One of the reasons Wanted made $350 million worldwide in 2008 was due to the presence of Angelina Jolie, however her decision not to appear in the sequel apparently killed the project last year.
Universal has obviously been sat on the sequel wondering what to do, but now they’ve made a decision to move forward by re-hiring writers of the first film, Michael Brandt and Derek Haas, to get started on Wanted 2.
From The Wrap:
“We just always loved the ‘Wanted’ world and loved working with Universal and (director) Timur (Bekmambetov) on the first one, so we’re excited,” Haas said.
He said he doesn’t know who will direct. The writer said he’d love to work with Bekmambetov again, “but he’s a busy guy.”
“Wanted 2” is “going to take off after the events of what just happened,” Haas said. “Pick up Wesley a few years later and go back in for another round.”
Universal’s decision to suddenly move forward may be a result of mixed success at the box office this year. The studio had Bridesmaids and Fast Five bringing in the money, but Cowboys and Aliens, The Dilemma, The Change-Up and Your Highness all under-performed, possibly leaning the studio towards sticking with proven material.
Movement on the next film could also be due to James McAvoy’s recent success in X-Men: First Class. After the actor played Wesley Gibson in 2008 he’s mainly appeared in low-budget dramas such as The Last Station and The Conspirator, but with McAvoy (and Fassbender) leading First Class to $350m worldwide it may have given Universal more confidence in McAvoy to carry a Wanted sequel.
Timur Bekmambetov directed the first film which followed a frustrated office worker who learns that he is the son of a professional assassin, and that he shares his father’s superhuman killing abilities