File this one under, “what might have been.” Appearing on the Nerdist podcast to promote 10 Cloverfield Lane last week, the ubiquitous J.J. Abrams confessed that way back in the late ’80s, he had a chat with Steven Spielberg about writing a sequel to the Robert Zemeckis classic Who Framed Roger Rabbit?
Yes, you read that right. The filmmaker responsible for reviving both Star Trek and Star Wars as well as producing a crapload of other projects ranging from interesting to excellent, had some discussions with one of the premier film icons of all time about making a franchise out of one of the most revolutionary, influential and yes, incredibly fun movies ever made.
“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. 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. It was a whole thing. I actually have some storyboards for a Roger Rabbit short. 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.”
Abrams, who appeared on the pod with 10 Cloverfield Lane director Dan Trachtenberg, went on to discuss meeting with some of the Roger Rabbit animators and how enthralled he was with the prospect of working through an animation pitch. Abrams’s career has certainly provided movie fans with plenty about which to be excited but if a Roger Rabbit sequel had wound up in his filmography, well, that might have taken it to a whole other level.