Twenty four years ago, Danny DeVito recruited his ‘Romancing the Stone‘/ ‘Jewel of the Nile’ costars Kathleen Turner and Michael Douglas for a devious dark comedy about marital relationships and their eventual dissolution. Based on a novel by author Warren Adler, ‘The War of the Roses‘ argued that, most times, the battle of the sexes has no real winner. Instead, there’s just a path of massive interpersonal destruction in the sour split’s wake. Now there’s news that Adler has fashioned a sequel to his seminal work, this time focusing on the lethal legacy the Roses’ divorce has had on their now adult offspring. Entitled ‘The War of the Roses, The Children’ (now that’s original), the book has been optioned by Hollywood for a cinematic adaption.
According to the article on Deadline.com, Permut Presentations and Grey Eagle Films will produce the new film featuring Josh and Evie Rose, and according to the piece, the plot will see Josh marry someone named Victoria. Their marriage will fall apart over an incident involving missing Milky Way bars. Things aren’t much better for Evie. She’s a promiscuous over-eater carrying her own shrapnel. The result, according to sources, is deceit, violence and destruction. And perhaps, more puppy pate? Sean Astin and Heather Fairfield played the kids last time around (though the latter’s character was named Carolyn in the movie, for some reason). If producers were smart, they’d find a way to bring them back, maybe not as the Rose kids per se, but perhaps in a cameo channeling the previous version of the characters, or something similar.
Still, this remains a fairly risky idea. The first film was a rarity, a perfect combination of concept and casting made even more memorable by DeVito’s Hitchcockian flare and direction. For their part, the producers have stated that the film “will explore, with comedic irony, the underbelly of a troubled family which, in this new scenario has produced a serial adulterer, a gluttonous gourmand, the protective mother-in law and grandchildren who are deeply impacted by the generational dysfunction.” Sounds like a pretty full plate, narratively speaking. Without further details we can chalk this up to another divisive idea which may never see the light of day. On the other hand, if they can bring back the original’s ballsy ambivalence, we might have a truly worthy follow-up.