added an “s.” It’s big if true, but perhaps having more than one twister isn’t all that ridiculous. After all, this is an age of big, bats*it weather that destroys homes and lives, thanks in part to how badly humanity is screwing up the planet.
In the meantime, those wishing to catch up on Twister — which also features [deep breath] the late Philip Seymour Hoffman, Cary Elwes, Lois Smith, Alan Ruck, Jeremy Davies, Anthony Rapp, to say nothing of Bill Paxton and Helen Hunt and Jami Gertz — can do so on Hulu.