What The American Werewolf In London Sequel Was Almost About, According To John Landis

An American Werewolf in London David Naughton Griffin Dunne

While John Landis' 1981 horror-comedy hit An American Werewolf in London would eventually receive a sequel 16 years later, courtesy of the widely-panned An American Werewolf in Paris, there was almost a proper sequel that connected to the original film. As early as 1991, Landis was approached to develop the next chapter in the American Werewolf saga, and it spun off of a running gag between Griffin Dunne's Jack and David Naughton's David, the duo at the center of the first film. John Landis explained how this sequel was to begin as follows:

The movie was about the girl that the boys talk about at the beginning of the movie, Debbie Klein. She gets a job in London as a literary agent and while she's there, starts privately investigating the circumstances surrounding the deaths of Jack and David. The conceit was that during the time in the first film where Jenny [Agutter] goes to work and David is pacing around the apartment, he actually wrote Debbie Klein a letter. It was all to do with this big secret that David had never told Jack that he had a thing with her.

If Landis' sequel got off of the ground, it would have seen Debbie Klein, the object of Jack's affection, headquartering herself in London as a sort of amateur sleuth into the disappearance of her friends. However, the first big bombshell that An American Werewolf In London's sequel would have dropped was that David was sweet on her, too. Which is kind of a weird thing for him to confess, considering that at that point in the film he's wooing Jenny Agutter's Alex, the nurse who helped care for him while he was recovering from the initial werewolf attack.

But that's not all, as the story involving Alex continued to develop in further remarks that were reported (via ComicBook.com) in the book, Beware The Moon: The Story of An American Werewolf in London. John Landis continued to detail this untitled sequel with the following remarks:

She tracks down Dr. Hirsch, who tells her that Alex now lives in Paris because she was so traumatized by what happened. She went back to the Slaughtered Lamb and everyone is still there! I think the only changes were a portrait of Charles and Diana where the five-pointed star used to be and darts arcade game instead of a board.

Perhaps the biggest twist to this continuation to An American Werewolf in London is the fact that despite what the first film would have you believe, Nurse Alex was the werewolf that attacked Jack and David. Which would mean that David's murder, and Jack's transformation, weren't the actions of the random dead body found in the field next to David. But rather, they were committed by the woman who nursed back this latest werewolf to health. Which would also mean that, surprise surprise, Jack's decaying spirit would more than likely still be alive, as the bloodline of the werewolf would not have ended with David's death in the first film's finale.

Judging by what was supposed to happen in the originally proposed sequel, the events of An American Werewolf in London would have had to be retconned in order to fit with this new and shocking twist. But this means that two wonderful things would have happened: we would have had a chance to see more Griffin Dunne and Jenny Agutter, should their characters have wound up crossing paths with Debbie Klein, and we would have probably been spared An American Werewolf in Paris. But instead, as the 1997 sequel canonized in a deleted scene, Alex gave birth to David's half-werewolf spawn, Serafine, and she would go on to turn the titular American into the latest wolf man.

All things considered, it's a shame that An American Werewolf in London never got a proper sequel. But with a new remake in the works through John Landis' son, Max, there's another chance to explore the world of Alex, Jack and David, as well as properly allow Debbie Klein to possibly become more of a character than a running gag. We'll see as we find out more information about that project's development, but in the meantime, you can start planning the rest of your movie-watching in 2017 (whether you're a human, werewolf or any other supernatural entity) by checking out our 2017 release schedule. And if you're interested, the original An American Werewolf In London is currently available for streaming on Amazon Prime.

Mike Reyes
Senior Movies Contributor

CinemaBlend's James Bond (expert). Also versed in Large Scale Aggressors, time travel, and Guillermo del Toro. He fights for The User.