The first Red was a pretty nifty adaptation of Warren Ellis and Cully Hamner‘s comics, with plenty of credit due to screenwriters Erich and Jon Hoeber for their added inventions and fairly tidy reshaping. But the not-at-all secret weapon were the cast who seemed to be having the time of their lives, and this was pretty infectious.
What’s more, it felt like a star vehicle. I don’t know how many people will remember the names of the characters at all, happy instead to think of them as Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, Helen Mirren, John Malkovich, all having a big play around together. Much of the appeal of Red would appear to be in the alchemy of those famous names hanging on the marquee.
I’d imagine this “star power” flavour would be enough to make a sequel deal seem quite appealing to the actors.
Malkovich would seem to be more of a mystery, at least for now. And nobody is talking about Mary Louise Parker, though I’d certainly want to see her back. Her chief narrative role in the first film may have been more or less completely fulfilled, but she’s got charm in spades and was often funny too.
But it looks like director Robert Schwentke is out of the picture, for reasons unknown. Instead, the trades are reporting, Dean Parisot is negotiating his deal to take charge.
Way back in the mists of 1998, Parisot’s second feature was Galaxy Quest, a sci-fi comedy that was every bit as appealing as Red, if not more so; and benefited every bit as much from an ensemble that mixed together beautifully. Since then… Parisot hasn’t had quite the career one might have expected, but has worked on a number of good TV series, including Monk and Curb Your Enthusiasm.
In short, he’s another nice credit for the picture.
There’s no locked start date as yet, but I’d imagine Red 2 will go before cameras in the later part of the year, once Bruce Willis is done with the next Die Hard. Signing Parisot now suggests how serious Summit are about moving things forward, so I’m sure there’s nothing but the busy schedules of a hard working ensemble to iron out.
Anyway, here’s a video of a slightly different “red 2″. If Parisot can make a feature one half as winning as this, I’ll personally hoist him onto my shoulders and carry him through the streets of Hollywood.