J.J. Abrams has made a name for himself in Hollywood by successfully rebooting dormant franchises. Before turning Star Wars: The Force Awakens into a blockbuster phenomenon, he also relaunched Star Trek as a viable commodity and helped get Mission: Impossible back on the right track. But before any of those happened, he almost had a hand in resurrecting Roger Rabbit for the big screen.
J.J. Abrams recently appeared on the Nerdist Podcast to discuss his latest producing endeavor, 10 Cloverfield Lane. During the interview, the filmmaker recalled a time when he actually met with original Who Framed Roger Rabbit? producer Steven Spielberg to discuss Roger Rabbit 2. It actually turned out to be the first time he ever met with the man behind such classics as Jaws and Close Encounters of the Third Kind. He explains.
"I've told this story before, but when I was 16, [Lucasfilm president] Kathleen Kennedy called [director] Matt Reeves and I, to ask if we would repair these 8mm films Steven had made when he was a kid. And it happened because we were in a film festival and she read about us in the LA Times. So we, of course, said yes and did the repairs. Years later I got to meet Steven. Jill Mazursky and I went into a meeting - actually, it was for a Roger Rabbit sequel. It was a whole thing. I actually have some storyboards for a Roger Rabbit short. It's a whole thing."
What does he mean by a 'whole thing'? Did he have a story flushed out? Was it about to go into production? Would he have directed, or only written the screenplay? Guess we'll never know. Despite the filmmaker taking meetings for Who Framed Roger Rabbit 2, the sequel never got very far off the ground. He goes onto say this about the sequel.
"We were writing an outline, but it honestly went away before it was anything. This was a long time ago. It was the first time I had met Steven."
If Roger Rabbit 2 had of moved forward, original Who Framed Roger Rabbit? director Robert Zemeckis would have served as a producer. Back in 2012, Robert Zemeckis revealed that a script for Roger Rabbit 2 actually exists at Disney. Rob Minkoff, who directed the recent big screen reboot Mr. Peabody and Sherman for DreamWorks Animation, claimed he'd been hired to direct the animation portion of Who Framed Roger Rabbit 2 just a few years ago. But we haven't heard anything about a possible sequel since then.