Casablanca 2? Producer admits ‘creating horror in minds of fans’

Hollywood producer Cass Warner has defended her proposed sequel to Bogart and Bergman’s wartime classic

LAST UPDATED AT 12:56 ON Sun 11 Nov 2012

A HOLLYWOOD producer has defended her plans to make a sequel to wartime classic Casablanca. Cass Warner, who has been widely criticised by fans, admitted “creating horror in the minds of Casablanca lovers” but says she only wants to “put eyes back on the original film”.

Warner was first given a ‘treatment’ for a sequel by one of the original film’s screenwriters, Howard Koch, a few years before his death in 1995, according to The Independent on Sunday.

Warner says she has spoken about the project to the right-holders, Warner Brothers, who are “open to taking it on” if the right script and director are found.

The film would be called either Return to Casablanca or As Time Goes By and would follow Richard Blaine, the illegitimate son of Humphrey Bogart's Rick Blaine and Ingrid Bergman's Ilsa Lund, who go their separate ways at the end of the original movie.

Blaine junior, who has been raised in the US by Lund and her husband Victor Laszlo, returns to North Africa to find out what happened to his biological father. Bogart’s Blaine is last seen in Casablanca walking away with corrupt French police captain Louis Renault, who suggests they go to join the Free French in Brazzaville. The film will seek to answer the questions raised by this inconclusive ending

Fans of Casablanca have criticised the planned sequel, saying the film’s loose ends are part of its charm.

The Slate asked: “How could they squander the mystery of its perfect ending? How could anyone fill the shoes of Bogey and Bergman?”

The Philly Post’s Pete Croatto wrote: “This isn’t about lost momentum, but a violation of common sense - what shaved-chest smoothie is going to pass himself as Humphrey Bogart’s progeny, never mind the poor soul who plays Rick? - and the desecration of a national treasure.”

Even Bogart’s son, Stephen, has chipped in, saying: "If they want to make a movie about intrigue in North Africa, that's fine, but bringing the spectre of one of the greatest movies of all time into it makes it just another feeble attempt at Casablanca 2."

Warner realises the can of worms she has opened, but defended her actions. "I've created horror in the minds of Casablanca lovers," she said. "I'm sorry that's the case, because the reason I'm doing this is to put eyes back on the original film. There will be flashbacks, but it's a film about the next generation; a son going back to find what happened to his parents. I wouldn't want to touch the original for the world." · 

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