The savage late-’80s comedy/satire The War of the Roses is getting a sequel, called War of the Roses: The Children. The film will follow the stories of the now-grown kids of Barbara and Oliver Rose (the latter called Jonathan Rose in both novels), based upon the novel of the same name by War of the Roses author Warren Adler. At the time the project was announced, we heard that the producers were looking for a screenwriter. Now they’ve found one in the form of Alex McAulay.
Variety has the news. McAulay’s most attention-getting work in the movie world so far is likely the script Flower, which placed on the 2012 Black List of popular unproduced screenplays. Flower is “a coming of age story about the unlikely bond that forms between a sexually adventurous teenage girl and her obese, mentally unstable step-brother.” So that’s a pretty serious and uneasy take on childhood, and there’s reason to think McAulay’s sensibilities will be put to similar use here.
In short, the disastrous marriage of the two leads in the original film led to two children. The Roses’ son is now married, but his relationship disintegrates thanks to a seemingly inconsequential provocation.
Adler’s sequel novel was published decades after his original novel, which inspired the ’80s film from Danny DeVito, and almost 25 years after the film was released. Here’s a synopsis of the sequel novel:
Warren Adler’s The War of the Roses leaped onto the public consciousness and has since remained an essential thread in a wider tapestry of divorce iconography. Now, Adler presents us with the chandelier-shattering legacy of Barbara and Jonathan Rose relived in their children Josh and Evie in a hilarious sequel to the original iconic tale about the perils of marriage, divorce and the destructive power of materialism.
Unlike the legendary Roses, Josh’s marriage to Victoria should have all the qualities of an everlasting union. But when an innocent caper involving missing Milky Ways catapults out of control at their son’s elite private school, the pair find themselves entering into a shattering warfare of a different kind. Armed with the emotional mayhem inherited from their parents, as well as compounded pressures involving a depraved headmaster, clandestine affairs and Victoria’s male-hating mother, The War of the Roses – the Children presents a gripping story of the lengths to which parents will go to protect their children.
Little more than a child herself, Josh’s ever sympathetic and over-stuffed sister Evie lavishes her ‘food-is-love’ obsession on her beloved niece and nephew coping with their own sense of loss. Meanwhile, Michael and Emily, soon-to-be children of divorce, orchestrate their own plan to keep their family together at all costs. Adler, once again, demonstrates his storytelling mastery by revealing the intricate blending of the past with the present, and how time unravels all things seemingly perfect to be darkly and even comically dysfunctional.