Casablanca Sequel? Producer Fights for Follow-Up Film

The classic romance may get a reboot thanks to a 30-year-old screenplay

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There may be a sequel to Casablanca, the classic starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman.

The New York Post and Entertainment Weekly report that Cass Warner, film producer and granddaughter of Warner Bros. co-founder Harry Warner, has a screenplay for a sequel to the 1942 film written by one of the original screenwriters Howard Koch, and she wants Warner Bros. to make it. Koch, who died in 1995, won an Academy Award for the Casablanca screenplay. The film also scored the Academy Awards for Best Picture and Best Director (Michael Curtiz).

(MORE: Which Is the Better Best Picture: The Silence of the Lambs or Casablanca?)

In 1988, Warner took a screenwriting class with Koch. While visiting his Woodstock, N.Y., home, she discovered the script for a sequel written in 1980 called Return to Casablanca and offered to try and place it for the screenwriter, who was in his 80s at the time. Warner told Entertainment Weekly that the material was “gold.” As the entertainment-news website writes:

In it, Ilsa and Victor Laszlo (originally played by Ingrid Bergman and Paul Henreid) search for Rick after he joins Free French forces opposing Nazi general Erwin Rommel in North Africa. It turns out that Ilsa gave birth to a son and that Rick — not her husband Victor — was the father. That son, described in the treatment as a “handsome, tough-tender young man reminiscent of his father” is now in his 20s, and his quest to find Rick is at the center of the new story.

Warner Bros. passed on the script at first, Warner said, but the company said it might consider it again if it found the right director. In fact, shortly after Casablanca won the top Academy Awards, Warner Bros. attempted to do a sequel called Brazzaville, but the idea was quickly squashed. (TV shows based on the flick failed as well.) Yet the film company did make Passage to Marseille (1944), directed by Michael Curtiz, which the Post described as a “follow-up starring Bogart as a Free French journalist who escapes Devil’s Island to battle the Nazis.”

But Warner may have to battle more than just Warner Bros. to make her idea a reality. Stephen Bogart, the son of Humphrey Bogart, told the Post that a sequel could ruin the Hollywood classic:

There are certain films, like The Wizard of Oz, Gone with the Wind and, of course, Casablanca, that need to stay as pristine and perfect as they are.

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