There are sequels no one is asking for (Barbershop 2, XXX 2, etc.) and then there’s sequels no one asks for because everyone who first saw the movie is dead. Take It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, for example. 44 years after the film debuted, it’s getting a sequel: It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad MAD World.
When Mad debuted in 1963, the film introduced a staggering 46 person ensemble cast of the era’s comedic who’s who, including The Three Stooges, Milton Berle and Jerry Lewis. Ed Bass, inspired by producing the ensemble-heavy Bobby is now joining forces with Karen Sharpe Kramer, wife of Mad director Stanley Kramer, to bring the languishing project to life. Mr. Bass had previous plans to create a sequel all the way back in 1991 and had been working with Stanley Kramer on a remake until Kramers death in 2001.
The story will follow the descendants of the original Mad cast who will slapstick their way to finding a hidden stash of mad cash, after it’s revealed the original amount found by their relatives was counterfeit.
While Mad is revered as a comedic film (albeit dated) and has served as a template and reference for many films thereafter (including the very similar and disappointing Rat Race), it’s now so niche, it’s mostly unrecognized by a popular movie-going audience. Add to the fact ensemble films are tricky, usually leaning either to the ridiculous or critically lauded, commercially unrecognized and I’m not sure how this project would fare in 2008.