It’s never too late for a sequel. Something we’ve certainly learned over the last few years with movies like Independence Day and Zoolander getting follow-ups years after the original came out. But this isn’t some kind of new precedence just set in the last couple of years. Paul Newman didn’t return in The Color of Money, a sequel to 1961’s The Hustler, until twenty-some years after the fact. Getting a Bull Durham 2 would play to that same conceit, especially considering the fact that it’s a sports movie.
There have always been sequels. But now, the multiplex lives and breathes by them as studios race to set up their own cinematic universes that can compete with the likes of Star Wars and Marvel. Some call this the Golden Age of the sequel. And we’ve gotten to the point where the most obscure film from decades ago could finally get a follow-up. As we slowly ease out of the teens, any character’s return is possible.
Case in point, Bull Durham. In 2018, it will celebrate it’s 30th Anniversary. The movie starred Kevin Costner at his prime, along with Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon. It was written and directed by Ron Shelton, and revolved around baseball. There hasn’t been much open talk about a sequel in recent years. But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. After the Cubs won the World Series this year, the topic of baseball has been a hot one. Speaking on the Dan Patrick show, Kevin Costner revealed that he would be very open to reprising his role in the movie as Crash Davis. But there’s a catch. And it makes sense. The movie has to be good. Costner says this about he proposition.
“I could if Ron wrapped his arms around it, and he got it to the point where he thought it was good, and I thought it was good. I’ll do a sequel. It hasn’t been part of my career make-up.”
Having a movie be good seems like a given. But as Kevin Costner points out in his interview, there is a reason he mentions this. And the reason is quite evident in some of this year’s own sequels. A second movie comes out, sometimes years after the fact, and it’s just not good. The studios then apologize to fans and audience members by making a third movie. He says it’s a great way to back up the truck and see how much money can be shoveled in.
Costner’s Crash Davis, Tim Robbins’ Nuke LaLoosh and Susan Sarandon‘s Annie Savoy are all iconic characters, especially in the world of sports movies. This drama was a big hit when it came out, and nothing about it screamed sequel. It would be a shame if the original trio got back together for something that didn’t live up to the legacy. Thankfully, it doesn’t sound like Ron Shelton has any intention of revisiting the material anytime soon. And in all fairness, a remake is more likely, which sounds like a worse idea than a sequel.
As per the All Movie Guide, Bull Durham follows the intertwining of three lives brought together by the great American pastime. Crash Davis (Kevin Costner, showcasing his Midwestern charm) is a perennial Minor Leaguer assigned to the Durham Bulls, a hapless team with a long tradition of mediocrity. There he tutors a young, dim-witted pitching prodigy, Nuke LaLoosh (Tim Robbins) in the ways of baseball, life, and love. Each strikes up a romance with Annie (Susan Sarandon), the team’s mascot who takes it upon herself to sleep with a new player every season. Each has his/her own conflict: Crash struggles to end his career with some measure of dignity; Nuke struggles to make it to the big show; and Annie struggles to find something more than a roll in the hay — and of course, Crash and Nuke come into conflict over Annie’s affections to further complicate matters. The film treats the sport of baseball with a sort of casual reverence, highlighting both the drama and the humor inherent in the game, illustrated by Annie’s numerous references to baseball as her religion.