Seventy years ago this month, Warner Bros. released “Casablanca.” Now, there is talk of making a sequel to the iconic film.
For movie buffs and film neophytes alike, “Casablanca” is a must-see. The 1942 classic, starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman has three Oscars, a spot in the United States National Film Registry, and was awarded the best screenplay ever written by the Writers Guild of America. With “Here’s looking at you, kid,” “Of all the gin joints, in all the towns, in all the world, she walks into mine,” and “I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship,” it has also given us some of the most famous quotes.
New York Post is reporting that Cass Warner, the granddaughter of Warner Bros. co-founder Harry Warner, is looking to make a sequel to “Casablanca.”
Warner took a screenwriting class with “Casablanca” contributor Howard Koch in 1988 and she is now hoping to revisit Rick and Ilsa with a script that is based on a treatment Koch wrote more than 30 years ago.
There have been attempts for a sequel before, including “Brazzaville,” a Warner Bros. project that never made it past the treatment phase.
Warner came across Koch’s “Casablanca” pitch, amongst stacks of unproduced pieces when she was at his home in Woodstock.
“Warner Bros. passed on it a year, a year and a half ago,” Warner told the Post. “But they indicated they were willing to revisit this if I could find a filmmaker they were interested in working with.”
The Koch treatment, titled “Return to Casablanca” shows Ilsa and Victor Laszlo trying “to locate Rick after he and Renault left to join the Free French forces opposing Rommel in North Africa. They have had no success.”
The script continues, “After leaving Casablanca for America, Ilsa learned she was pregnant. She gave birth to a boy who grew up in America. The real father of the boy, it turns out, was not Laszlo but Rick. He was conceived the night Ilsa came to Rick’s place to plead for the Letters of Transit . . . The secret was not kept from Laszlo, but being the kind of man he was and owing so much to Rick, he adopted the child and treated him as his own son. The boy was named Richard, and he grew up to be a handsome, tough-tender young man reminiscent of his father. He had been told the truth about his origin and has a deep desire to find his real father, or at least more about him, since Rick’s heroic at actions in Casablanca have become legendary.’’
The buzz around a film of this nature is so extraordinary that there are already opinions on who should play Richard when it is still not known whether it will even be made. “Casablanca” historian Aljean Harmetz suggested Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Whether Cass Warner is able to successfully produce “Return to Casablanca” is yet to be seen.
by Madeline Boardman