Plans to make the long-awaited sequel to the hit 1996 epic disaster film, Twister, are underway. The follow-up to the Oscar-nominated drama, which is titled Twisters, is expected to begin shooting next spring. Its producer, Frank Marshall, is hoping that Helen Hunt will reprise her role of Dr. Joanne “Jo” Harding from the original movie in the series’ upcoming second installment, Deadline is reporting.
Universal Pictures and Amblin Entertainment are currently meeting with potential directors for Twisters. Universal and Warner Bros are co-financing the sequel, with Universal taking the creative lead on the feature. They have not yet announced a release date for the film.
Amblin co-founder and chairman, Steven Spielberg enjoyed the script for Twisters, which was written by The Revenant scribe, Mark L. Smith, so much that he fast-tracked the follow-up. Top Gun: Maverick helmer Joseph Kosinski was then originally brought on to direct the upcoming movie. However, he later left the project when he committed to the Formula One racing film vehicle for Brad Pitt that Apple acquired last June after a big auction earlier this year.
Universal and Amblin haven’t locked in a new director yet for Twisters, but among the helmers who are under consideration are the Academy Award-winning Free Solo team of Jimmy Chin and Elizabeth Chai Vaserhelyi. Dan Trachtenberg, who most recently directed the reinvented Predator film, Prey, and also garnered attention for the 2016 follow-up, 10 Cloverfield Lane. Travis Knight, the Laika chief whose recent animated movies include Missing Link and Kubo and the Two Strings, is also in contention.
The studios reportedly hope to bring Hunt back for Twisters, as it focuses on the daughter she had with the character played by the late Bill Paxton, Dr. William Harding, in the original film. The duo’s daughter has followed in her parents’ footsteps, and is pursuing storm-chasing.
Twister follows Jo, an experienced storm-chaser who must work with her soon-to-be-ex husband, Bill, to come up with an alert system solution to warn people of the extremely violent tornadoes that are developing in their area. Besides Hunt and Paxton, the drama also starred Jami Gertz, Cary Elwes, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Alan Ruck, Todd Field and Jeremy Davies. The movie was directed by Jan De Bont and the script was written by the late Michael Crichton.
The Oscar-winning Hunt had previously pitched an idea for a Twister sequel with herself as a co-writer and the director. However, her idea for the follow-up was rejected by the unnamed studio she pitched it to, as it was unwilling to accept the pitch.