An Inconvenient Truth sequel, the right time?
If you're one of those people that believe global warming isn't happening, that these extreme weather events and changes in standard weather patterns we are experiencing are faked, a standard cycle of the Earth or are going to be magically resolved by some unseen, unheard, unproven and uninterested magical force, then you probably never watched An Inconvenient Truth (Filmstalker Review) or did and believed it was part of the government conspiracy designed to rid you of your stockpiled weapons.
If you're a normal, rational and intelligent human being you were probably shocked and moved, as I was, to do something about it, even if your government wasn't. While they pretended to talk about reduction of CO2 emissions and help save the planet without actually making any real decisions, people around the world were being move to change helped by An Inconvenient Truth.
The film was made back in 2006 and the insanity of the push against the truth of global climate change continues, in fact it has grown despite the documented evidence, scientific agreement and the push back by the planet's climate. So is there any surprise that now there's talk of a sequel?
Well not really. Back in 2007 the director of the film Davis Guggenheim was already talking about a sequel, in fact he said that he was in talks with Paramount about it. I wonder though if it was too early to be talking about a sequel, after all there hadn't been a great deal of progress since then, but now, well there's still not much more.
It may be inconvenient but another big public push is needed and perhaps a sequel to An Inconvenient Truth (Filmstalker review) could be that push. Of course it would have to have the same shocking impact, the same undeniable evidence, and probably even the same team, including Al Gore.
According to reports in The Hollywood Reporter through The Guardian the producers are discussing the possibilities of a sequel, no doubt in response to direct questions posed by the media which are then excluded from the articles, but still.
Lawrence Bender said that there have been discussions.
"We have had conversations...We've met; we've discussed. If we are going to make a movie, we want it to have an impact...They did a really good job of pushing back and confusing people...Some people actually believe global warming doesn't exist."
The "they" in that statement is referred to as the fossil-fuel industry in the original article, although I think that the mass of misinformed, ill-educated and conspiracy believers out there who leap on the anti-climate change wagon and ride it for all they are worth are just as much to blame. If it was just the fossil-fuel lobby then it would be a lot easier to see who the naysayers are.
He also spoke at the Beverly Hills fundraiser on the 21st of March which collecting US $700,000 for UCLA's Institute of the Environment and Sustainability and said:
"At the time, we hoped to provoke a global conversation about climate change...Our new inconvenient truth is that not nearly enough concrete action has been taken."
The original film An Inconvenient Truth (Filmstalker review) made US $50 million worldwide and helped push Al Gore towards an amazing achievement, not moving people to energy saving light bulbs, but a 2007 Nobel Peace Prize.
It's true that not nearly enough has been done and that the climate continues to change for the worse with nothing but reactionary actions from governments and companies around the globe. You can watch so many other documentaries and television shows to see just that. Documentaries such as The Island President (Filmstalker Review) which sees the President of the Maldives trying to influence world leaders to reduce their CO2 output in order to save their islands from sinking into the sea. Equally as shocking and moving.
So a sequel to An Inconvenient Truth seems like it should happen, shouldn't it? The original was so influential, surely a film to show what hasn't been done, what needs to be done and what the climate is doing to us now is more than a suggestion, it's a requirement?
Producer Scott Z. Burns said of the idea of a sequel, again perhaps posed the question directly, that he...
"...would only support doing a follow-up if we have a really, really amazing way of attacking the issue and reinvigorating it."
There we have the problem about this film. It's film made by a studio to earn them money. Then, after that issue is out of the way, it's a film there to educate the audience. See any problems there?
It isn't the fault of those behind the film or the studio, but it does have to make money in order to get the global distribution deal in order to be seen.
That said An Inconvenient Truth showed that it can work. It just has to be, as the producers have alluded to, as powerful and imaginative as the original was.