‘Twister’ Reboot in the Works at Universal

Randy Jennings

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May 18, 2013
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Not sure how we missed this story in June when it was published (but I can't seem to find it posted on Stormtrack). Variety is reporting that a Twister reboot is in the works:

"Universal Pictures is looking to reboot the classic tentpole "Twister" and looks to have found a director to weather the storm. Sources tell Variety that Universal Pictures is developing a reboot of the 1996 blockbuster and is in negotiations with “Top Gun: Maverick” helmer Joseph Kosinski to direct. Frank Marshall will produce the pic and the studio is currently meeting with writers to pen the script. Plot details are vague on this latest version"

 
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May 25, 2014
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I remember it being discussed on the Discord server. If they make it, I will go see it. Somehow, I just see it being all wrong, like before, but I hope it will be enjoyable. Many of the 35-45 crowd in our ranks owe their early interest to this movie.

I wonder if they're actually going to get Radarscope and Baron for product placement, or if they'll go with something hideously generic?
 
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Warren Faidley

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I've spoken to a couple of people from the original Twister project in the last three months and was told it's going to be a completely new "reboot." It will ultimately depend on the writer(s). Helen was not happy following the movie (trust me on this) for various reasons, I won't repeat since I learned all this in private. I'd be surprised if she would want to return. Bill Paxton was a great guy and approachable. Sad loss.
 
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Personally I'd like to see a film based on the April 27, 2011 outbreak.

It would begin with a scene similar to the opening flashback of Twister, as a family in a mobile home in Nowheresville, Alabama is rousted out of bed by the roar of thunder and their NOAA weather radio, and has to run for cover from one of the pre-dawn tornadoes.

"At 4:16 AM, while most Alabamians slept soundly and unaware, the first tornado reach into the dark of rural Alabama and filled the air with a lonely roar and the snapping of tall pines."

- "What Stands in a Storm," p. 21.
 

Jeff House

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Well the 3 rounds that day would fit the Twister plot line. We had pre-dawn, midday, and then the main event.

I read somewhere public Bill Paxton just loved making the movie and really got into severe wx. His passing is still sad. Hunt never was interested in the weather stuff; so, she felt like it was a drag. That's all I read, nothing shocking, just not interested in the material. I sure hope it was not something more serious.

Back to real life, Family Life Radio has an midday DJ Shannyn Caldwell, who lost both her parents in a Dixie tornado when she was young. No she didn't become a tornado researcher. However she is an understanding voice when severe wx threatens. Though FLR is national, the jocks somehow keep it personal.
 
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May 25, 2014
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Hunt's deal-breaker, i believe, was working with Du Bont again. She got sunburned eyeballs, or some such.
 

Warren Faidley

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When I met with the Warner Bros. writers for the first movie, they were looking at several themes including going back to the 1974 Super Outbreak. Some of the other ideas were more science-fiction based. I'm hoping the new script incorporates some of the fakery that has been going on, as it would create an interesting update to the Jonas arch-nemesis figure from the first film.
 
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Warren Faidley

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Thats the part that bothers me. The older I get, the more it becomes clear that Jonas was the good guy.
That's actually a very fascinating and interesting comment. My theory is that social media, for example, allows a very wide spectrum of acceptance, is very forgiving and easy to manipulate. The very few people who are aware enough to contradict actions are silenced. In other words, I could likely start saying (and promoting myself) by suggesting my images "were saving lives" because they made people think about the power of severe weather. This may be true in a very isolated cases, but not in a main stream way -- such as actual tornado warnings, for example. The same may be true for grey science, where the overall benefit as suggested by the clever perpetrators is accepted as truth even though the benefits are likely non-existent or minimal at best.
 
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May 25, 2014
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I think it goes even further. Jonas was made to look "evil" because he "stole" the tech they worked on, and had corporate sponsors. What he did, in practice, was take the tech and put it to use, by securing backers to actually fund the deployment. He was getting it done in live time, while the protagonists had (assumingly) been piddling around on university grants with junk cars, putting forth a low fund attempt at the same thing. Jonas wanted to get it done, period, and why not make cash while doing it? Jonas Miller was the hero of the movie.
 
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Omni, or maybe it was Analog, had a short story called Funnel Hawk, that followed a female pilot, doing Sterling Colgate type flights.

I wrote a Lovecraft pastiche called “Chase Season”. Too long to share here, but the idea was that Tri-State was the father of the Dunwich Horror—that the ridge it rode near was a ley line. 2011’s tornadoes had the best horizontal vortices yet seen.

The idea of a tornado as a Lovecraftian entity deserves the big screen treatment.

In no other disaster do parents shush their children, fearing a Hellmouth kaiju will hear them...and turn.

Ball lightning, shrill piping, old tv ‘sferic glows. This thing could rip up overpasses and eat safe-rooms. The sound of chanting from the skies as demonology and storm chasing meet...THAT is the movie I want.
 

Jeff House

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You know Dean has a point. Jonas got the job done. Reminds me of another libertarian movie moment...

Ghostbusters were getting the job done, until Peck on an EPA crack high forced them to shut down the containment system and release all the ghosts. So prophetic.
 
