Every week, EW will imagine a sequel to a movie that we wish would happen — no matter how unlikely the idea really is.
Wes Anderson doesn’t do actual sequels. He just doesn’t. He and his partners create intricately imagined idiosyncratic worlds and contained stories that function on their own. They don’t need origins or postscripts. And I truly wouldn’t have it any other way. I don’t want to see those brothers take a trip to Macau or Duluth. I don’t care what Margot and Richie and Chas do for Thanksgiving 10 years later. And I really don’t want to find out that Max Fischer took a bleak marketing job somewhere down the line.
But I would like to see Suzy Bishop and Sam Shakusky, the violent, angry, misunderstood heroes of Moonrise Kingdom, take another adventure. Bear with me?
It’s a more than a little sacrilegious, I know. Moonrise Kingdom was one of my favorite movies of 2012 and is probably going to end up on some personal decade wrap-up too. The final product really should just be preserved in a glass box, untouched, for the rest of eternity. I’m hesitant to even try to craft a world that would be comparable. So, I won’t. I’ll just take the seed of an idea that’s already out there. Also, a Cousin Ben Troop Screening With Jason Schwartzman short already exists. Maybe it’s not too precious for another spinoff.
When Suzy escapes with Sam in Moonrise, she brings a suitcase full of books. None of them are real, of course. They’re meant to evoke the illustrated fantasy books of the 1960s, or the ones that Anderson and co-writer Roman Coppola would have wanted to exist. Anderson even commissioned artists to animate the below short as a companion to Moonrise.
The sequel could be a sort of experimental “meat locker” follow-up, playing off of the scene in the original when Suzy reads to the Khaki Scouts like she’s Wendy Darling. Mom and dad are away. Or perhaps they even tragically died somehow? That’s probably too dark. Anyway, Suzy and Sam are watching her brothers, another storm hits and the lights on the island go out for the night. By candlelight, they revert to Suzy’s stockpiles of books to pass the time, and the film turns into a series of shorts in which Suzy, Sam, and the boys all inhabit the characters within the fanciful stories. Done in the vein of The Princess Bride meets Alfonso Cuarón’s A Little Princess meets Tarsem’s The Fall, it would go back and forth from reality to the fantasy world — breaking when stories get dull and switching characters and costumes and ideas at the drop of a hat. The Khaki Scouts could even show up at some point. And Lucas Hedges’ Redford would have to drop by to cause some terror and torment Sam and Suzy.
Bob Balaban would obviously narrate, but the rest of the adults from the original cast wouldn’t return. Even in my wildest never-gonna-happen world of fantasy sequel speculation, I don’t believe I could get Bill Murray, Bruce Willis, Frances McDormand, Tilda Swinton, or Edward Norton to come back.
This is pretty risky. Moonrise works because of Wes Anderson, Roman Coppola, Kara Hayward, and Jared Gilman. All four elements would be essential to make this spinoff even remotely watchable. Otherwise, despite the best of intentions, we’d unfortunately face the danger of having a whimsy-laden Gilmore Girls season 7 situation. And NOBODY wants that.
It would maybe play in four theaters for a special, one-time-only showing in New York and Los Angeles, and surely go on to be a massive cult hit. Hopefully because it’s good and underrated and not some unmitigated disaster that spat in the face of the gem that was Moonrise Kingdom.
Is this crazy? Would anyone watch this? Talk to us!