‘Love Actually’ director responds to calls for Alan Rickman tribute in Comic Relief sequel

Rickman and Emma Thompson featured in one of the original film's most emotional storylines.

Next month’s Comic Relief sequel won’t feature a tribute to the late Alan Rickman.

Richard Curtis announced last week that he has written a ten-minute sequel to his enduring popular romantic comedy film in aid of Comic Relief.

Script editor and Curtis’s partner Emma Freud has since shared pictures of original cast members Liam Neeson and Thomas Brodie-Sangster filming their scenes for the sequel.

However, Curtis has ruled out any kind of reprisal of the emotional storyline involving Rickman and Emma Thompson. In the original film, Thompson’s character deals with the realisation that her husband, played by Rickman, is having an extra-marital affair with a younger woman.

“You know dealing with Alan is very complicated, so not really,” Curtis told the Press Association when asked whether Rickman’s character could feature in some way. “We’re not [involving] everyone. We’re doing about two thirds of people.”

Curtis added: “Ems [Thompson] isn’t in it. She just can’t do it.”

However, other original stars including Hugh Grant, Martine McCutcheon, Keira Knightley, Rowan Atkinson and Andrew Lincoln are all expected to feature in the sequel.

Speaking about the ten-minute special last week, Curtis said: “I would never have dreamt of writing a sequel to Love Actually, but I thought it might be fun to do 10 minutes to see what everyone is now up to. We hope to make something that’ll be fun – very much in the spirit of the original film and of Red Nose Day. It’ll certainly be a nostalgic moment getting back together.”

The news of a sequel comes four years after Curtis said it was unlikely ever to happen. In 2013, he told the Daily Beast that he couldn’t “imagine anything less likely than a reunion”. The Walking Dead actor Andrew Lincoln has also admitted to being uncomfortable with his character, who pretends not to like his friend’s new wife, played by Keira Knightley, so he can cover up being in love with her.

He told The Wrap last year that the character was “a stalker”, but that Curtis reassured him that “with you playing it, darling […] you’ll be alright.”