Robert Zemeckis' Who Framed Roger Rabbit? was a big success at the box office and with critics, applauded for its innovative blend of live action and animation. After the comedy noir's 1988 release, filmmakers tried to sort out plans for a sequel, but hit several roadblocks. However, we may be seeing more Roger sooner rather than later. But first, some backstory.
During the late 1980s, producer Steven Spielberg wouldn't agree to a sequel, fearing it would be too formulaic. He pulled out of the project when a prequel storyline was devised that set the toons in Nazi-occupied Europe during the 1940s. (He had just completed Schindler's List.) Eventually, he lost interest in the project as his involvement with establishing DreamWorks took precedence. A rewrite was created that told the tale of Roger's rise to stardom on Broadway and in Hollywood, with Disney even going so far as to hire Alan Menken to write several songs for the production. Wreck-It Ralph animator Eric Goldberg was hired to redesign Roger's character and update the animation, but Disney wasn't pleased with the results. A mix of CG, old-school animation, and live action felt wonky and an entirely CG-created movie exceeded budget. Since then, Zemeckis and star Bob Hoskins — who played the private detective hired to investigate a murder surrounding the eponymous rabbit — have expressed an interest in bringing the cartoon characters to life once more.
During the press rounds for Zemeckis' upcoming drama Flight, the director told Showbiz411 that a new movie is still possible. "I have a script at Disney, and we’re just waiting for all the executive changes to settle down there." He's referring to Alan Horn, who Disney just hired as chairman of the Mickey Mouse House. Hoskins has since retired from acting due to his bout with Parkinson's, but we suppose it's still possible for him to hit the screen once more. Earlier this summer, producer Frank Marshall told Collider about the new script, which sounds like it's sticking to the earlier plotline:
"Oh, yeah. It was more of a prequel; it was all about how Roger came to Hollywood. But what happened was, Roger was in almost every scene. If you look at the movie there’s only maybe 40 minutes of animation. If there was a whole movie of animation it was way too expensive. And it was before computer animation, it was still hand drawn. That’s why it looks so good."