Sister Act 3: Have Our Prayers Been Answered?

Whoopi Goldberg just can’t kick the habit, as she confirms talks are underway for a second Sister Act sequel.

It has been almost 30 years since Sister Act was released in 1992, raking in $230 million. The canonical crime caper followed a club singer, Deloris Van Cartier (Goldberg), who is put into a witness protection programme after witnessing a gangland killing. Cartier takes on the identity of Sister Mary Clarence and is forced to join a convent, where her very unconventional approach brings new life to the staid choir.

The lacklustre follow-up which came out the following year and saw Mary Clarence teach music at a run-down school failed to maintain the momentum of the first instalment, grossing only $57 million against a $38 million budget.

The sharp drop in success put the breaks on any future sequels for decades. However, in recent times, musical nun enthusiasts’ prayers have been heard. In 2017, Goldberg stated her desire for a third film to be made, and at the back-end of 2018, two writers were hired to draft the script.

The most promising news came last week, when Goldberg spoke on the Late Late Show, dropping hints about a sequel and saying, “we’re working diligently to try to figure out how to get the gang together”.

It is not yet clear who will star in threequel, although Goldberg had previously suggested she could direct it. IMDB lists only one cast member so far: Victoria Milbourne, an unknown actress who will play a character called Ava. Whether Goldberg and the supporting cast, (Wendy Makkena, Kathy Najimy, Maggie Smith) will return remains to be seen.

It is likely that the film will debut on Disney+, but there may be a limited run in cinemas too. At this point, the plot is unknown and may well depend on which of the original cast come back. So it is too soon to say whether Sister Act 3 will be more of a sequel, a reboot, a remake, or a spin-off. One thing that does seem likely, one way or another, is that it is happening.  

Goldberg is also set to star in the stage adaptation of the film Sister Act: The Musical which has been pushed to 2021 due to the pandemic.

Words by Steven Ross

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