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Wednesday, July 2, 2014

"Enchanted 2" On the Way... Eventually

Enchanted animatedfilmreviews.filminspector.com
"Enchanted" played on all the old riffs of classic Disney animated feature films

"Enchanted" was a fun live action/animation hybrid from Disney that starred Amy Adams as Giselle and Patrick Dempsey as Robert Philip. Idina Menzel, who shot to worldwide fame last year as Princess Elsa in "Frozen," was along as love interest Nancy Tremaine, and Julie Andrews narrated. The 2007 film was a surprise hit - though, truly, it is never a surprise when Disney has a hit.

Well, the gears at Disney grind slowly but surely. Word is that "Enchanted 2" finally is gaining some traction at the Mouse House. A director, Anne Fletcher ("The Proposal"), and two heavy-hitter screenwriters (the veteran writing team of David N. Weiss and J. David Stem), have been hired. No cast announcements yet, but they'll likely bring back all the leads who, aside from Menzel who always is busy on Broadway, will have fairly open schedules for when filming would take place in 2015 or even 2016 (Adams already is doing the sequel game as Lois Lane).

Weiss and Stem have done two blockbuster sequels, "Shrek 2" and "The Smurfs 2" among many, many other successful things, so they should be good choices to come up with something workable regardless of what we might feel about the quality of the "Smurfs" films. Fletcher is a top chick-flick director ("27 Dresses," "The Guilt Trip") who should have no problem with "Enchanted 2." Her background is in choreography and dance, so expect some of that. Director Kevin Lima of the original "Enchanted" has not worked on anything since. Perhaps he has retired or found God or something.

For those holding their breath for a "Frozen" sequel - watch how "Enchanted 2" progresses. It's been seven years, and they are still just in the preliminary stages, trying to cook up a story with no production date on the horizon. If you pencil in 2017 for "Enchanted 2," you'll be pretty close if things really start moving, animation takes time to get right. That is how Disney works, they look at original films as continually moneymakers and not just cash cow lead-ins for sequels like some studios (coughcoughDreamWorkscoughcough). If we see a "Frozen 2" by 2020 it will be a miracle, more likely it will be closer to 2025. Or maybe never. Disney is not big on theatrical sequels to classics.

Don't bet on anything, though. "Enchanted 2" supposedly has been in development since at least 2011, with fans impatiently wondering what the delay was back in 2012. Considering the crucial live-action aspect to "Enchanted," the principals will all look significantly older by the time "Enchanted 2" is filmed. At this point, they might even re-cast, though it's more likely they will set the sequel ten years later or something to account for ageing and introduce wacky kids who rebel or get into trouble or yadayadayada. "It's ten years later, and wow is Giselle's daughter a free-spirited handful who one day wanders away from the castle in the enchanted forest and somehow finds herself in New York City, where she befriends a lonely writer looking for love and matches him up with...."

Yes, that's just a wild guess.

Retaining writers and a director means nothing beyond an indication that the studio has a sequel in mind, not that it has any real plans yet to actually film one unless the stars align in just the right way. Films can stay in "development Hell" for decades, and look how long it took to come up with a sequel to "Finding Nemo." With Menzel's success in "Frozen," though, a sequel to "Enchanted" is more likely, especially if the writers come up with something featuring her character where she has to do some princess-ly singing.




2014

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