Original Twister director Jan de Bont was surprised by the reboot announcement earlier this year. He also doesn’t think the upcoming reboot will work with a bigger tornado. The reboot was announced back in June of this year, though no story specifics were revealed. Top Gun: Maverick helmer Joseph Kosinski is attached to direct with Frank Marshall on board to produce. At the time of the announcement, Universal was still looking for potential writers to take on the Twister reboot.
Michael Crichton and Anne-Marie Martin wrote the script to the original Twister, which was a box office monster. It went on to earn over $495 million globally and quickly became the second-highest grossing movie of 1996. The movie was met with mixed reviews from critics, but it is now a cult classic, which means that it’s the perfect candidate for the reboot treatment. Jan de Bont had this to say when asked about the Twister reboot.
“I read that like a month or two ago. I said, ‘Wow. Are they going to do the F5 now? I bet you that’s what it is.’ You cannot do it by making it bigger. That as a movie hardly ever works. You have to come up as a… with people actually involved in it. You cannot just … It’s like I’ll work on the destruction scene. We’re going to get worse and whole cities are going to get destroyed. That’s exactly like falling in the trap of having the special effects completely take over.”
An F5 is the most intense tornado on the retired Fujita Scale. An F5 will have wind speeds greater than 261 mph, this is the type of tornado that is featured in Jan de Bont’s Twister. In addition to the special effects, the original movie gave viewers a connection to the two main characters, played by Bill Paxton and Helen Hunt. Moviegoers were given the spectacle of the tornado, along with a human story that was elevated by the acting performances.
Jan de Bont doesn’t want the Twister reboot to rely on the special effects, which is something that often happens in disaster movies. However, we have yet to see any story specifics. Joseph Kosinski and crew could be going through the same major plot points of the original movie, though put into a modern setting. Technology has moved on quite a bit since 1996.
As of this writing, Universal does not have a release date set for the Twister reboot, or any writers for that matter. Hopefully some production news will come through before the end of the year. 2020 has proven to be an interesting year for the entertainment industry, with a lot of development work taking place instead of productions, though some projects have recently been able to get back to work with some pretty hefty safety protocols. The interview with Jan de Bont was originally conducted by Collider.
Writer for Movieweb since 2017. Enjoys playing Catan when not writing about superheroes and Star Wars.