A Tale of Two Showgirls 2s
In the last few weeks, movie blogs have been abuzz with the news that there might be a Showgirls 2. Yes, a sequel to Paul Verhoeven’s awesomely awful 1995 film starring Elizabeth Berkley and Gina Gershon. The news came from some unknown German director named Marc Vorlander. Vorlander says he has secured $25 million and is working hard on the film. He’s even put up a website with a “trailer” for the film. It’s arty, sleazy as hell and completely incomprehensible (not to mention NSFW—you have been warned). Vorlander has told a number of news outlets that his film will concentrate on Penny Hope, a (very) minor character from the original. His film will tell the story of a stripper who gets murdered in Frankfurt and her brother who shows up looking for revenge. Sounds ... awesome.
Today, out of nowhere, actress Rena Riffel popped up issuing an official statement saying that she has nothing to do with the sequel. Riffel played the character of Penny Hope in the original film. (Nope, I don’t remember her either.) She says Vorlander contacted her about resurrecting her character in the sequel, but that she found Vorlander’s plans “horrifically graphic.” Normally, the word of a 20th billed actress wouldn’t amount to much. But Vorlander did say his film would revolve around Riffel’s character. Not only is Riffel going out of her way to distance herself from Vorlander’s (still kinda questionable) project, she’s actually developing her own sequel to Showgirls! Riffel, who describes herself as a “Cult Superstar” thanks to her role in the film, has shot her own teaser trailer for Showgirls 2. You can check it out here. Riffel is currently writing, producing, directing and starring in Trasharella in Space—so Showgirls 2 sounds right up her alley. Funny thing is there’s no evidence that either Vorlander or Riffel own the rights to Showgirls and can make a sequel without getting their asses sued by United Artists. It will be interesting to see what (if anything) comes out of these now dueling projects.