According to Film Guardian, the sequel to The Graduate has been written. It is titled Home School and resumes years later with the Benjamin Braddock character now a father, who is home schooling hiskids. Supposedly, his past is catching up with him too, as “the seductive spectre of Mrs Robinson looms once again.”
According to Charles Webb, who wrote The Graduate in 1963, Home School will not be published until after his death.
According to the Film Guardian story, “when he sold the film rights for The Graduate , a contract clause stated he also signed away the rights to its characters, meaning that any follow-up could be turned into a film without his consent. He claims he offered to work with the rights owner, the French media company Canal Plus, on a big-screen version of Home School but was rebuffed, so he now intends to leave the novel to his sons in his will.”
“It would be devastating to publish the book and then be a bystander and watch a mediocre movie made of this story,”
Webb, 65, told The Observer.
“I guess I was naive to think it was an obvious thing we would all agree on.”
He went on to say that the Benjamin Braddock character, “disenchanted after his time at university, was based on himself; Elaine Robinson on his real-life partner, a woman named Fred; and Mrs Robinson was based on a doctor's wife who visited his father's house to play bridge.”
Home School was based on Webb and his partner's decision to remove their own children from the public school system and teach them at home. This was an illegal act “which left them on the run from the US authorities and seeking refuge by running nudist camps.”
“There's never been a film before about a family that home educates its kids. Very few people in the movie world have had that experience, so I don't think it's a subject that would be treated objectively. It's a runaway, underground, counter-culture kind of thing - that's why it hasn't been done.”
Webb sold the film and theatrical rights for a flat fee and missed out on any share of the 1967 movie's 60 million gross. He claims he is quite happy with the film that Mike Nichols mande. Due to the issue of the rights, which have changed hands several times, is what has left him a tad despondent over the whole ordeal.
“As soon as any sequel is published it is their property and I have no legal recourse. It's frustrating. I hoped something could be worked out with the company: I didn't want to control the film but I did want some basic say over the story. I hoped they'd let me do the screenplay and my younger son be an adviser, because he is the real thing in terms of being home schooled. This wasn't a suggestion they were willing to accept. So I'd rather not be around to see it if not even minimal control is possible.”
The current 130-page novella will remain “inside Webb's laptop and on floppy disks - no hard copy exists - until bequeathed to his sons, John, 40, and 36-year-old David.”
Larry Turman, producer of The Graduate, and the man who purchased the original rights, believes that Webb’s negative attitude is a bit premature.
"I don't think that would happen at all,"
he said from Los Angeles.
Director Rob Reiner is currently helming the picture, Rumor Has It. The film is about a young woman (Jennifer Aniston) who puts her marriage plans on the shelf so she can return home to Pasadena and unravel family secrets. She has discovered that the 1967 film "The Graduate" was probably based on her family, her grandmother (Shirley MacLaine) was Mrs. Robinson and she doesn't know her real father