Spranng breaaak. Spranng breaaak foreeeeva.
The vacation isn’t over – and neither are the criminal activities, the mischief, the interpretative dances to Britney Spears, the shorts assortments or the just plain bad decisions. Screen Daily reports that the sort-of-hinted-at and possibly-anticipated sequel to Harmony Korine’s Spring Breakers is a go, but that doesn’t mean we can expect the gang to get back together for it. In fact, it’s safe to assume that Spring Breakers: The Second Coming is going to like a lot like, well, its own coming, and that’s a damn shame.
The possibility of a sequel has been teased since the film bowed last summer – a trend that probably needs to die right now – and while star James Franco didn’t seem adverse to the idea at the time, he sure seemed to be clued in to what the project would ultimately become. Franco told MTV last year, “I mean, Harmony and I are certainly going to do something else together…I don’t think Harmony really wants do to Spring Breakers 2. He’s not the one who’s been talking about it.”
The outlet reports (via The Film Stage) that, hey, Franco was right, and it’s not Korine who has been chatting up a new Spring Breakers film, it’s actually a whole new team. The next film will reportedly see “the Spring Breakers do battle with an extreme militant Christian sect that attempts to convert them.” The screenplay has already been penned by Irvine Welsh, best known for writing the books that went on to become films like Trainspotting and Filth. Welsh’s style does sound like a good fit for the material, but despite his authorial chops and name recognition, his screenplay experience as a whole is less impressive. He didn’t write the screenplays for Filth or Trainspotting, and his actual screenplay work is dotted with TV movies, but it’s possible that something like The Second Coming could push him to a new level.
Less exciting than Welsh’s involvement, however, is the news that Jonas Åkerlund will be directing the feature. Åkerlund is, like Korine, a singular artist, but his type of gross-out situational humor (that’s more often repulsive than actually funny, see his Small Apartments for proof of that) doesn’t sound appropriate for a follow-up to a film that hinged on big performances and tons of visual flair. Åkerlund does, however, know how to make a “wild ride” film with a big cast, which is what he did with 2002’s Spun. Still, he’s not the kind of filmmaker who traffics in the same look and feel as Korine, and the loss of that will be a major blow to the Spring Breakers sequel. (On one hand, though, there will probably just a lot of drugs in the film.)
Also, do we really need a Spring Breakers sequel?
The first Spring Breakers is responsible for all sorts of unexpected conclusions and theories (read: thinkpieces galore), from a consideration of Franco’s Oscar possibilities to an examination of what Vanessa Hudgens’ post-Disney career looks like (in a word – dark!) to an appreciation of its wide-ranging soundtrack. The film also fits into an interesting trend of 2013 – the major uptick in films about girls, mainly teens, behaving extremely badly.
Spring Breakers was made – designed, really – to be talked about. But that doesn’t mean that such discussions should spark a new film. In fact, it all but demands that another movie isn’t made. Spring Breakers is a singular experience that spawns major reactions – good and bad – and that’s not the kind of thing that can be replicated for a sequel, that’s that kind of spirit that filmmakers and artists should apply to other original films.
Spring Breakers was original. A sequel, by its very name, is not.
The single saving grace of the film may be that Welsh and Åkerlund don’t intend the film as a direct sequel – Wild Bunch co-chief – Vincent Maraval, who will produce the film, shared with Screen Daily, “It’s not a direct sequel although there are allusions to some of the characters in the original.” The outlet does, however, report that the film expects to blend both old and new cast members. Basically, we can probably assume that Franco has a job here if he wants it, though the possibility of all the girls coming back for more doesn’t sound especially high.
Is the chance of more Alien enough to make The Second Coming sound like some shit worth a look?