The Return of Casablanca Movie
It now has been 70 years since Casablanca was released starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman in 1943. When released, it was just a movie and no one expected much of it. Certainly, no one expected it to still be one of the most watched movies still, today. For me, to be brutally honest, I am also. I have seen it and while it is good, why it is legendary is beyond me.
In any case, since 1943, there have been several attempts for a sequel, none have made it into production. The closest one, Return to Casablanca, was written in the mid-80's by Howard Koch, who was one of the writers for the 1943 movie. In this script, the four main characters are chronicled once they arrive safely in the USA. They would attempt to in vain to reconnect with resistance fighters in North Africa. There is a son, Richard, born between the Bogart and Bergman characters who grows up like his dad in many ways. The main action of the film takes places around 1961, as the 20-year-old Richard arrives in Casablanca after the death of his mother. An Arab woman who calls herself Joan is leading “guerrilla warfare’’ to track down “Nazi-led outlaws.’’ Richard eventually discovers his father’s fate.
Little more is known about the script that was rejected in 1989 by Warner Brothers. Ingrid Bergman was to be in it in the 1980 script version. There was another attempt in 1983 for a TV miniseries which was cancelled after three episodes.
Recently, the granddaughter of Warner Brothers, who has her own film production company, is determined to revive it and complete it. The screenplay was once again pitched to Warner Brothers in 2010, this time, they indicated if a director could be found, they would reconsider. Casting is a major issue since the film's stars are so iconic. The idea of a sequel to Stephen Bogart, the 64-year-old son of Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall, angers him and is against it. The actor they are looking at to play the role of Richard is Joseph Gordon-Levitt.
Like all things Hollywood, remakes and sequels happen, and Return to Casablanca is on the road.