Cliffhanger 2 | Original director Renny Harlin on proposed sequel

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Director Renny Harlin on why the original plans for Cliffhanger 2 never happened, as the sequel finally moves forward.

The original Cliffanger was directed by Renny Harlin and released in 1993. Starring Sylvester Stallone, the film is fondly remembered as a classic of 90s action cinema, not least for its memorable set pieces which, being of early 90s vintage, were largely practical in execution.

Although Stallone is of course returning for the long-belated sequel, Harlin isn’t involved in the follow-up, which will be helmed by Plane director Jean-Francois Richet. Cliffhanger sparked a career revival for Stallone, but Harlin worries that a key facet of the film’s production won’t stay true to that early 90s style of production.

“I hope they don’t try to replace what we did with a lot of CG. Because I think the audience will be able to tell that we did everything for real,” Harlin told ComingSoon while promoting his latest film, The Bricklayer (part of the new wave of occupation-based action movies we talked about here).

“We shot at 12,000-foot peaks in the Italian Alps. It was real stuff, like the opening sequence with the girl falling. It was done for real. That was at 8,000 feet, that wire. It’s so easy for the studios to say now, ‘we’ll do everything blue screen and create everything digitally.’ I hope they don’t do that because it deserves a sequel with the same spirit of the original.”

Read more: The Beekeeper and the welcome return of the occupation-based action film

We couldn’t agree more. With the film due to shoot this summer, we’ll have to wait and see whether Harlin’s fears are realised. As for why a Cliffhanger sequel never got underway earlier, with Harlin himself at the helm, the director had this to say:

“To be honest, I’ve tried for decades. I always felt the movie was hugely successful, and it was crazy that there wasn’t a sequel. There was more story to tell. Now, of course, it’s a long time later, so I have no idea what kind of a story they are planning to tell or what Sly’s role in it is. But I wish them the best of luck.”

We do know a little about the film’s plot, as the official synopsis has been released:

Gabe [Stallone] is now living in the Dolomites where he runs an exclusive mountain lodge. When Gabe and a high-profile client are taken hostage during an adventurous weekend trip, his daughter has to use all her climbing skills to outwit the kidnappers, triggering a battle of life and death.’

Should you be in the mood to hear some more fascinating details about the original production of Cliffhanger, be sure to check out our podcast episode where we revisited the making of the film. We’ll bring you more details on Cliffhanger 2 as we hear them.

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