Sequel Q&A: Ferris fans 'want to see it made'
Rick Rapier didn't grow up in Shermer, Illinois. Probably didn't have his name painted on any town's water tower. Almost assuredly didn't lick his palms, fake stomach cramps, skip gym class and sneak into the city to eat pancreas at a fancy French bistro.
But if he can defy all the odds and sell his script for a Ferris Bueller sequel, he might go down in history as just as much of a legend as the fictional teen made famous by Matthew Broderick in the 1986 flick. (Click here to read a full scene from the script)
Rapier gave a copy of his script of "Ferris Bueller 2: Another Day Off" to Stuck in the 80s to review and then agreed to sit down and answer some of the inevitable questions facing his seemingly impossible challenge. (See what the critics are already saying)
Stuck in the 80s: What made you choose Ferris Bueller for a sequel?
Rick Rapier: "I feel like it chose me! A couple of years ago, I had just had lunch with a couple of friends. ... We stopped to chat before going our separate ways and it happened to be in front of a Blockbuster Video where there were like half a dozen sequel posters on the windows."
"We got to complaining about sequels, especially me since I have been wanting to break in at the studio level and tell my own new stories as movies. My older friend said, 'Now there's a movie they should have made a sequel for!' He pointed to a large Ferris Bueller poster. I don't really know why it was up there since it was about 2 years before the release of the 20th Anniversary Edition DVD. ..."
"I instantly began spinning a yarn based on what I knew: for one thing, there is only one Ferris Bueller -- Matthew Broderick. They pulled off switching us from Sean Connery to Roger Moore, but there is no replacement for Matthew Broderick. So, right away I knew that any sequel would have to take his age into account, which would make it set in the present. And unless he took a major blow to the head, he wouldn’t still be in high school."
"And so it went. The story just bloomed from there. And soon it became a Ferris story that I wanted to see myself. When I told my friends the premise, they agreed. Since then a number of Ferris fans have read it, and they all want to see it made."
Still, writing a sequel to a classic like that -- a daunting task.
"I had never thought of writing a sequel to someone else's movie. Getting a spec script sold is a monumental feat, and it's even rarer to see one made. Add to that the hole-in-one this would have to be. But I did some research and learned that no one, including the great John Hughes or Broderick -- at least in any published information -- had ever thought of a possible Ferris' future as I had. And again, I just really wanted to see this as a movie one day."
Where do you place the original movie among the great 80s teen movies?
"One of the things I think is so admirable about what John Hughes did with Ferris was to craft a film which appeals to so many people, that tapped into something that resonated with just about everyone. I think I've met one person who didn't like the original. He thought Ferris was a jerk. A jerk? Are you kidding me!?"
I noticed you brought back all the old characters for the sequel. How difficult was it figure out where to put them all?
"I felt that there were moments that really resonated with people, characters that were favorites, all of whom were so fully realized by Hughes and his great actors. Even the bit parts were indelible, Grace (Edie McClurg), Rooney's secretary, and even guys like the parking garage attendant. So, I didn't want to leave anyone out, and I also realize that the actors who helped realize the first movie would feel left out if there wasn't a part for them in, perhaps, one of the longest awaited sequels in film history." ...
"There was only one significant character that didn't fit in the end (the maitre d' at Chez Quis). I had placed him in a scene excised early on (in Vegas), but that scene slowed down the pace. Besides, that guy would've been offed by a disgruntled employee before the 80s were even over. Still, if I were casting director I’d still cast that actor (Jonathan Schmock) as perhaps the police captain or someone, just to put them in the sequel."
How many people in the movie biz have seen your script? Any feedback yet?
"Only a couple. I knew that it was a great idea, something even Hughes hadn't considered (it would seem), and since only Paramount has exclusive rights to make a sequel, I felt I needed to be guarded about who read it. ..."
"Instead of Seven Degrees of Kevin Bacon, I tried Seven Degrees of Matthew Broderick and Execs at Paramount. Neither worked. Most recently a well-known producer passed on the script ... because he felt Ferris trading on his persona in adulthood was to 'lose the power of his character.' As a huge fan of the original and of Ferris in particular, I feel he couldn’t be more off the mark."
What do you think Matthew Broderick or John Hughes would say if they read it?
"That is a tough question to answer! ... My hope would be that John Hughes would be thrilled that someone who has been inspired by his work ... has gone to the effort to write a sequel in the spirit of the original. But it's possible that Hughes would be offended, that maybe I've stepped on his toes. God, I hope not! But I know Hughes is semi-retired now. But maybe his son James Hughes, who is a director now, could helm it with his John executive producing? How cool would that be!"
"As for Matthew Broderick... I love this man's work, too. That's not fawning; it's just true. How could I not feel this about the actor who played Ferris? My hope is that he would 1) want to read the script, 2) love the script, and 3) immediately choose to make the sequel."
"Now, that's not too much to ask, is it?"