Casablanca 2’s Rick Blaine Twist Would Have Completely Ruined The Original Movie’s Ending

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Although the Hollywood masterpiece, Casablanca, had the potential for a sequel, it seemed that studios were hesitant to go through with the plans after noticing that the Rick Blaine twist. Overall, the film received massive praise, securing eight Oscar nominations and winning three for Best Director, Best Screenplay, and Best Picture. Its screenplay was skillfully written by Julius J. & Philip G. Epstein and Howard Koch, who loosely based it on Murray Burneet and Joan Alison unproduced play “Everybody Comes to Rick’s”.


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Boasting a star-studded cast, including Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Claude Reins, Paul Henreid, and popular character actors such as Sydney Greenstreet and Peter Lorre, Casablanca captured hearts worldwide. Following its tremendous success, the studio quickly got to work on a sequel for the masterpiece, an uncommon occurrence for films at that time. The sequel was planned to bring back Bogart and Renault, but the project never came to fruition. The proposed twist in the narrative would have dramatically altered Casablanca’s iconic and award-winning conclusion, which led to the decision to abandon the sequel altogether.


Casablanca 2’s Big Twist Would Have Changed Casablanca’s Ending

Louis Renault and Rick Blaine watching the plane fly off in Casablanca 

The potential sequel for Casablanca, titled, “Brazzaville”, revolved around a significant plot twist: Rick Blaine (played by Bogart in one of his best roles) and Louis Renault (Rains) were actually undercover spies for the Allied Forces all along. The story would have picked up after the last scene of Casablanca, where Rick Blaine and Louis Renault were left on the airport tarmac, as they discussed joining the forces at a Free French garrison in Brazzaville. This plot shift would have entirely changed the motivations and character arc of Rick, who, in the original film, started as a cynical and seemingly self-involved owner of Rick’s Café Americain.

Rick had no regard for his customers, his lover, the refugees, or the war (as he stated on many occasions, “I stick my neck out for nobody”). However, as the story unfolded, he underwent a transformation as he displayed selflessness by setting his feelings for Ilsa aside while aiding Lazlo’s escape (so he could continue his fight for freedom). The proposed twist in the sequel would have diminished the depth of Casablanca, erasing Rick’s transformative journey, as he’d merely be fulfilling his duties, undermining the heartfelt goodbye to Ilsa.

Why Casablanca 2 Didn’t Happen

Rick Blaine and Ilsa looking at each other while drinking in Casablanca

Not long after Casablanca won the Oscar for Best Picture, Warner Bros. announced a sequel called Brazzaville. Twin brothers Julius and Philip Epstein, who worked on the first film, were offered the opportunity to write the sequel but declined due to the chaotic atmosphere that occurred behind-the-scenes of Casablanca. Warner Bros. then skipped over the third writer of the original film, Koch, for the director and co-writer of the 1936 Flash Gordon serials, Frederick Stephani. Frederick Faust, a Warner contract writer, evaluated Stephani’s treatment and wrote, “The moment Rick becomes…an agent of the secret police, the interest in his position and character largely evaporates.’’

The heart of Casablanca was rooted in Rick’s transformation, meaning the decision to make Rick a secret agent in the sequel threatened to undermine the essence of the original film and strip away the emotional depth that had resonated with the audience. There were a few other attempts at Casablanca sequels and remakes, but none came to fruition. The decision to abandon Brazzaille, preserved the legacy and brilliance of Casablanca, and allowed it to maintain its status as an unmatched cinematic masterpiece.

Sources: Warner Bros., New York Post