And we want it now!
Last year, Ben Stiller brought back one of his classic characters with Derek Zoolander making a rather underwhelming return. After Dan’s Predator sequel article got me thinking, I realised there was one Stiller film that I really want a sequel to above all others, because… why not?
In 2004, Rawson Marshall Thurber wrote and directed the latest team up of the so-called “Frat Pack” stars Ben Stiller and Vince Vaughn in sports comedy DodgeBall: A True Underdog Story. With his Average Joe’s Gym facing foreclosure, Pete LaFleur (Vince Vaughn) enters a dodgeball tournament, with his team under the tutorship of Patches O’Houlihan (Rip Torn). They somehow make it to the final in Las Vegas, where they meet their local rivals Globo Gym, led by White Goodman (Ben Stiller). The Average Joes triumph, LaFleur gets the girl, and buys the Globo Gym, leaving Goodman crying into his fried chicken.
DodgeBall ranks alongside Anchorman as one of the most popular and very best American comedies of this century. There have long been rumours of Stiller working on a sequel for most of this decade, but I reckon the time is right for us to return to the world of LaFleur and his motley crew.
The world of DodgeBall seems to be ripe for further stories. Just returning to see what the Average Joes are up to (the supporting cast of Justin Long, Stephen Root, and Alan Tudyk are all great) would be enjoyable. But in terms of an actual plot, there are a whole bunch of possibilities. The first one that came to mind would be the White Goodman comeback story. Maybe the Average Joes are featured in a news story focusing on their work in the community, or Pete LaFleur is presented with some form of award, getting praised in the newspaper. It pushes Goodman over the edge, and he hatches a diabolical scheme to get back his rightful place. This time he puts together a rag tag group of dodgeball players, and LaFleur has to reconnect the old members of his far-flung team (which would cut down the actual amount of time these busy actors would actually be on set together). Perhaps he fails in his bid, before they all turn up at the last moment to win the winner-takes-all dodgeball match (perhaps via a clause in The Standard Rich and Famous Contract like in The Muppets) that leaves Goodman spiraling into despair again, and we learn that some bonds are stronger than time or distance.
One other option would be to have Goodman actually become a good man – when Average Joe’s Gym is threatened again, with Patches O’Houlihan gone, He has to turn to the one man who can truly motivate his team: Goodman. I could imagine Kate (Christine Taylor) asking “But where will we find him?” and we see a deranged, bearded Goodman sat in a dark apartment, peeking out from behind his blinds, literally over the road from the gym. Kevin James could play the villain in a bit of against type casting perhaps, as a one-time protege of O’Houlihan who decides Average Joe’s is disrespecting his former mentor. That would also be an excuse to bring back the ever excellent Hank Azaria for some more important advice.
Of course, there’s always the old sequel staple of putting them in a global tournament, and have the Average Joes travel around the world beating dodgeball teams of varying national stereotypes, before they meet a familiar face in the final.
Comedy sequels tend to lose the spark of the originals, and become slightly indulgent. Rawson Marshall Thurber has gone on to make We’re The Millers and Central Intelligence, so he definitely has the track record and hopefully enough clout to keep Stiller and Vaughn restrained enough to bring the funny. It just seems like too rich of a world to not return to, and too good of an opportunity to turn down. Surely it would be worth it, if it just to get a return of the ESPN 8: The Ocho’s hilarious commentary team:
We want a sequel to DodgeBall…. and we want it NOW!
If you’ve got any films you think deserve sequels, then let us know!
Until next time, stay gold Ponyboy, stay gold. See you soonish.