The Roger Rabbit Movie That Wasn't
Who Framed Roger Rabbit? looked much different in its first life at Disney.
Like the Tim Burton Superman that never was, this early test footage of Who Framed Roger Rabbit? was best left in the “Terrible Ideas We Would Rather Forget” bin.
Here’s the backstory:
Before Richard Williams directed the animation for Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, there was an earlier attempt at Disney, from 1981 to 1983, to adapt Gary K. Wolf’s book Who Censored Roger Rabbit. John Culhane takes us behind the scenes of the unmade Darrell Van Citters version of Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, 1983. With animator Mike Giamo and producer Marc Sturdivant. While Roger was a villain in the book, trying to solve his own murder, this Roger is a loveable goofball in white fur and red overalls—a prototype for the final film. Baby Herman is glimpsed only briefly, and Jessica Rabbit appears to be the villain of the piece. Still, this version clearly laid some groundwork for the Zemeckis/Williams production a few years later.
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