‘Minari’ Director Lee Isaac Chung In Talks To Direct ‘Twister’ Sequel

Director Lee Isaac Chung garnered critical acclaim for Minari a few years ago; an intimate family drama about South Korean immigrants. But for his next film, how about something completely different? Chung is in talks to direct a sequel to 1996 disaster film Twister.

Per Variety, since Chung grew up in rural Arkansas, he has first-hand experience with tornadoes and sheltering from their immense destructive power, and that personal connection proved to be the deciding factor in producers accepting his pitch for the movie.

The sequel, titled Twisters, will reportedly focus on the daughter of Helen Hunt and Bill Paxton‘s characters from the original, who has taken up the family business of storm-chasing. Producers have reportedly expressed interest in having Hunt reprise her role, but it’s just an idea at this point.

The original film came from a time when disaster movies were becoming all the rage. It was the second highest grossing film of 1996 behind another smash-hit disaster blockbuster, Independence Day. The success of those two films led to myriad more disaster movies being released over the next half-decade.

It’s a slightly curious choice for a belated sequel. The popularity of the disaster genre has declined rapidly since its late-90s hayday – 9/11 was a factor; the appeal of seeing famous buildings destroyed and characters running for their lives through big cities was gone – and Twister was the rare hit without featuring true movie stars or being a particularly recognisable brand.

At the time, its special effects were arguably the film’s biggest draw. They still hold up quite well, but every big-budget blockbuster has impressive CGI effects nowadays, so that won’t have the same appeal anymore.

However, the Twisters script – written by Mark L. Smith (The Revenant) – reportedly greatly impressed Steven Spielberg, so perhaps it’s simply the appeal of a good script that is the driving force behind the sequel. Universal and Amblin Entertainment will release the film. Warner Bros., who released the original, will co-finance the project.

Chung’s Minari grossed over seven times its $2 million budget and was nominated for a host of awards a few years ago, including Best Picture at the Oscars. His next film looked like it would be an English-language remake of 2016 anime film Your Name, but he departed the project last year, so Twisters will end up being his highly anticipated Minari follow-up.

It will be interesting to see what this supposedly acclaimed Twisters script looks like, as well as what audience a belated sequel to a mid-90s disaster film will find. There’s no word on casting yet, though we should know pretty soon as producers hope to begin production in the spring.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like