Listed alongside such divisive superhero blockbusters as Man of Steel and the arthouse title Only God Forgives, one film that made our roster of Most Polarizing Movies of 2013 is Spring Breakers. The latest feature by controversial writer/director Harmony Korine (Kids, Trash Humpers), Breakers features – among other things – such former Disney Channel stars as Vanessa Hudgens and Selena Gomez, doing their best to leave their squeaky-clean screen images far, far behind them.
For those who aren’t familiar with the indie flick, it revolves around a pack of college-age women who head down to Florida, in order to join in the annual booze-fueled mayhem that is the state’s Spring Break festivities. Their quest becomes even crazier – and, in turn, dangerous – once they cross paths with a bizarre local, known as Alien (played by James Franco, doing his best physical impersonation of the rapper Riff Raff).
Spring Breakers was by no means a breakout success; besides splitting critics over whether it’s exploitative trash or stinging commentary, the film only grossed some $31 million worldwide, albeit on a $5 million budget, so it turned a profit.
A sequel is now being developed, under the title Spring Breakers: The Second Coming. However, so far, Korine is not reported to have anything to do with the project; nor, for that matter, is it clear yet which (if any) of the original film’s cast members will return for the next round of breaking spring (though, based on what happened the last time, it seems safe to assume that not everyone will be back).
Screen Daily reports that the “Paris-based sales and production powerhouse” Wild Bunch will be selling a handful of intriguing future movies (here, the word “intriguing” being equivalent to either “provocative” and/or “high-art pulp”) at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival, including new projects by directors Paul Verhoeven (Showgirls, Starship Troopers) and Abdellatif Kechiche (Blue is the Warmest Color), as well as the Maniac Cop prequel/remake and the Spring Breakers sequel.
Spring Breakers 2, according to the article, already has a screenplay in place, as written by Irvine Welsh – author of such gritty social commentary novels-turned films as Transpotting, Filth, and the upcoming Porno. The project likewise has a director attached in Jonas Åkerlund: the Swedish helmer, who comes from a music video background that includes the videos for Metallica’s “Turn the Page” and “Whiskey in the Jar” as well as Lady Gaga’s “Paparazzi” and “Telephone”.
Korine’s original Spring Breakers is certainly one strange beast. As a whole, though, it’s a film that’s the cinematic equivalent to a pop song that embodies the vulgarities of the modern youth party mentality and trashy pop culture – whether it’s a celebration, condemnation, and/or impartial portrayal of those things, depends on how you look at it. One thing it is not, however, is the transparent beginning to a franchise, which is why news of a sequel being in the works comes as… well, a surprise, for certain.
Still, that doesn’t mean Spring Breakers 2 is a bad idea, per se. The film’s setup – described as “the Spring Breakers do battle with an extreme militant Christian sect that attempts to convert them” – could lend itself to a natural extension of the first movie, thematically; an examination of extremist ideologies in the present-day (i.e. unbridled hedonism vs. religious extremism). The Second Coming will also include “a mix of new and old cast in the production,” so it could wind up feeling closer to a standalone feature, more than a continuation of the first installment.
We’ll keep an eye out for additional updates on Spring Breakers: The Second Coming.
Source: Screen Daily