Twisters: Dan Trachtenberg Refutes Twister Sequel Rumors

Dan Trachtenberg won’t be chasing Twisters, the 25-years-later Twister sequel that could see Helen Hunt reprise her role as storm-chasing meteorologist Dr. Joanne “Jo” Harding. Deadline named the Prey and 10 Cloverfield Lane filmmaker on a potential shortlist of directors said to be meeting with Universal Pictures and Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Entertainment, which are developing Twister 2 with original distributor Warner Bros. as co-financers. Should Universal and Amblin lock down a director, the big-screen sequel is reportedly eyeing a spring 2023 production start. On Twitter, Trachtenberg revealed he’s not getting sucked into the “Suck Zone.”

“To whom it may concern. I am not making a TWISTER,” Trachtenberg tweeted, refuting the rumored shortlist that included Oscar-winning Free Solo duo Jimmy Chin and Elizabeth Chai Vaserhelyi; Travis Knight, the filmmaker behind Laika’s Kubo and the Two Strings and the live-action Transformers spinoff Bumblebee; and “one or two” other unnamed directors in the mix. Jan De Bont directed the 1996 original as his follow-up to Speed.

In 2020, it was reported that Universal and Amblin were developing a Twister reboot with Frank Marshall, the prolific producer behind the Indiana Jones, Jason Bourne, and Jurassic World franchises. TRON: Legacy‘s Joseph Kosinski, who went on to direct Top Gun: Maverick, was in talks to helm the new movie but dropped out when he boarded Apple’s Formula One racing movie vehicle with Brad Pitt attached to star.

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According to Deadline, producer Spielberg’s enthusiastic reaction to the Twisters script by Mark L. Smith (The Revenant, Overlord) put the gestating sequel on the fast track to going into production next year. The report described Twisters as a drama focusing on the daughter born to reconciled couple Jo (Hunt) and Dr. Bill “The Extreme” Harding (the late Bill Paxton), who has “caught the storm-chasing bug her parents had.” The hope is that Hunt will return for the sequel.


The second-highest-grossing film of 1996 behind only the Will Smith blockbuster Independence Day, the original Twister grossed nearly $495 million worldwide and inspired a long-lasting theme park ride at Universal Studios Florida. Paxton, who died in 2017, was interested in developing a darker 3D-shot sequel back in 2010.

“I always thought the first Twister was an exciting ride, but I thought a sequel could explore it in a more enthralling way, getting into more of the history and the lore, more of a darker version of the first one…,” he said in a 2010 interview. “I think you’d still want to have a lot of the dark humor and all of that, with the flying cows and everything. I think you could kind of intrigue people more by getting into a little more of the lore and really understanding. I just think there’s a lot more to explore there.”