With some movies, the sequel is automatic. With others, it’s implicit. And with a few, any chance of a sequel seems totally impossible. Until today, I would have put Dr. Strangelove in that last category. How do you make a sequel to complete and total nuclear annihilation? Other than an animated movie starring wacky termites exploring the bombed-out ruins of our civilization, Strangelove 2: The Strangequel seems like a non-starter in the plot and characters department.
But according to a recent interview with Terry Gilliam at Twitch, Dr. Strangelove director Stanley Kubrick didn’t see it that way. He actually entertained the idea of a sequel called Son Of Strangelove, and worked on the concept with Strangelove co-writer Terry Southern. But rather than direct it himself, he was interested in Gilliam leading the project. According to the Zero Theorem filmmaker:
“I was told after Kubrick died—by someone who had been dealing with him—that he had been interested in trying to do another Strangelove with me directing. I never knew about that until after he died but I would have loved to.”
Twitch says the Son Of script was never finished, but exists as a series of index cards that were found “among Southern’s papers after his passing”outlining “the basic structure of the story.” They say the plot would have involved Strangelove and the mostly female survivors of the nuclear war living in underground bunkers. (Because they, y’know, blew up everything else.) I’m sure I speak for the whole of the Internet when I say: Show us the notecards or it never happened.
Oh, what could have been. Or maybe still can be? The cards apparently exist, Gilliam says he’d love to do it; how do we get those two in a room together and let them swap precious creative juices?