Universal Pictures is reportedly meeting with writers to tackle a reboot of Twister, the '90s summer blockbuster that threw a powerful tornado against the likes of Bill Paxton and Helen Hunt. The updated film is expected to be directed by Top Gun: Maverick filmmaker Joseph Kosinski, and produced by Frank Marshall, according to Variety. The film, which grossed almost $500 million worldwide at a time when that wasn't common, had such groundbreaking special effects that shortly after the movie's release it was incorporated into the Universal Studios tour at their Florida theme park. Besides the Top Gun sequel, which is yet to be released, Kosinski directed Oblivion and Tron: Legacy.
The movie, which centered on a team of storm chasers who found themselves up against a monster tornadoes, all while the couple at the center of the team (Hunt and Paxton) are on the verge of divorce. The film's visual effects were groundbreaking for the time, and it was populated with character actors like Cary Elwes and Philip Seymour Hoffman giving great performances that made it stand out from similar movies. It was nominated for two Academy Awards (for visual effects and sound).
Twister also reunited screenwriter Michael Chrichton with producer Steven Spielberg, who had then-recently launched the Jurassic Park franchise, based on Chrichton's novels.
As with Jurassic Park, the movie deals with researchers who are in over their head, with Paxton's character having created a groundbreaking device to help research the eye of tornadoes. When a competitor copies it and threatens to release it first, he is pressured to get it tested and patented as soon as possible, leading to the team crossing paths with a massive F5 tornado.
Little is known in the way of details about the new film yet, as new writers haven't even been hired. It seems unlikely to be a direct sequel to the original, sinec both Paxton and Hoffman have since passed away, although whether it will be a follow-up set in the same universe or a true reboot where they ignore the 1996 film is anybody's guess.
Revival of old franchises has always been big money in Hollywood, but in recent years properties like The Fast and the Furious and Ocean's 11 have taken previously stand-alone hits and turned them into reliable blockbusters generating money year in and year out for their parent studios. Whether they can make that method work for Twister remains to be seen.