It’s possible that Warner Bros. may regret producing a sequel or possibly even a remake of the timeless classic “Casablanca.” Of course, it may not be today or it may not be tomorrow, but soon and for the rest of their lives.
Filmgoers may be in store for a sequel titled “Return to Casablanca” or “As Time Goes By,” which is based off of a script by the late Howard Koch, one of the original film’s screenwriters. Cass Warner, a Hollywood producer and good friend of Koch, is looking for proposals to the sequel, according to the Independent
The British news organization reported that Warner first came across the treatments for the sequel in Koch’s New York home prior to his death in 1995. The treatments were apparently written throughout the 1980s.
The plot follows the illegitimate son of Richard Blaine (Humphrey Bogart) and Ilsa Lund (Ingrid Bergman), who was told about the truth of his father and decided to search for him or at least learn even more about him. The sequel is set in the 1960s and would focus on a 20-something Richard.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly
, Warner explained that when she was shown the script she felt as if she was given “pure gold.”
It seems Warner Bros. actually passed up on the idea of producing a sequel, but it didn’t entirely rule out the possibility of making it, according to an account from Warner.
“For whatever reason they couldn’t justify taking interest in it until it was packaged more,” stated Warner in the interview. “They didn’t go, ‘what a ridiculous idea’; they went, ‘bring us [a director] we like and maybe.”
Warner noted that she understands the concerns by many of the film’s fans, but she said that the picture would tell a fantastic story and point young people to the original 1942 movie, which won three Academy Awards, including Best Director, Best Screenplay and Best Picture.
Even Stephen Bogart has provided his two cents on the matter.
“If they want to make a movie about intrigue in North Africa, that's fine, but bringing the spectre of one of the greatest movies of all time into it makes it just another feeble attempt at Casablanca 2,” said Bogart, according to The Week
This isn’t the first time that there has been talk of producing a sequel. After the initial release, rumors swirled of “Brazzaville,” but it never became produced. Francois Truffaut, acclaimed director of “Jules et Jim” and “400 Blows,” was offered to direct a remake in 1974, but he refused the invitation, citing its cult and legendary status.
The only adaptations or any sort of reinterpretations has been on The Screen Guild Theater
and Lux Radio Theater
radio broadcasts in 1943 and 1944. Warner Bros. approved of a novel by Michael Walsh in 1998 titled “As Time Goes By,”
which picks up where the film left off.