Watch out for flying cows, because a Twister reboot is officially in the works.
Universal is in talks with Joseph Kosinski, the filmmaker behind Tron: Legacy and the upcoming Top Gun: Maverick, to direct a reboot of the 1996 storm-chasing blockbuster that starred Bill Paxton and Helen Hunt. At the time, that film was hailed for its advanced visual effects, so it makes a certain amount of sense that Kosinski – a filmmaker known for his VFX work – is in discussions to tackle the reboot.
Variety reports that Kosinski is in talks to direct a Twister reboot, and since the outlet specifically calls it a reboot and not a sequel or a remake, I have to assume that means this new story will take place in the same world as the original movie. No plot details were revealed about this new version, and no writer has been hired yet, but if it is a separate story in that universe, it seems reasonable that it could include a cameo appearance by Helen Hunt’s Dr. Jo Harding. Bill Paxton died in 2017, and when he passed away, real-life stormchasers paid tribute to him by using GPS to spell out his initials in America’s Tornado Alley. If they’re looking to include Paxton in the movie somehow, I’d love to see the filmmakers apply that real-world tribute as an in-world thing that happened to Paxton’s character.
Jan de Bont, who directed Speed two years earlier, was at the helm of the original film, which made nearly $495 million worldwide and was seen as a boundary-pushing watermark for visual effects. Acclaimed author Michael Crichton wrote the screenplay for the first movie, but he died in 2008. Frank Marshall, the prolific producer behind many of Steven Spielberg’s movies and films like the Bourne franchise, The Sixth Sense, and more, will produce this reboot. (His wife, Lucasfilm head Kathleen Kennedy, was a producer on the original Twister.)
Kosinski, whose other credits include Oblivion and Only the Brave, has a reputation for being an excellent visual stylist with an eye for production design and effects. But so far, he has not shown an affinity for engendering great performances from his actors. It’s clear that a new Twister will use every VFX trick that Hollywood has developed over the last 25 years to throw us in the middle of a chaotic, dangerous storm, and I’m confident Kosinski can handle that part of things. But so many of the joys of Twister come from its fantastic ensemble cast, and I’m concerned that those type of grace notes will be lost in a reboot under his direction.
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