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Analogous to the “who was the real hero” question might be who, really, was the more attractive heroine, Helen Hunt or Jamie Gertz? Sort of a Ginger or Mary Ann question for those old enough to remember Gilligan’s Island. Sure, Hunt appealed to all of us because she was a chaser, and Gertz was the uptight one, but out of character I think it’s a different story... Unless I am thinking too much of her turn in ”Seinfeld” as the alleged sex-phone operator LOL although Kramer was right when he described her voice as “flinty” 🤣🤣
 
May 25, 2014
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Dr. Melissa Reeves was a bad fit for Bill Harding, no doubt. Dr Jo Harding was a much better fit. Jamie Gertz's character had that 1990s pantsuit power broker thing going on, and the styling that came along with it. Helen Hunt's character was also a doctor, getting things done in her field, but wasn't as pretentious, and looked comfortable in what she was doing, which went a long way toward attractiveness, in addition to being a flat-out better written character.

Hunt FTW.
 

Jeff Duda

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You know Dean has a point. Jonas got the job done.
I certainly see the point of Dean and others that Jonas was demonized in the movie to an almost comical level, and that Jonas much more closely resembles modern severe storms research (and contemporaneously, the first VORTEX project). However, I saw the competition between the rag-tag Bill/Jo team with Jonas as an illustration that science and discovery can sometimes be advanced by great brain power and determination as much as by pouring money into a venture. Both approaches have valid points. Both approaches have fallibilities, too.

However, as the story went, Jonas did not get the job done. His story draws parallels to the late Tim Samaras (except Tim was more of the rag-tag style chaser). Jonas never deployed DOT3 in a tornado and ultimately died unsafely pursuing a particularly violent tornado at much too close of range. Bill & Jo had their close calls, too, but they did manage to get an instrument pack into a tornado and got data back.

I think a modern tornado chasing story should include 1) the politics behind getting grant money to chase (Congressional lock-up leaving scraps for researchers to get money, especially in a future scenario where anthropogenic climate change happens to be causing a decadal surge in violent tornado outbreaks, especially if they occur along the Atlantic seaboard so that DC sees some personal events happening close to home); 2) interference in actual chases from hordes of regular chasers, locals, and storm chasing tourists clogging roads; 3) personal human toll from bad events (akin to Aunt Meg being hit in Wakita, except with a more brutal outcome); 4) less emphasis on the character vs. character struggle, more emphasis on character vs. nature.

A good story needs to have a good conflict and satisfying resolution. I learned about several types in school, but according to this website article, a few new types have arisen since then: Types of Conflict in Literature | External & Internal Conflict

A similar silver screen storyline trend can be found by comparing the sometimes-annoyingly campy moments from many of the Brosnan Bond movies also of the 90s (minus Goldeneye...that was a great movie IMO) and the much darker and grittier Bond movies with Daniel Craig since 2006.
 

Jeff House

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Yes Jeff the politics part reminds me of a Mars mini-series. It is not the Mars on Nat Geo. Maybe PBS or something. At any rate the plot spends plenty of time on the politics of funding.

Another thought on Twister is about the Jamie Gertz character. She served the purpose of educating the audience. Nobody would know what the chasers are talking about, except for her questions for Bill Paxton. She's a necessary part of the movie.
 
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May 25, 2014
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Is it strange to anyone else that with the buttoned down style and military precision of Jonas' team, they chose to have him die like that? That part seemed like bad writing.
 

GPhillips

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Is it strange to anyone else that with the buttoned down style and military precision of Jonas' team, they chose to have him die like that? That part seemed like bad writing.
Yeah, but he was portrayed as arrogant and extremely competitive as well. He couldn't imagine that the ragtag group was actually trying to help him by warning him. He thought it was a trick. You can be smart and still do stupid things if emotion or ego get in the way.
 

Joey Prom

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This is a great thread. I really hope that Universal consults with Chasers and/or meteorologists and really try to at least get the storm mechanics to closely match how we understand it working. Ie have tornados rope out instead of just vanishing, show the rfd cut, etc. I think doing either a 4/27 theme, or a Joplin theme would be good. Having a rain wrapped monster tornado that no one wants to believe is actually there could be pretty compelling.
 
May 25, 2014
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Why do I already know there will be a lot of the Inception foghorn sound?

NB4 You Heard It Here First - They will tie in with Chrysler again. Jo gets a yellow "Honcho package" Gladiator when?
 
Sorry to say, that I can't share all of the optimism of making another movie of this type - as some of you do.

Remember, the Hollywood scene is bent with politics first; then secondly to write your story to fit that narrative. Surely, the beauty and science of the storm may well take a distant third place in their thinking. I think the first Twister did just that tastefully enough; the beauty and relative power of the storm. Perhaps if they were more interested in the amount of hay bales that could stay suspended with a tornado, without making the poor cow a target of morbid fascination - might be a better event measure (laughs).

I want to say more about the political agenda they would want to make of it; but I'll leave that alone and leave it to your own imaginations.
But I do think that the CGI they can now give such a film as this will be at a level that would be hard to separate from reality.
That is, if they manage to take all of their cues from the chaser community and not what they can possibly cobble together in order to repackage it as a television sequel - to accomplish the same commercial ends.
eg: the Dr. Jack Ryan reboot - ugh!
 
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