The twister sequel gets a hopeful production update, narrowing the search for a director. While comics may now dominate the big screen, disaster movies were better at drawing audiences in the 1990s. One of the greatest disaster films of that time was the epic by director Jan de Bont twister, which premiered in 1996. Written by Michael Crichton and Anne-Marie Martin, twister storm chasers Jo and Bill Harding tracked down rural Oklahoma as they attempted to deploy a revolutionary research device during an escalating tornado outbreak. The film starred an ensemble cast including Jami Gertz, Cary Elwes, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Alan Ruck, Todd Field and Jeremy Davies, starring Helen Hunt and Bill Paxton.
twister was a huge success upon release, earning over $495 million at the box office worldwide and receiving two Academy Award nominations. It is precisely this success that led Universal Pictures to pursue a sequel two decades later. In 2020, it was reported that a large-scale twister reboot was in development with Top Gun: Maverick‘s Joseph Kosinski tapped to direct, but Kosinski has since left the project. Hunt threw her too twister follow-up idea with a “all Black and brownstorm chase team, but was reportedly rejected by the studio. Despite these minor setbacks, the project went ahead.
Now the twister sequel, titled twisters, receives a hopeful production update. Deadline reports that Universal and Amblin Entertainment are meeting with directors for the film and plan to begin production next spring. Steven Spielberg’s enthusiasm for the script has reportedly pushed production forward, and the studios are looking at Jimmy Chin and Elizabeth Chai Vaserhelyi (Free solo), Dan Trachtenberg (Prey), and Travis Knight (Kubo and the two strings) including as potential directors.
How Twisters Will Honor Bill Paxton’s Character
Although very little information about twisters officially released, it was reported that the film will still feature a link to the late Paxton’s character, Bill Harding. the developing twister sequel hopes to bring Hunt back to reprise her role from the original and focus on the central couple’s daughter, who contracted the same storm-chasing bug her parents had. This choice to let Bill’s daughter carry on with her father’s legacy is especially interesting given that the character had already tried to leave life behind at the beginning of the original twister.
At the moment there is no word on how twisters will approach Paxton’s character, but since Hunt is expected to return, it seems possible Bill may have passed away between the two films, echoing the late actor’s passing. He will always be remembered for his role in twister, and after his death in 2017, many real-life storm chasers paid tribute to Paxton. This means that Universal will want to pay close attention to how the sequel deals with the character’s absence.
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