Dan Trachtenberg (Prey), Travis Knight (Bumblebee), and the Oscar-winning Free Solo team of Jimmy Chin and Elizabeth Chai Vaserhelyi are among the filmmakers on the shortlist to direct Twisters, a sequel to Twister that has been more than 25 years in the making.
The Revenant scribe Mark L. Smith has already delivered a script for the sequel that Steven Spielberg himself reportedly loves, according to Deadline. He’s key to the project moving forward, as Amblin Entertainment is producing the film, which would aim to bring back Helen Hunt as eccentric meteorologist Dr. Joanne “Jo” Harding.
That said, the script is said to follow the daughter that Jo had with Bill Paxton‘s storm chaser. Evidently, she inherited the bug from her parents. Expect climate change and the extreme weather it inspires to play a factor in the story as well.
According to Deadline, Top Gun: Maverick helmer Joseph Kosinski was actually going to direct the Twister sequel, though he blew it off (pun intended) to direct a Formula One movie for Apple that will star none other than Brad Pitt — an opportunity that I imagine would be tough to turn down for anyone.
Kosinski’s busy schedule could benefit Trachtenberg, Knight, or the Free Solo filmmakers, who might just be the best fit for this sequel, given the grit that they brought to that acclaimed documentary. Then again, Universal can’t go wrong with Trachtenberg, who knows how to make a sequel feel fresh, as evidenced by his work on 10 Cloverfield Lane and the Predator entry Prey.
What’s interesting about the Twister sequel is that the first film was released by Warner Bros., but that studio is merely serving as a co-financier on the new installment with Universal, which will distribute and take the creative lead on the project. The studios are aiming to start production on Twisters next spring, so it’s finally on the fast track after decades of development.
Frank Marshall will produce the movie, and his exec Ashley Jay Sandberg will oversee for Kennedy/Marshall, while Universal’s Sara Scott will oversee on behalf of the studio.
Jan De Bont (Speed) directed the original 1996 movie (co-written by Michael Crichton!), which grossed nearly $500 million worldwide and featured jaw-dropping visual effects bolstered by a talented cast that also included Cary Elwes, Jami Gertz, Lois Smith, Alan Ruck, Todd Field, Jeremy Davies, and future Oscar winner Philip Seymour Hoffman.