Michael Bay had plans for a sequel to The Rock. It’s hard to imagine a time before Michael Bay was turning kids TV into explosive action thrillers. In recent years he is best known for The Transformers franchise — including the upcoming Transformers: The Last Knight — as well as producing both recent Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles films. But before he was creating franchises out of rebooting children’s cartoons, he made a number of successful original action films. His second feature film was the popular 1996 film The Rock.
The Rock starred Nicolas Cage as Dr. Stanley Goodspeed, a chemical weapons expert with almost no experience in the field, and Sean Connery as John Mason, the only person to escape Alcatraz Prison. Goodspeed and Mason teamed up to stop a group of rogue Marines who had taken hostages on Alcatraz and were threatening San Francisco with a deadly gas. With a fun sort of buddy cop vibe between Connery and Cage, the film made back more than four times its budget and had pretty decent reviews. In spite of that success, in the past 21 years there has never been a sequel.
According to /Film, Bay had a pretty fun idea for a sequel — one which would have changed the tone from an action film to more of a thriller. It also would have picked up exactly where The Rock ended — with Goodspeed and his fiancée Carla in possession of the many government secrets Mason had stolen decades earlier and the government believing Mason to be dead.
According to Bay, his idea for a sequel was that the government would be after Goodspeed and the stolen secrets. Separated from Carla, Goodspeed would have had to turn to Mason in order to escape.
“The sequel that I have in my mind for this movie is basically after Nic Cage is married to Carla, they drive off. Nic Cage has this microfilm of all this bad government confidential [info], like, who killed JFK? The government comes after Nic Cage with a vengeance. We’re talking out to kill. It turns into more of a thriller. Nic Cage has nowhere to turn, because he’s been stabbed in the back by the government, and they’re after him. Maybe he takes Carla, I’m not sure. Maybe they separate. I’d really like to separate Nic and Carla, and have Nic try to employ the help of Sean Connery. Basically, taking The Rock off exactly where it left off.”
While far too much time has passed to pick up from the moment where The Rock ended, there’s virtually no chance of reuniting Cage and Connery in a sequel anyway. 10 years after The Rock, Sean Connery announced his retirement. While he has done a couple of voiceover roles in the past 14 years, he has not appeared in a feature film since The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen in 2003.
While it may be too late to film the sequel that Bay wanted — or to have Connery reprise his role as Mason — that does not mean that it is the end. The Rock was successful and is remembered with enough fondness that perhaps one day Cage and Bay will reunite for a different story. Goodspeed had access to an awful lot of information when the film ended. It might be nice one day to find out what he’s done with it.