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Short Circuit 3 Updates: Why The Sequel Will Never Happen

Short Circuit Movie

While the original movies hold a special place in the hearts of a certain generation of movie fan, here's why Short Circuit 3 will never happen. The original Short Circuit follows a robot named Johnny 5 who is struck by lightning and becomes sentient. The film starred Steve Guttenberg and Fisher Stevens and was directed by Saturday Night Fever's John Badham. While Guttenberg was a major star when the movie was released thanks to Cocoon and the Police Academy franchise, Johnny 5 is the one who stole the show.

A sequel was quickly put into development to cash in on the movie's surprise success, leading to 1988's Short Circuit 2. Steve Guttenberg opted out of returning so co-star Fisher Stevens (Super Mario Bros) took over the lead role. While the sequel has become something of a cult film in the years that followed, it was a box-office disappointment upon release. Johnny 5 later returned for educational short film Auto Theft: Hot Cars, Cold Facts in 1991.

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While the first two movies still have a fanbase here's why Short Circuit 3 didn't happen - and likely never will.

Short Circuit 2 Killed Interest In The Series

short circuit robot johnny five

While there was reportedly a screenplay written for Short Circuit 3, the tepid response to the second movie and the fact it grossed around half of the original killed immediate plans for the third movie. No story details about Short Circuit 3 were ever revealed, though the sequel ended with Johnny 5 becoming a U.S citizen and something of a celebrity, so the next movie might have explored the idea of Johnny 5 really being regarded as a living being.

A Short Circuit Remake Was Announced In 2008

Steve Guttenberg & Ally Sheedy in Short Circuit

Nearly twenty years after Short Circuit 3 was canceled a remake of the original was announced in 2008. Dan Milano (Robot Chicken) was hired to pen a script while Steve Carr (Paul Blart: Mall Cop) came on to direct. It was also said Johnny 5's look would remain more or less the same and the story would focus on a boy becoming friends with the robot.

Tim Hill (Hop) later came onboard the project after Carr left, with his vision for Short Circuit being much darker. Hill wanted to focus on the ethical implications of using drones and robots in warfare, and he wanted Johnny 5 to be threatening. Nothing has been heard about Hill's remake since 2011, and it was possibly derailed by the response to movies like Real Steel and the RoboCop remake.

Short Circuit 3 Will Never Happen

short circuit 2 johnny 5

While legacy sequels such as Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Terminator: Dark Fate are currently in vogue, it's highly unlikely a studio would risk producing a big budget Short Circuit 3 nearly three decades after the failure of the second movie. There's also the still controversial casting of actor Fisher Stevens as Indian character Ben Jabituya, which is an element a third movie would have to address if it happened.

Johnny 5 is still a cult favorite so while Short Circuit 3 won't happen, that doesn't mean the character himself couldn't return in some form. The concept of a sentient robot is more timely than ever so there could be life in Johnny 5 yet.

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