Who Framed Roger Rabbit is one of those films that justifies the existence of the film industry. Creative, timeless, envelope-pushing, and genre-melding, Robert Zemeckis's live-action/animation/noir hybrid stands as a testament to human creation and perserverance.
The film is also the first and only time that animated characters from Disney and Warner Bros. (i.e. Mickey Mouse, Bugs Bunny, Donald Duck, Daffy Duck, etc.) appeared in the same project together; this was thanks to executive producer Steven Spielberg, who was a major Hollywood titan by that time. So, if the movie is such a benchmark in filmmaking and inter-studio cooperation, why was a sequel never produced?
During a recent interview with Yahoo Movies, Zemeckis revealed that Disney (which produced the original under its Buena Vista banner) is sitting on a screenplay for a sequel that's actually quite good. However, it will probably never see the ligh of day, given the company's current slate of preoccupations.
"I don’t know where it fits in in their universe," the director said. "There’s no princess in it, so I don’t know where that would be. There’s a wonderful script sitting at Disney that is really good, but I don’t think it’s on their radar."
After a number of sequel and prequel ideas were scrapped over the years, only a few animated shorts were made and the concept of another Roger Rabbit movie fell into that black hole known as development Hell. In 2014, Gary K. Wolf (whose 1981 novel inspired the film) talked about The Stooge, a film that would team Roger up with Mickey Mouse. Three years later, Zemeckis described a sequel that would drop the noir shtick and feature a CGI Bob Hoskins (who died in 2014) as the ghost of gumshoe Toon detective, Eddie Valiant.
During the Yahoo interview, Zemeckis also addressed the recent survey results, which showed that people wanted a fourth Back to the Future movie over a sequel for any other franchise in existence. As you'd expect, he has no interest in making another one.
"It confirms what we all know, but what I think the fans are really saying is that we really like this movie and if it were possible I’d like more of it. But they understand that it can’t be done," he said.
Zemeckis's most recent project, Welcome to Marwen, is currently playing in theaters, although its box office performance has been less-than-stellar. Per Variety, it could end up losing as much as $50 million for Universal.