Critics say a lot is riding
on Guardians of the Galaxy
. It's Marvel's first longshot in years and it represents their ability to start telling galactic stories and spin off even more films.
But for my money--there's a lot more riding on SyFy's upcoming Sharknado 2: The Second One. No ... seriously!
As Jeff wrote earlier this month
, "the Internet went crazy last summer" for a few weeks after the first, and even after subsequent airings, of the film Sharknado. (If you somehow missed all the hype, it's about a tornado filled with sharks.)
This time, we're not only getting the sequel that premieres July 30 at 9pm on SyFy, but we've already been promised a second sequel and a mobile tie-in game. SyFy even announced
Sharknado Week, tied to the film's premiere.
Is it too much hype for a film that people laughed at, not with? (Well, maybe both actually.) To find out, as well as learn about what it's like to make the sequel to one of last year's most unexpectedly beloved hits, I spoke to the writer of the original Sharknado film and its sequel: Thunder Levin.
For those who missed the awesomeness of Sharknado last summer, can you summarize the plot so they can best get ready for Sharknado 2: The Second One?
When I talked to you last summer after we knew what a hit you had on your hands, I asked you if you could have anticipated the hyped after the movie premiered. Now let me ask you --could you have anticipated the hype that's been leading up to the sequel this year?
After the hoopla last time, I was prepared for all the attention that's coming for the sequel. In fact, I'm wondering why there haven't been any parades...
Along those lines -- are you worried it's too much? Are you worried not enough people are going to tune in and that last year was a fluke?
I hope not. Of course, with this much anticipation, there's always a fear that anything short of record-breaking ratings will be looked at as a failure.
But the excitement seems real, and I think the film will give the fans just what they want, and Syfy certainly seems to be promoting it well, so I'm hopeful it will not only live up to expectations, but actually surpass them.
How long after the first film premiered and became a hit did you start working on in the sequel?
The first film premiered in early July. We knew by August there would be a sequel and Anthony [C. Ferrante, the director] and I started discussing ideas. My deal was done in early September and that's when I started a formal story outline.
What was it like writing the sequel after having a huge hit on your hands versus when you wrote the original's script? What was it like working with SyFy this time or the returning actors? How much has your life changed?
This was probably the biggest difference between the two movies. On the first one I was basically left alone to write the script. I got a few notes after the first draft, but that was it.
On this one, everyone was paying very close attention throughout the process, and everyone wanted to make sure it was the very best it could be. So it was a much slower process.
But in the end, I think everyone was very happy with what I came up with and I'm very happy with the movie that's been made from my script! It's a much bigger film than the first one, but it retains the same balance of fun and ridiculousness.
I think the fans will like it, and the haters will LOVE it! ;-)
Damon Lindelof said (jokingly) last year he wanted to help on the sequel. Did you ever try and reach out to him to see if he'd write even one line of dialogue?
Nope. It's mine I tell you! Mine, MINE, MINE!!! Mwuahahaha.
Do you have ideas for a third film? Have you already started writing it?
I have some ideas but there haven't been any formal discussions about the project yet. I think it will need to be even bigger than The Second One, so I'm imagining a global sharkpocalypse, but that's just my personal thought. I don't know what Syfy and the Asylum will want to do.
Are you working on anything else right now?
I'm developing a TV series called DIVE! which is Sharknadoesque in tone, though a completely different story. We hope to pitch that to the networks very soon.
Producer Gregory Alpert and I are in the fundraising stage for a dark indie thriller called An Ordinary Hero, which I wrote and will direct. And I have new hope for my science fiction epic 2176, which has been a passion project of mine for more than ten years now.
The next few months should be a very exciting time.
Anything else you want to share?
Snarknado 2: The Second One premieres July 30 at 9pm on Syfy.
(Image courtesy of Syfy)