The motive for Stone’s return to Basic Instinct, according to CNN, may be cash. Since the blond star did the original Basic Instinct in 1992, she’s earned as much as $6 million per film. She will reportedly earn a startling $15 million for the sequel.
Her recent films (THE MUSE, SIMPATICO) have flopped. Her 1992 thriller made $117 million at the box office. You do the math.
Of course, the decision may also be a favor to longtime industry pals. “We are thrilled to have Sharon on board for the film,” say the film’s Mario Kassar and Andy Vajna, who were the producers of Basic Instinct and who recently convinced Arnold Schwarzenegger to do TERMINATOR 3.
Stone states, “now that the project is in the hands of our original producers and my old friends Mario and Andy, I felt assured that the project will be made with respect to the spirit of the original.”
Translation: Next time, Sharon wants more nudity, more girl-girl eroticism, and more tools with which to frighten men.
However, monetary incentive or not, it’s a surprising move; Stone has often publicly derided the idea that she would benefit from a repeat performance as bitchy, panty-less Catherine Tramell.
In addition, the main Basic Instinct players are not returning: Director Paul Verhoeven said two years ago that he’d never consider a sequel, while screenwriter Joe Esterhaz, whose new tell-all book, American Rhapsody, paints an ugly picture of Stone, is completely out of the question.
Esterhaz has had his own career flops since Instinct. Showgirls and Burn Hollywood Burn: An Alan Smithee Film was ransacked by critics. No word on whether Michael Douglas is considering coming back to his saggy-bummed San Francisco detective character, who is seduced by Stone’s nasty novelist. In 1997, a rep for the actor told the Hollywood Reporter, “show me a script,” adding that Douglas had no plans to return at the time.
Whoever is chosen as the Basic Instinct 2 director and as Stone’s co-star, they’ll have to be approved by Stone before signing on the dotted line.
Shooting is scheduled to begin this fall, with a possible release date of late 2001 or early 2002. MGM will distribute the film domestically.
© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)