‘Looper 2′ – Going Back to the Future With a Sequel
The success of Rian Johnson’s ‘Looper’ is great news for fans of wholly original movies, because the Sony-distributed, time travel-based hit is not based on a novel or comic book or toy or anything else, and hopefully it is a harbinger of things to come. But that originality may spawn unoriginality as the success of the film may dictate a 'Looper 2.' Should there be a 'Looper 2?' Could there be a 'Looper 2?' We investigate.
Unfortunately for Sony, ‘Looper’ might not allow for much in the way of a 'Looper 2' and that’s precisely how Johnson conceived the film; as an open and shut story. It is in fact very much contained, and that’s actually appropriate to the whole point of the movie, too. There’s a narrative loop, which is closed at the end, plot-wise, and while characters’ lives move forward beyond that circular tale, it’s not certain their paths will lead to another story that’s worth being told. Or one that’s necessarily relevant.
Sure, we can now follow the life of little Cid (Pierce Gagnon) and watch what becomes of him, whether or not he actually grows up to be “the Rainmaker” and takes over the mob in 2074. But finding out that he does would really ruin the conclusion of the first movie. And finding out that he doesn’t might just take us to a tale of a man who uses telekinesis for good, and that just sounds like a future-set superhero movie without much interest in time travel.
Of course, it could turn out that Cid does still wind up a bad man, and so ‘Terminator’-series-style, 'Looper 2' could follow another attempt on his life. But this time, it’s Sara (Emily Blunt) who has to go up against her future self, which could be interesting for the fact that here’s a woman who sees her son turn out so terrible that she’s willing to go and murder him as a boy -- maybe as a teenager this time.
Some ideas of actresses to play the elder version of Blunt, depending on how far down the line they want to set the story, include Helen Mirren, Emma Thompson, Jenny Agutter, Judi Dench and Kathy Bates (the latter two, like Blunt, have played Queen Victoria). Let’s keep in mind, though, that the woman will need to do a bit of action. Mirren, who is in the ‘Red’ movies with Bruce Willis, might be best.
Another 'Looper 2' possibility would be to get into the relationship between Kid Blue (Noah Segan) and Abe (Jeff Daniels), a pair that many around the web are speculating are actually the same person at different stages of his life. Johnson told us in an interview that he never meant for that to be the case and that he doesn’t think it technically works, but if there are no certain plot holes in the matter perhaps he could change his mind. And is Kid Blue definitely confirmed dead when Young Joe (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) blasts him off his hover bike?
If so, well, we could track down the real young Abe, wherever he is. We’re quite curious about the person who becomes a criminal in the future and then for some reason (punishment?) is sent back 30 years to kind of babysit the loopers while also managing to take advantage of foreknowledge opportunities for Biff-with-a-sports-almanac-level fortune and power. Is a 'Looper 2' side-quel the way to go here? Johnson could manage to slip in some minor moments with Willis and Gordon-Levitt if so, as we see some of the first film’s story from Abe’s point of view. The idea makes us think of Willis’s brief appearance in the first vignette of ‘Pulp Fiction.’
But on the matter of Gordon-Levitt, it would be a shame if the guy couldn’t continue to be a major part of the movie that marks his first big opening as a lead actor. It’d be like Willis dying at the end of ‘Die Hard’ and not being able to do parts two through (currently) five. And does anyone really want a ‘Looper Too’ rather than a ‘Looper 2’? Joe may be dead in the timeline we leave off on, but what if somehow the story crosses back into another in which he didn’t kill himself? Or, given that the character was orphaned as a little boy, maybe he has a twin out there he never knew about? It worked for Sony’s own ‘City Slickers II.’
Most of you out there probably would rather not see announcement of a ‘Looper 2' and Johnson probably would rather leave this great work alone, too. But Hollywood is Hollywood, and Sony likely gets to make that call and if so might do one anyway, whether a recast or spun-off or unrelated story. So if they want something, we’d prefer Johnson figure out the best way to pull us back into that world. Given how much we love the first movie, we’ll follow the filmmaker anywhere he decides to go next.