Despite it’s rather accidental and haphazard road to fame, not even mentioning that nobody involved thought it actually amounted to a hill of beans, Casablanca has gone down in history as one of the cinema greats. Which of course meant that the possibility of sequels and spinoffs started springing up almost immediately.
And now the folks over at Warner Bros may want Sam to play it again.
The New York Post has revealed that Cass Warner, granddaughter and grandniece to the studio’s original founders has been shopping around a new script to WB execs, titled Return to Casablanca. The script was written by original Casablanca scribe, Howard Koch, who found himself being accused of being a communist and subsequently blacklisted by Hollywood back in the 1950’s. Koch passed away in 1995, but not before penning this script which deals with original lead characters Rick (Humphrey Bogart) and Ilsa’s (Ingrid Bergman) son, as Koch’s own synopsis explained in 1988:
“After leaving Casablanca for America, Ilsa learned she was pregnant. She gave birth to a boy who grew up in America. The real father of the boy, it turns out, was not Laszlo but Rick.
He was conceived the night Ilsa came to Rick’s place to plead for the Letters of Transit . . . The secret was not kept from Laszlo, but being the kind of man he was and owing so much to Rick, he adopted the child and treated him as his own son.
The boy was named Richard, and he grew up to be a handsome, tough-tender young man reminiscent of his father. He had been told the truth about his origin and has a deep desire to find his real father, or at least more about him, since Rick’s heroic at actions in Casablanca have become legendary.’
Richard finds himself very much a stranger in the Arab world, a world now under Arab rule since the expulsion of the Germans and Vichy French who occupied Casablanca during the war.
….now, in 1961, a citizens movement led by an Arab woman who calls herself Joan is leading “guerrilla warfare’’ to track down “Nazi-led outlaws.’’ Richard eventually discovers his father’s fate.”
This is of course not the first proposed sequel to deal with Rick’s fate, as Brazzaville (a reference to the original film’s final moments, in which Inspector Renaud recommends that Rick flee to that French held city) was put in production almost immediately after Casablanca won the Academy Award for Best Picture in 1943. That film only made it as far as the treatment phase, but this could go a bit further.
While WB has reportedly passed on this project in the last 18 months, they did leave the door open with a caveat, as Warner explained:
“Warner Bros. passed on it a year, a year and a half ago. But they indicated they were willing to revisit this if I could find a filmmaker they were interested in working with.”
Which sounds like studio-speak to me for “Get a first class director and actor attached and we’re in business”.
So what do you guys think? Should we return to Casablanca, or should the greats just be left alone?
Last Updated: November 6, 2012