Long before J.J. Abrams directed sequels to Mission: Impossible and Star Wars, he could have spent some time in Toontown.
Speaking on the Nerdist podcast with 10 Cloverfield Lane director Dan Trachtenberg, Abrams recalled discussing a sequel to Who Framed Roger Rabbit during his first-ever meeting with Steven Spielberg.
“I’ve told this story before, but when I was 16, [Lucasfilm president] Kathleen Kennedy called [director] Matt Reeves and I, to ask if we would repair these 8mm films Steven had made when he was a kid. And it happened because we were in a film festival and she read about us in the LA Times. So we, of course, said yes and did the repairs,” Abrams recalled. “Years later I got to meet Steven. Jill Mazursky and I went into a meeting — actually, it was for a Roger Rabbit sequel.”
As Abrams explained, “it was a whole thing.” “I actually have some storyboards for a Roger Rabbit short,” he revealed. “It’s a whole thing.”
But despite the meeting, Abrams said plans for a sequel to the animation hybrid never got off the ground. “We were writing an outline, but it honestly went away before it was anything. This was a long time ago,” he said. According to Abrams, the first film’s original director, Robert Zemeckis, would have acted as a producer.
“It was the first time I had met Steven,” Abrams said.
A sequel to Who Framed Roger Rabbit never materialized, but Zemeckis said in 2012 that a script for the project was in Disney’s hands. Two years ago, director Rob Minkoff said he was tapped to helm the animation portion of a possible sequel.