Midnight Run 2 is one of those belated sequels to a 1980s classic that (similar to Ghostbusters 3 and Beetlejuice 2) has begun inching ever closer to becoming a reality in recent years. Universal pushed harder to get the ball rolling on this project last year, when it hired on Timothy Dowling (Role Models, This Means War) to pen the screenplay.
The studio has since recruited writers David Elliot and Paul Lovett (Four Brothers, G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra) to rewrite Dowling's script draft. Deadline says that negotiations have also begun to get Brett Ratner to direct the Midnight Run sequel, which original stars Robert De Niro and Charles Grodin have both expressed an interest in reuniting for.
Now, it's fair to say that many film fanatics consider the phrase "Brett Ratner will direct" to be the kiss of death for just about any project. However, Midnight Run 2 should be the sort of mismatched buddy action-comedy that Ratner has proven best at handling - whether it be with Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker in the Rush Hour movies, or the ensemble cast in last year's Tower Heist.
Bear in mind, Ratner is also currently working to pull together his Hercules: The Thracian War comic book adaptation, with Dwayne Johnson lined up to portray the eponymous ancient world warrior. So, if Universal suddenly decides to fast-track development on Midnight Run 2, that could force Ratner to take a pass - though, that scenario doesn't seem all too likely to happen.
Midnight Run was directed by Martin Brest back during his heyday (when he was fresh off helming Beverly Hills Cop) and works as well as it does thanks largely to the chemistry between De Niro and Grodin - as gruff ex-cop-turned bounty hunter Jack Walsh and mild-mannered accountant Jonathan "The Duke" Mardukas, respectively - along with a script by George Gallo (Bad Boys) that has fun playing with the conventions of the buddy genre.
That's all to say: the original Midnight Run is one of those movies where everything just clicked right into place. The prospect of said success being replicated some 25 years later, with the involvement of a filmmaking crew whose collective resume ranges from serviceably solid to pretty mediocre - that's not exactly something we'd bet heavily in favor of turning out well.
But, of course, simply because Midnight Run 2 isn't something that we (and most people, probably) really want at this point doesn't mean we aren't going to be getting it regardless. So we will be sure to continue keeping you up-to-date on the status of the project - and hope for the best.