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'Casablanca' sequel considered

January 7, 2013 - Mike Donahey
Coming to a theater near you may be a “Casablanca" sequel. The iconic American film may join the ranks of “Chinatown,” “Men in Black,” “The Godfather,” “Star Trek,” and others.

Noah Isenberg wrote in the Nov. 24 issue of the Wall Street Journal of discussions about a sequel to the original that debuted more than 70 years ago. He wrote, “despite several earlier attempts that ultimately got the ax, the new sequel is actually an old one, written sometime in the late 1980s by Howard Koch, who shared the original film’s 1943 Oscar for Best Screenplay with Philip and Julius Epstein. The script “Return to Casablanca” chronicles the afterlives of the four principal characters.”

“Casablanca” aficionados will recall them as Ilsa Lund (played by Ingrid Bergman) and Victor Laszlo (Paul Henreid) joined by Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart) and Capt. Renault (Claude Rains). The plot: llsa has a son from her relationship with Blaine, and the son is much like dad, reported Isenberg.

Behind the sequel is Cass Warner, granddaughter of studio co-founder Harry Warner, and one time writing student of Koch. She is also head of her own independent production company, Warner Sisters. Evidently, she laid out plans on her website.

Bogart is still a cult figure, although he passed away in 1957. So too is Bergman. A great combination of beauty and talent, she earned three Oscars before succumbing to cancer in 1982.

I’ve seen “Casablanca” a number of times, and as Isenberg wrote: “It may not occupy the same mythical place it once did, but its mystique and cult status still endure.” It is one of my favorites. Regardless, if the sequel does not get made, “Casablanca” fans can look forward to Isenberg’s upcoming book about the film.



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