Fierce Creatures - Concordance With A Fish Called Wanda

Concordance With A Fish Called Wanda

For a time the working title of Fierce Creatures was Death Fish II.)

The novelization of the film, written by Iain Johnstone, begins with a letter, written by Archie Leach (Cleese's character in Wanda) to Rollo, revealing that they are actually twin brothers; Rollo changed his surname from "Leach" to "Lee" in order to improve his chances of advancement within the Hong Kong police.

The main four actors have roles here that display similar dynamics to their roles in A Fish Called Wanda: John Cleese's character is the morally upright straight-man, Jamie Lee Curtis's character starts out morally grey but ends up romantically linked to John Cleese's character, Kevin Kline is the dense antagonist of the film's plot, and Michael Palin's character provides an active supporting role to the main events. Michael Palin's character in Fierce Creatures, however, is a chatterbox that is difficult to keep quiet, the opposite of his personality in A Fish Called Wanda, where he was a stutterer unable to say anything easily.

Various small gestures throughout the film recall Wanda. In one scene, a keeper tells Rollo that Willa liked him. When Rollo reacts in surprise, Bugsy explains to him that the pheromones he releases into the air attract her. Rollo sniffs his armpit as if to check on how he smelt. This was a gesture done by Kevin Kline as Otto in "Wanda". Also in a throwback gesture, in A Fish Called Wanda there was a fish named after Jamie Lee Curtis' character; in Fierce Creatures there is a Ring-tailed Lemur named after Cleese's character. In the final scene John Cleese also "accidentally" calls Jamie Lee Curtis' character "Wanda" instead of Willa.

Supporting actors from A Fish Called Wanda returning for Fierce Creatures include Maria Aitken (wife of Cleese's character in A Fish Called Wanda, his assistant in Fierce Creatures) and Cynthia Cleese (daughter of Cleese's character in A Fish Called Wanda and Pip Small Mammals in Fierce Creatures). Tom Georgeson, who played George Thomason in "Wanda", also made a brief cameo as a zoo visitor.

John Cleese explained in a David Letterman appearance he didn't want to make a sequel to A Fish Called Wanda because of the expectations and how often sequels are inferior to the original. He points out Aliens and The Godfather, Part II as rare examples of sequels surpassing the originals.

In Poland the film was released under the title “Lemur zwany Rollo” which literally means “A Lemur Called Rollo”, thus directly referencing A Fish Called Wanda.

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