Since writing the screenplay for 2003's Bad Santa, Glenn Ficarra and John Requa have gone on to team up as directors, first writing and directing the screenplay for the dark comedy I Love You Phillip Morris, and now releasing their second film together Crazy Stupid Love, in theaters next week. I talked to them today about that movie, and with news of a potential Bad Santa trilogy floating around, I had to ask the guys about their feelings seeing the characters they created revived for another go-round. Ficarra and Requa are not involved in any of the Bad Santa sequel plans, but as you'll read, they'll benefit from it anyway. Here's how the conversation went:
Do you have any feelings on all this Bad Santa sequel stuff?
Glenn: If they have a great idea on what to do, great. We were scratching our heads on what to do.
John: We get paid.
Glenn: We get paid no matter what, so I'm all for it! [laughs]

But something like that, that you're really associated with… do you feel protective?
Glenn: You always worry about it getting ruined, but you have the benefit of being first, so it doesn't matter. If people go, "Oh, it's not as good as the original," then we're in good shape.
John: If it's as good or better than the original, it elevates the original and gives more attention because people want to watch it again. If it's bad, does The Godfather Part 3 ruin The Godfather? I don't think so.
Their laissez-faire attitude is one they've earned through years of working as studio screenwriters-- they've already seen another sequel made with characters they created, the second Cats & Dogs film, and suffered the usual online panic about sequels and reboots when they wrote the script for 2005's Bad News Bears remake. But their attitude is probably the only way to ever survive as a screenwriter for major studios, when you create characters that then become the property of the studio to do whatever they want with for the rest of time. And if you worry that these guys are only in the business to create characters that can then be farmed out for sequels so they can cash in, never fear-- Crazy Stupid Love is distinctly the kind of movie for which you really can't make a sequel. Then again, you might have said that about Bad Santa too.

Come back next week for my complete interview with Requa and Ficarra about Crazy Stupid Love. The movie opens July 29.

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