Could a Bull Durham Sequel be in Trouble?
After public announcements by movie stars Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon that they are formally separated as a couple after first falling in love during the filming of “Bull Durham“, you have to wonder if this shocking event might be a potential dagger in Director Ron Shelton’s heart to ruin the 2010 planned production of another “Bull Durham” film. Most people might remember that during the late 1980’s, the Hollywood power couple first began to stoke their own romantic fires as a pair during the film’s production in North Carolina.
With their recent separation, you have to wonder if it will have any lasting effects on Producer Thom Mount’s already finished script,or Shelton’s unreleased production schedule. As recent as 2008, there have been loud whispers and anticipated rumors flying around the Durham, North Carolina foothills that Shelton and Mount were secretly beginning subtle arrangements to bring back the baseball cult film’s three main characters to a new setting at a new and improved Durham Athletic Park (DAP) for filming during the upcoming 2010 season.
But could the couple’s recent news throw a monkey wrench into the film’s excitement level, or could it just add an air of spice to the entire adventure? There has been wild spread speculation that the film will reunite the trio with slight references to the first films love triangle getting back together again, but with some added twists and turns. But one solid idea being tossed around is for Kevin Costner to revive his Crash Davis persona, but this time he will be patrolling only the Bull’s dugout as their Triple-A Manager.
It has been rumored that the original conceptual theme could possibly put the 1988 film’s original love triangle firmly on its ear as Major League pitcher Ebby Calvin (Nuke) LaLoosh and baseball savant Anne Savoy will be reintroduced in the new film as a married couple and current owners of the Triple-A Bulls squad being managed by Davis. With their current announcement, maybe the film needs to be tweaked a bit to make us believe it from the get-go.
My own personal twist that can be added to the script after the separation news is that LaLoosh would eventually see his own Major League baseball greatness at a distance having both success and failure quickly and dramatically crash and burning before Anne and Davis find LaLoosh passed out in the middle of his posh hotel room in a drunken stupor and carry him back to Durham to teach him a knuckleball to hopefully resurrect his rollercoaster career and give him one last shot at glory in the Major Leagues.
But with the recent developments in the long time relationship between Sarandon and Robbins, you have to think that maybe Mount is sequestered somewhere within the Durham triangle in a dark trying to find a believable scenario where we will again fall in love with these three characters. That was one of the underlying high points of the original film seeing that love affair bloom under the Bull sign in the old Durham Athletic Park before the new and improved stadium and the advent of the Blue Monster.
And I know Hollywood actors and actresses can create on-screen magic at the drop of a baseball cap, but could the couple create that same believable wildfire of passionate chemistry that we saw smoldering well beyond the surface in the original 1988 scenes. Or could their real life candle finally flaming out bring some predestined thoughts to the filmgoer’s minds even before the film begins to roll in theaters?
And this is a serious question in my mind because we have to believe that Anne and Nuke still have that fire within them, or that there is some path to show a rebirth of the romantic pathos burning bright again, or the film could just go right down the tube. Could the recent announcement actually be a nicely planned public relations (genius) move with the film beginning its production. That would draw instant interest in the film, and maybe be a highly pinioned subject in the blogging community to try to dig deep within Shelton’s and Mount’s mind for answers and peak the excitement even before production.
And a possible third storyline that springs quickly into my conspiracy-themed mind of a possible Anne and Crash finally finding their sense of real relationship explosion or closure climaxing with a Bull’s Triple-A Championship(Bulls won the 2009 Triple-A Championship) bringing them together, and a possible career chance thrust upon Davis to finally manage in the big leagues would be a perfect movie kicker.
You can bet there are all sorts of brainstorming sessions going on right now between Shelton and Mounts to find a suitable storyline that will be believable to you and me on the screen. Hollywood has always been a fickle when it comes to sequels of classic sports films. And when you take one of the All Time favorite baseball films and try to resurrect it again on-screen, it has to be near perfect or it will just quickly flutter into DVD only distribution like “Major League 3“.
And I do not know about you and your views on this film, but I do not want that fate for a film I consider in my personal All Time Top 5 to go out like that. When “Bull Durham” first came out in my local theater I rushed to see it because I wanted to renew my long-lost love for the game. I seriously still watch this film about once every few months just for the pure joy of watching these three characters development during the film. There is a feeling to me watching the film that all three actors were having the time of their lives doing the film.
If they do renew the film series, I want to feel that same level of baseball love and the same comedic level of the current classic lines from the film that have become bar pick-up lines and are forever interwoven into the fabric of baseball. When you remake a film, or even continue on its journey, you have to feel the love and get transfixed back into the realm of the film. If you can not reconnect the audience and transform us like in the original Ron Shelton, then maybe we should just leave the film in its current brilliance and let it shine bright without a second glance into this awesome world of baseball.