Demolition Man 2 may yet break free from its proverbial project cryoprison. That’s because Sylvester Stallone, who headlined the cheeky 1993 action/sci-fi cult classic, has dropped the intriguing news that the highly-hypothesized sequel is on the docket over at Warner Bros.
Stallone made the revelatory statement in a rather casual manner during a Q&A on his Instagram, answering a fan’s question about a potential Demolition Man sequel with a surprisingly potent—albeit brief—reveal of the project’s apparent position on the studio’s backlog. As Stallone answers of the sequel prospects:
“I think it’s coming. We’re working on it right now with Warner Brothers. It’s looking fantastic. So, that should come out, that’s going to happen.”
While that is the extent of Stallone’s sequel comment, it nevertheless adds fuel to the fire of Demolition Man 2, which has long been a topic of discussion for film fans who have come to appreciate the satirical quasi-future-set sci-fi actioner, still hypothesizing about the way in which the infamous three seashells serve as futuristic toiletries; an especially timely topic with the recent pandemic-incited toilet paper shortages reviving the scene in question as a meme.
1993’s Demolition Man (which, for now, we’ll optimistically refer to as “the original”), directed by Italian helmer Marco Brambilla, starred Stallone as Sgt. John Spartan, a no-nonsense, archetypal action movie LAPD supercop from the then-near-future of 1996 in which Los Angeles was—in a vision undoubtedly inspired by the 1992 riots—overrun by criminality and literally engulfed in flames. However, after a major scrap with criminal rival Simon Phoenix (Wesley Snipes) goes sideways, Spartan is framed for a crime, subsequently sentenced to the experimental punitive measure of incarceration in California’s “Cryo-Penitentiary.” After he’s finally thawed in the year 2032, Spartan awakens to an apparent utopia that’s free of crime, but is a rather bland world filled with an effete populace who are clearly the product of a censored society. Moreover, Spartan’s freedom comes with a caveat, since Phoenix—who was similarly frozen—is mysteriously set loose in a society unable to handle him, thus requiring the old-fashioned cop, joined by ‘80s action-aficionado partner Lt. Lenina Huxley (Sandra Bullock), to catch the old-fashioned crook.
Of course, fans have long-sought a Demolition Man sequel, especially with the recent revelation that producer Joel Silver and co-writer Daniel Waters had planned to pitch a sequel idea—following up on a hanging plot point from the first film—in which Spartan would reunite with his daughter, who, 36 years older, would have been played by Meryl Streep. While the ship for that idea may have passed, there is still plenty of intriguing ways to approach a sequel story, perhaps showcasing how the vanilla society of 2032 evolved since the Spartan iceman had cometh, especially with the potential cultural influence from liberated former Resistance leader Edgar Friendly (Denis Leary), who, in the film, had been targeted by the repressive regime that created their blissfully totalitarian lifestyle.
Poetically enough, Demolition Man—just as a 1993 contemporary in Arnold Schwarzenegger’s underappreciated The Last Action Hero—was the product of an early-to-mid 1990s era during which the action film genre—having already peaked in the late 1980s—was starting to brandish a measure of self-awareness about its unbridled, physics-defying, sometimes-jingoistic heyday. Indeed, while the film’s depicted future society may have moved past unsavory elements, many people found themselves looking back to the action era, its unapologetic outrageousness and, perhaps most of all, the freedom that they relinquished; elements that, in certain aspects, arguably parallel today’s society, which provides auspicious timing for the prospective sequel.
We, of course, will keep you updated on the developing Demolition Man 2 story with the vigilance of a wall-mounted box enforcing the verbal morality statute.
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