Over the last few years, rumblings have sprung up about a sequel to the 1988 comedy classic Who Framed Roger Rabbit?. Producer Robert Zemeckis said Disney had a script in 2012, and two years later, director Rob Minkoff said he had been hired to direct the animation segments. Not much has been heard since, but it turns out the project almost got underway over two decades earlier with J.J. Abrams penning the script.
In an interview with Nerdist promoting his new film, 10 Cloverfield Lane, the Star Wars: The Force Awakens director revealed his first-ever meeting with Steven Spielberg was to take a pitch for Who Framed Roger Rabbit? 2. “I’ve told this story before, but when I was 16, Kathleen Kennedy called Matt Reeves (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes) and I, to ask if we would repair these 8mm films Steven had made when he was a kid,” Abrams revealed. “It happened because we were in a film festival and she had read about us in the LA Times. So, of course, we said yes and did the repairs. Years later I got to meet Steven. I went into a meeting…actually, it was for a Roger Rabbit sequel.”
Abrams went on to say that he still has a few storyboards for a short from the pitch, but that the project never got off the ground. “Honestly, we never really got to that phase [where it got serious]. We were writing an outline, but it honestly went away before it was anything. This was a long time ago. Zemeckis probably would’ve been a producer on it. This was 1989.”
Kennedy was the one who reached out to Abrams for Star Wars, so who knows if she might pick up the phone again to revitalize this long-gestating sequel.