Is Backdraft 2 really happening? Sure sounds like it. Spanish director Gonzalo López-Gallego has reportedly been tapped by Universal to direct the sequel to 1991's Backdraft. The original movie directed by Ron Howard and written by Gregory Widen was popular enough to get its own Universal Studios attraction, and now it's getting the sequel treatment. Kurt Russell's Lieutenant Stephen "Bull" McCaffrey famously didn't survive the first film, but William Baldwin's Brian McCaffrey did, and he's expected to return for the sequel, which is tentatively titled, Backdraft II.
A new report suggests that Gonzalo Lopez-Gallego, best known for 2011 sci-fi thriller Apollo 18, has been tapped to direct the Backdraft sequel. Filming is reportedly set to begin in Romania and Toronto in April with William Baldwin reprising his role from the original 1991 blockbuster. Universal is rumored to keep the movie heavily tied to the original movie with references and characters returning. It is doubtful that any of the other bigger names like Robert De Niro will be back.
The story for the Backdraft sequel is rumored to center on Sean McCaffrey, the grown son of Kurt Russell's Stephen "Bull" McCaffrey, who was a child during the events of the first movie. Sean is now an investigator with the Chicago Fire Department who holds a grudge against his uncle, William Baldwin's Brian McCaffrey, who he believes to be the one responsible for the death of his father. As for the villains, this time they're a group of agents who are trying to smuggle a missile out of the United States and are setting blazes to distract from their true mission. Sounds kind of weird, but whatever.
The original Backdraft didn't do much for critics, but it was a hit with moviegoers and earned over $150 million worldwide, which was pretty awesome for a movie in the early 1990s. Firefighters thought that the movie did a pretty good job of showing how real-life events would unfold but criticized the movie for not having masks in most of the scenes, noting that it would be impossible for firefighters to enter buildings without a mask. Additionally, they said that there would be a lot more smoke. This is all true, but how are we going to see Kurt Russell and William Baldwin's faces while their doing heroic deeds?
If the report is true, the sequel to Backdraft will go into production next month and will more than likely be released some time in 2019, if all goes according to plan. However, William Baldwin has not commented on the sequel and Universal has been equally as tight-lipped about the project. Will Backdraft II be able to live up to the hype of the first movie without Kurt Russell? In al likelihood, with most Universe sequels of this nature, this is probably intended for the home market and not theatrical release. We'll just have to wait and see. You can check out the original report about the sequel to Backdraft at Moviehole.