Peter and Bobby Farrelly are set to produce a sequel to their 1996 bowling comedy Kingpin, and the project is currently in active development at Village Roadshow Pictures, Collider has exclusively learned.
The original Kingpin was a childhood favorite of mine and starred Woody Harrelson as bowling prodigy Roy Munson, who is tricked into joining a con job that leaves him with a crippled hand for the rest of his life. Years later, a down-and-out Roy stumbles upon his ticket to fame and fortune when he discovers an Amish bowling phenom, Ishmael, played by Randy Quaid.
The great Bill Murray co-starred as bowling legend Big Ern McCracken alongside Vanessa Angel, Chris Elliott, Rob Moran and Lin Shaye, who played Roy’s horny landlord and went on to play Magda in the Farrellys‘ next comedy There’s Something About Mary.
The plot, setting and time period of the Kingpin sequel are being kept under wraps, and additional creative elements are still being determined both in front of and behind the camera. As such, it’s unclear whether the Farrelly brothers will direct or have a hand in the screenplay, though the first film was written by Barry Fanaro and Mort Nathan. Since there’s no script yet, no cast is attached to the sequel at this time, according to sources. Village Roadshow had no comment.
While Kingpin doesn’t get nearly as much love as the two Farrelly brothers movies it found itself sandwiched between — Dumb and Dumber and There’s Something About Mary — it has become something of a cult classic among comedy aficionados in the 25 years since its release. Like the Farrellys‘ other comedies of that time, it was infused with big heart in addition to big laughs, and it remains one of my favorite sports comedies along with Major League, the original Bad News Bears and Harrelson‘s own White Men Can’t Jump.
More than two decades later, Harrelson remains a major star — he recently did a Star Wars movie and will soon be seen in the Venom sequel — and though it’s still early days with regards to development on Kingpin 2, one has to imagine that any sequel would involve his character, if only due to the fact that Quaid appears to have put his Hollywood days behind him. As for the further (or earlier!) adventures of Big Ern, I wouldn’t mind seeing Murray don that wild hairpiece again, but that may be a long shot.
The original Kingpin was produced by the now-defunct Rysher Entertainment and is part of a deep vault of feature film IP owned by Village Roadshow parent Vine Alternative Investments that the company has access to. The film grossed a respectable $25 million at the domestic box office, though it found its audience on home video.
Finally, I know the real Kingpin fans are wondering about “Rebecca.” Well, my source told me to leave Rebecca out of this, and I will respect their wishes. Stay tuned to Collider for more details on Kingpin 2 as they develop…