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Back in 2007, director Julie Taymor delivered to the world a singular vision that only she could create: the Beatles-infused musical Across The Universe. A story of love, war and social revolution in 1960s America, it used a jukebox of familiar songs to help anchor the bold visual flare that Taymor has been known to indulge in throughout her career. While that film eventually became a hit with a steadily growing fanbase, there was never a huge push for a second installment. But if there was ever to be a sequel, Julie Taymor’s big idea is to dive deeper into both the social relevance and the Beatles songbook that first film held dear.
During her appearance on the ReelBlend podcast, the conversation of where Julie Taymor would want to go with a sequel eventually came up. While plot details weren’t revealed, the director of the recently released Prime Video film The Glorias did have some specific notes regarding what an Across The Universe sequel would be like. And from her first set of caveats provided below, it sounds like it might not be a total sequel after all:
That’s so great to hear because I’m trying to convince people to make –I don’t want to call it Across The Universe 2 – but the next one. I just got off the phone about that actually. My God, there were 200 Beatles songs. So I only used 33. Plus I’d love to take, Jim Sturgess called me up and he wants to do it and Evan [Rachel Wood]’s game. I’m sure I can get the other people.
Maybe it’s all of the recent talk about how the Barry Jenkins-directed “follow-up” to The Lion King isn’t exactly a sequel, but it almost sounds like Julie Taymor may want to tell another story in a similar vein to Across The Universe, with a lot of the same cast. Which could mean that the new time period and songs would mesh together in an easier fit than if they were chained to the Lucy and Jude’s seemingly concluded story.
Whether Across The Universe’s sequel is a continuation of the established narrative or an anthology in the same world, it sounds like Julie Taymor wants to keep things as exciting as they were the first time around. In fact, as she continued to talk about this hypothetical sequel, the tone of the project became more readily apparent; and let’s just say if you weren’t a fan the first time around, the following description probably isn’t going to win you over any easier:
I’d like to push it into the ‘70s. Really edgy, weird times in the ‘70s that are going to be very similar to what’s going to be happening in our country now, right? I dunno, you gotta find me some very daring people that are ready to do a new musical. That are very, you know, next generation… Everyone I talk to loves Across the Universe. We gotta do the next one.
You can listen to Julie Taymor's ReelBlend interview below.
Much as the first film applied the events of the ‘60s to the contemporary era Across The Universe was released in, this next voyage sounds like it’d be a bolder, potentially darker mirror to current events. And with the Beatles tunes still remaining untouched in the catalog, there’s bound to be another exciting story to tell with this talented ensemble of players. For now though, if you’re looking for a Julie Taymor fix, you’ll have to stick to The Glorias, which is currently available on Prime Video for your perusal, as is the 2020 release schedule, where you’ll find the next big thing to catch on streaming or at the movies.