The 2004 indie comedy Napoleon Dynamite was a surprise sleeper hit upon release and went on to become one of the most loved cult classics of the 2000s. Naturally, fans want a sequel movie exploring what happened to Napoleon Dynamite and his friends later on in their lives. Jon Heder, who played the titular Napoleon Dynamite in the original movie, revealed during a virtual Wizard World panel he is keen to work on a sequel, but the decision rests with the film's writer-director Jared Hess.
"I would come back if Jared decided, 'Hey, let's go ahead, and let's see if we can pull off the magic. We've thought about it. We're always playing with the idea. I know I've talked a little bit with Jared, and it's his baby, so I'm just like, 'You pull the trigger on that.'"
In the past, Heder had reprised his role as the socially awkward Napoleon Dynamite in an animated series that aired on Fox in 2012 before the show died a quiet death. This time around, Jon Heder would like to see a more "dark" take on the characters from the first movie.
"I feel like the future for Napoleon would be a lot more raw and edgy. So whatever he comes up with would be fun to explore. Because I think whatever Jared comes up with wouldn't be your typical, 'Let's do a sequel where they all look the same and they all act the same.' I think it would be an interesting development in their lives."
The original Napoleon Dynamite was praised for its sharp departure from high-school movies tropes of overly polished protagonists getting up to all kinds of unbelievable hi-jinks. There was something almost painfully relatable about the complete ordinariness of the titular character, Heder's Napoleon Dynamite, and his unremarkable friends and family members, all trying to follow their small dreams, and leaning on each other for support to deal with their problems.
As Heder explained, making a sequel which is a repeat of the first movie would not be as interesting as taking the characters from the first film, and putting them in new situations. Efren Ramirez, who played the role of Napoleon Dynamite's sidekick Pedro, shared an improvised pitch idea for the sequel, where Pedro owns a bakery, is married to Summer Wheatley, and has five children. Kip has fulfilled his lifelong dream of becoming a cage fighter, and Uncle Rico has a new business venture he thinks will make him rich.
Although the original Napoleon Dynamite is looked back on fondly by fans, attempts to cash-in on the franchise, from the animated show to a four-part comic series have not been very successful. A sequel movie made a decade and a half later would have difficulty finding financing through the traditional studio model. Perhaps the success of the recently released threequel Bill and Ted Face the Music could convince producers to take a chance on another cult classic comedy franchise filled with memorable characters like Napoleon Dynamite