An American Werewolf in London, one of the greatest horror movies ever made, never got the sequel it deserved. Director John Landis did have a pitch for one though, as revealed in the forthcoming book Beware The Moon: The Story of An American Werewolf In London. Now, the pitch for the sequel has been revealed, and it sounds pretty amazing. Here’s what the sequel would have been about and how it almost came to be, according to John Landis.
“I was asked to do a sequel by PolyGram in 1991. The company, under Jon Peters and Peter Guber, made something like 10 or 12 movies, and the only one that made money was American Werewolf. They then left the company and were replaced by a guy called Michael Kuhn. He called me and said that they were interested in making a sequel. I entertained the idea for a little bit and then came up with something that I liked and wrote a first draft of the script. The movie was about the girl that the boys talk about at the beginning of the movie, Debbie Klein. She gets a job in London as a literary agent and while she’s there, starts privately investigating the circumstances surrounding the deaths of Jack and David. The conceit was that during the time in the first film where Jenny (Agutter) goes to work and David is pacing around the apartment, he actually wrote Debbie Klein a letter. It was all to do with this big secret that David had never told Jack that he had a thing with her.”
Paul Davis’ new book digs deep into the making of An American Werewolf in London, which was released in 1981 and features some of the most impressive practical effects work to ever grace the silver screen. Having the sequel revolve around a character mention in the first movie seems logical, but John Landis’ pitch goes much further, revealing that “everybody” from the first movie shows up. Not only that, but there was a pretty nice twist that would have been included in the movie as well.
“She went back to the Slaughtered Lamb and everyone is still there! I think the only changes were a portrait of Charles and Diana where the five-pointed star used to be and darts arcade game instead of a board. It’s then when she speaks to Sgt McManus, the cop from the first movie who didn’t die, that she finds out that Jenny is still in London. She calls her and leaves an answer phone message, which we then reveal is being listened to by the skeletal corpses of Jack and David, watching TV in Alex’s apartment! The big surprise at the end was that Alex was the werewolf. It was pretty wild. The script had everybody in it from the first movie, including all the dead people!”
Unfortunately, the sequel we did get, An American Werewolf in Paris, which came out 16 years after the original, didn’t involve John Landis and was not at all well received by fans or critics. Its use of CGI instead of practical effects was of particular frustration for many. But as revealed by Digital Spy, a potentially cool sequel was on the table. Unfortunately, we’ll never get to see it. Though, his son, Max Landis (Chronicle), is working on a remake of An American Werewolf in London, which is also a risky prospect, but it’s something.