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Why Caddyshack 3 Never Happened

Golf is one of the most sophisticated sports out there. What it lacks in fast-paced action and bodies colliding with each other like human train wrecks, it makes up for in players being able to hit their balls long distances with impressive accuracy. That being said, comedies about the great game tend to be unabashedly juvenile and full of gung-ho excitement. Adam Sandler's "Happy Gilmore" is a great example, but it wasn't the first film to mine laughter out of incidents that take place on the course. 

Starring Bill Murray, Chevy Chase, and a host of other funny performers of the era, the 1980 hit "Caddyshack" is regarded by many movie fans as one of the best comedies ever made. Boasting an 87% fresh audience score on Rotten Tomatoes, the crude sports movie is notable for its "classic slapstick, unforgettable characters, and endlessly quotable dialogue." Then again, the behind-the-scenes stories, some of which pertain to cocaine and socially irresponsible story pitches, have become the stuff of Hollywood legend in their own right.

A sequel, "Caddyshack II," was released in 1988, though it failed to reach the same heights as its predecessor. It also left a bad taste in some people's mouths, which is maybe why some of the original film's cast members have pondered returning to the golf course and ending the series on a high note. Just don't expect that day to ever arrive.

What would Caddyshack 3 have been about?

"Caddyshack 3" has been discussed in one form or another for decades, with some of the cast members revealing that they've had meetings and pitched ideas for the movie. As one Home Theater Forum user highlighted back in 2002, comedian Louie Anderson told a radio show that he'd had meetings with Rodney Dangerfield, Chevy Chase, and the producers of "Caddyshack" about doing a sequel that ignored the events of the second movie. This was before the practice of retconning sequels was all the rage as well.

However, the project didn't gain any significant momentum until 2010. In an interview with Big Fanboy, Bill Murray revealed that he and Harold Ramis collaborated on a script in secret, working on an idea that he described as "brilliant." According to Murray, the story would have involved his character working with a speech coach, partnering with Ty Webb, and becoming a successful owner of many golf courses, including Bushwood, bringing the story "full-circle." The actor also stated that the plan was to bring back Chase and the other original cast members who were open to reprising their roles. But do the fans want to see "Caddyshack 3" after the previous installment?

Caddyshack II is still a bad memory for some fans

It goes without saying that the response to "Caddyshack 2" was less than stellar. As Sports Illustrated notes, it was a box office bomb that both critics and fans loathed upon release. The passing of time hasn't led to many reappraisals hailing the movie as a misunderstood gem, either. In fact, it's still viewed by many as one of the worst sequels ever grace the screen. So what went wrong?

For a start, "Caddyshack II" abandoned the schlocky humor of the original in favor of a family-friendly approach. This proved to be a creative death knell in many ways, but the movie might not have fared better with raunchier material. As Rotten Tomatoes summarizes, the film's "lazy, laughless script and uninspired direction" couldn't even be saved by its talented cast of comedic talent. Lack of naughty words was the least of its problems.

Then there were the backstage troubles that dogged the production of "Caddyshack II." The Sports Illustrated report highlights how apathetic stars, enormous egos, and legal problems all contributed to the film's shortcomings. In the end, the finished product was a mess that didn't leave many people clamoring to see the series continue.

Some Caddyshack legends are no longer with us

It's been over 40 years since "Caddyshack" hit theaters, and time has caught up with those involved. Some of the actors, such as Sarah Holcomb, have disappeared from the spotlight and seemingly retired from acting. Elsewhere, other key alumni have passed away during the last four decades. Bill Murray's comments in the Big Fanboy interview suggested that writer-director Harold Ramis, who died in 2014, would have been fully involved in the purported third film, and his departure could have derailed any progress the project had going for it. While it's entirely possible that another filmmaker could inherit the reigns, it's unknown if the surviving cast members would be interested in making "Caddyshack III" without Ramis.

Similarly, Rodney Dangerfield – whose Al character was a key component of the first film – died in 2004 of complications related to heart valve surgery (per Bunkered). While he was absent for "Caddyshack II," another sequel wouldn't be the same without such an important character involved.