At Least He’s Not Planning ‘Elizabethtown: The Golden Age’
Until 1989, Cameron Crowe was known principally as a journalist, who’d also managed to turn his impressive undercover-at-high-school book “Fast Times At Ridgemont High” into one of the best teen films of the decade. But follow-up “The Wild Life” was poorly received, and it took him a while to work in film again. But James L. Brooks (and the late Polly Platt) brought Crowe into their fold, and the result was “Say Anything…,” a teen rom-com of rare complexity and feeling, and the film that truly launched John Cusack onto the A-list: for all the great work the actor’s done over the years, the image of Lloyd Dobler wooing Diane Court (Ione Skye) with a boombox playing Peter Gabriel is the one that will likely represent him for most.
Crowe’s directing career took off subsequently, with ups (“Jerry Maguire,” “Almost Famous,”) and downs (“Vanilla Sky,” “Elizabethtown“), but “Say Anything” perhaps remains his best-loved film, at least to a certain generation. The helmer’s on the comeback trail now, with three pictures, documentaries “Pearl Jam Twenty” & “The Union,” and Matt Damon vehicle “We Bought A Zoo” hitting before the end of the year, and speaking in support of the former on the Television Critic’s Association press tour (where he also revealed that Sigur Ros member Jonsi would score “We Bought A Zoo,” in case you missed our recent story), Crowe hinted that he might consider looking in on Lloyd Dobler a few decades on from when we last saw him.
Thompson On Hollywood were there, and responding to a question to the crowd on whether he’d ever considered a sequel to “Say Anything,” Crowe responded, “I do kind of think there might be another chapter to that. I’ve thought about it from time to time, and talked to John Cusack about it. Lloyd Dobler might be back. It’s the only thing I’ve written that I would consider doing that with.”
It seems to be fairly pie-in-the-sky at present; the kind of follow-up that gets batted around for years, but is a long-shot to ever make it to the screen. Frankly, we’ve got mixed feelings about the idea as it is: the original is so perfectly-formed (with a neatly judged ending) that we wonder about the necessity of revisiting it, and the risk of tarnishing the original; it’s not like we want another “The Two Jakes” or “Texasville” (check out our feature from last year on belated sequels to be reminded why going back to the well is rarely a good idea). Having said that, “Before Sunset” has proven that checking in on a beloved character years on can improve, and even enrich, the original, and if ever Crowe had a candidate to be his Antoine Doinel, it would be Dobler. Especially if he actually grew up to be a kickboxer. In the meantime, “Pearl Jam Twenty” will premiere at Toronto, before a limited release on September 20th and a TV bow on PBS on October 21st, while “We Bought A Zoo” hits theaters on December 23rd.