Jon Heder Won’t Join Napoleon Dynamite 2 Without Director Jared Hess

by Hailey Greg
Jon Heder Won't Join Napoleon Dynamite 2.

Fans have been waiting almost two decades for a follow-up to the 2004 oddball comedy Napoleon Dynamite, which rapidly became the definition of a cult classic. This is because actor Jon Heder refuses to go ahead without the cooperation of writer and director Jared Hess. 

Heder recently discussed the possibility of a Napoleon Dynamite sequel on the Inside of You with Michael Rosenbaum podcast, saying that although discussions had taken place in the years after the success of the film, he had always insisted on including Hess in any potential sequels.

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“We didn’t even think about a sequel. Nobody was even asking [for a] sequel in the beginning. It wasn’t until probably later that year or the years after when my agents were like, ‘Fox wants to do a sequel. Would you be willing to do a sequel without Jared?'” Heder told host Michael Rosenbaum. Close “I think they were asking because they were probably feeling like, ‘Oh I don’t know if Jared is gonna be up for this.’ He might’ve already said no. I don’t know.”

But Heder, who is also a close personal friend of the filmmaker, argues that he would not watch a sequel to Hess’ “very autobiographical” picture if Hess wasn’t also involved.

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Heder’s interest in returning for a Napoleon Dynamite sequel is contingent on Hess’s involvement, but he is not fully ruling out the possibility of a sequel. The only thing he needs is for Hess to “pull the trigger.”

“I said, ‘No I wouldn’t do one without Jared.’ Because [Napoleon Dynamite] was Jared’s. This was his life growing up in Preston, Idaho. It was very personal to him…to do a sequel without him was just…it made no sense.” During a 2020 online Wizard World discussion, Heder shared his thoughts.

Meanwhile, the actor has shared some thoughts on how a potential sequel may go, should Hess want to pursue production.

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“I feel like the future for Napoleon would be a lot more raw and edgy. So whatever [Hess] comes up with would be fun to explore. Because I think whatever Jared comes up with wouldn’t be your typical, ‘Let’s do a sequel where they all look the same and they all act the same.’ I think it would be an interesting development in their lives.”

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