John Landis’ rejected pitch for his sequel to horror-comedy An American Werewolf In London is crazy, unhinged and absolutely brilliant. Producer Michael Kuhn, who would later make the disastrous Alien Autopsy with Ant and Dec, hated Landis’ script to the detriment of fans eager for more.
Are you a fan of John Landis’ An American Werewolf In London? I know I am. One of the greatest horror-comedies, a film that set the benchmark for the genre.
Now, Landis has revealed a rejected pitch for a sequel to the film which is absolutely brilliant. It was developed in 1991 when he was asked to make a sequel.
His idea features an almost insignificant character from the first film – a character we never see, only hear of through conversation – who comes to London and begins investigating the disappearance of unfortunate victims Jack and David.
Landis promised that all the actors from the first film would be involved again. Even the dead ones! However, Michael Kuhn, who would go to produce the terrible Alien Autopsy starring Ant and Dec, hated the pitch. Thus, the film never saw the light of day.
The director of Trading Places and Coming To America told Digital Spy that PolyGram asked Landis to do a sequel which led to him preparing the first draft of the script.
“The movie was about the girl that the boys talk about at the beginning of the movie, Debbie Klein. She gets a job in London as a literary agent and while she’s there, starts privately investigating the circumstances surrounding the deaths of Jack and David,” says Landis.
“The conceit was that during the time in the first film where Jenny goes to work and David is pacing around the apartment, he actually wrote Debbie Klein a letter. It was all to do with this big secret that David had never told Jack that he had a thing with her.
“She tracks down Dr. Hirsch, who tells her that Alex now lives in Paris because she was so traumatized by what happened. She went back to the Slaughtered Lamb and everyone is still there! I think the only changes were a portrait of Charles and Diana where the five-pointed star used to be and darts arcade game instead of a board.
“It’s then when she speaks to Sgt McManus, the cop from the first movie who didn’t die, that she finds out that Jenny is still in London. She calls her and leaves an answer phone message, which we then reveal is being listened to by the skeletal corpses of Jack and David, watching TV in Alex’s apartment!
“The big surprise at the end was that Alex was the werewolf. It was pretty wild. The script had everybody in it from the first movie – including all the dead people!”
Instead of getting this would-be classic, Kuhn commissioned a nobody’s-ever-heard-of conspiracy thriller about Jack Ruby and the JFK assassination called Ruby. Suffice to say, no one went to the cinema to watch it and critics were quick to dismiss it.
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