I remember reading Ben Ripley’s script for Source Code back in 2007, the year it made the annual Black List of Hollywood’s best unproduced screenplays. The tale of a soldier stuck in a time loop played like a serious version of Groundhog Day and promised to be a lot of fun…if it ever got made. Thankfully it attracted the attention of both director Duncan Jones (Moon) and actor Jake Gyllenhaal, and the resulting 2011 film is an underrated genre classic that not nearly enough people seem to remember. Well, it might be a perfect time to rewatch Source Code, as it may be getting a sequel.
Variety reports that Source Code 2 is entering development in earnest, with the Mark Gordon Company and Vendome Pictures both returning to produce. Jones’ star is on the rise these days, with him currently in post-production on the Warcraft movie, so he won’t be returning to direct, but Source Code screenwriter Ben Ripley is back to pen the sequel, which is encouraging. Anna Foerster, who has helmed numerous episodes of both Criminal Minds and Starz’s Outlander adaptation, will be directing the film.
I’m not sure how I feel about Source Code dabbling in franchise waters. It was a very nice self-contained story that didn’t really lend itself to continuation. The original was about Colter Stevens (Gyllenhaal), a soldier who awakens to find himself reliving an eight-minute period, enlisted unwittingly in a government program designed to catch the terrorist bomber of the commuter upon which Colter keeps finding himself. First believing it’s all an advanced simulation, Colter eventually discovers the truth is far more fantastic and unsettling.
If we are going to get a Source Code 2, I’m glad to see screenwriter Ben Ripley is back at least. I interviewed him ages ago, back when he was still coming up in the direct-to-video trenches on flicks like Species III. To have his first major feature film attract talent like Jones and Gyllenhaal was quite a success story, so if anybody’s going to extend the Source Code story, it should by all rights be him.
Presumably the sequel will involve the technology at the center of Source Code, which permits a very unusual form of time travel and plays with notions of alternate realities. I’m still not entirely convinced that we need a Source Code 2, but I’m a lot more interested in it with Ripley involved than I would be without.
This also isn’t the first time there’s been talk about the story of Source Code continuing. There was discussion about a TV spinoff way back in 2011, but we haven’t heard anything else about it since then, and presumably this new feature project means the TV version is dead as, well, Colter Stevens.