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It contains the last great on film performance of Paul Newman, and it was one of the very best movies of 2002. Now Road to Perdition is getting a series of sequels. There’s no way this can work, is there?

The news was announced today via press release. The sequel movies will be called Road to Purgatory and Road to Paradise. They’ll follow the son of Tom Hanks’ character in the original movie, Michael Sullivan Jr., who returns from World War II and sets out to avenge the death of his father. That sucks him back into the mob world his father was trying to escape, leading him to Al Capone who orders him to kill Frank Nitti.

Since nearly everyone of any consequence in the original movie ended up dead, at least they won’t have to worry about bringing back any of the original’s high-priced actors. They also aren’t bothering with bringing back Sam Mendes, who directed the original Road to Perdition. Instead, following in the footsteps of Frank Miller the man who wrote the original graphic novel on which it is all based will write and direct both sequels. His name is Max Allen Collins and though he has no major movie directing experience he has helmed a few low-budget direct-to-DVD features. He’s not a total movie noob.

Much as I loved the first film, my interest in this one is zero without the involvement of Sam Mendes, Tom Hanks, Jude Law, Daniel Craig or for that matter Paul Newman. Mendes’ direction and their incredible performances were what made that story so incredibly special. Without them, this is just another sequel, a sequel which for all we know could end up headed direct-to-video. It’s being produced by a company called JBM Production Company, with a history of low-budget, under the radar, direct-to-DVD features like Terror Squad and Killer Klowns.