Twister 2 Finally In The Works?
Universal has set a planned start of production for Twister 2, a sequel to the hit 1996 film.
Twister, one of the biggest blockbusters of the 1990s, is finally getting a sequel, thanks in large part to Steven Spielberg. The disaster flick, which starred Helen Hunt and Bill Paxton, grossed nearly $495 million worldwide, and followed the exploits of storm chasers in the midst of a super-storm raging across Oklahoma. Twister 2 (tentatively titled Twisters) is hoping to start production next spring, although a director and cast have yet to be set, according to an exclusive report from Deadline.
While recent reboots and sequels of classic films have often disappointed, Twister 2 may actually live up to its high expectations. According to Deadline, the sequel began gaining momentum when Steven Spielberg (who produced the original film) expressed his enthusiasm for a sequel scripted by Mark L. Smith, who wrote The Revenant, Overlord, and Vacancy. That got the film on the fast track, although plans to have Joseph Kosinski (Top Gun: Maverick, TRON: Legacy) direct fell through after he signed on to direct Brad Pitt’s new Formula One racing film for Apple.
Universal has yet to set a cast, although they are pushing hard to sign Helen Hunt to reprise her role as Jo Harding, as the sequel reportedly focuses on Jo’s daughter, who she had with Bill Harding, Bill Paxton’s character. The daughter has her parent’s love of storm-chasing, setting off another windy adventure, which hopefully includes more flying cows. It is not clear how the film will address the passing of Bill Paxton, although having the character die between the two films would allow for a fitting tribute to the actor.
Serious plans for a Twister reboot or sequel have been in development since 2020, although Universal could not decide on a plot. Helen Hunt herself reportedly pitched an idea for Twister 2 which included an all-minority storm-chasing team, an idea the studio rejected.
On Universal’s short list to direct Twister 2 are Jimmy Chin and Elizabeth Chai Vaserhelyi (Free Solo) and Travis Knight (Kubo and the Two Strings), among others. Dan Trachtenberg, the director of Prey, was reportedly also on the short list, but he took to Twitter on Monday to shoot that idea down. “To whom it may concern. I am not making a TWISTER,” he said.
It doesn’t appear that the director of the original film, Jan de Bont (who also directed Speed), is involved in any way with Twister 2. The 78-year-old cinematographer-turned-director apparently had a falling-out with Spielberg in 2001, which led to his being fired as the director of Minority Report (which Spielberg directed himself).
The late Michael Crichton (Jurassic Park) and Anne-Marie Martin wrote the original film, which also starred the late Philip Seymour Hoffman as the scene-stealing (and highly quotable) Rusty, Jami Gertz (The Lost Boys), Cary Elwes (The Princess Bride), Alan Ruck (Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Succession), Todd Field (In the Bedroom), and Jeremy Davies (LOST). Whether any of the still-surviving actors would return for Twister 2 remains to be seen.
Twister hit theaters at a time when disaster films were all the rage, with Armageddon, Deep Impact, and Dante’s Peak all releasing within a few years of each other. The film, with its ground-breaking visual effects (many of which still hold up) and fantastic cast, has managed to retain a strong fan following over the years, making Twister 2 an inevitability. Storm chasers revere the film, and upon Paxton’s passing in 2017, they paid tribute to the actor by using their GPS trackers to spell out his initials in the Midwest’s “Tornado Alley.”