Wanted 2 In On The Way!?
The Morgan-scripted 2008 action hit Wanted may be getting a sequel, as the article hints that the studio would like Angelina Jolie to star in Wanted 2, although that has been batting around the studio for some time with little movement. Ultimately, Jolie is rumored to favor in-development sequels to more recent hits like Maleficent or Salt if she wanted to go the franchise route, a path she has avoided since the failure of 2003’s Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life. [via Comingsoon.net]
Wanted is a 2008 American-German action thriller film based on the comic book miniseries of the same name by Mark Millar and J. G. Jones. The film is written by Chris Morgan, Michael Brandt, and Derek Haas, is directed by Timur Bekmambetov, and stars James McAvoy, Morgan Freeman, and Angelina Jolie. The storyline follows Wesley Gibson (McAvoy), a frustrated account manager who discovers that he is the son of a professional assassin and decides to join the Fraternity, a secret society in which his father worked.
Universal Studios acquired the adaptation rights from Millar in 2004, and while the eventual script drifted from the comic book supervillain mythos from the original miniseries, Millar was content to see most of the comic’s darker content was retained. Production began in April 2007, with filming in the Czech Republic,Budapest and the story’s main setting, Chicago. Wanted was released on June 2008 to both critical and commercial success, with box office earnings of $341 million worldwide and reviews praising the fast pacing and stylized action scenes. Universal had interest in a sequel, which is currently in development hell.
Even before the film’s release, Mark Millar announced director Timur Bekmambetov was planning a sequel, though Millar denied that he would write a sequel to the comic book. He was instead creating a story along with the producers, that would follow the first film’s idea of an international guild of assassins. Terence Stamp described Pekwarsky as “something that’s written for a sequel”, and Common expressed interest in a prequel, feeling that both The Gunsmith and Fox deserved more exposition.
Chris Morgan would return to write the sequel’s screenplay, but departed on April 2009 due to “excessive workload”, leaving the task to Evan Spiliotopoulos. On June 2009, Bekmambetov said that pre-production for Wanted 2 was about to get started, with filming scheduled to begin in late fall or winter. The film will have a reported budget of $150 million and will be shot in the United States, India, and Russia. He also added that some of the characters would resurrect, particularly Fox and The Exterminator. On September, the director added that even without a finished script Bazelevs had already doneprevisualization of the action scenes. In 2010, after reports that Angelina Jolie had pulled out of the sequel, Millar said that the script would be rewritten to remove Fox’s return, so production could start that year for a late 2011 release. Eventually the production did not take off, leading Bekmambetov to work on Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter instead.
In a 2011 Q&A, producer Jim Lemley said that “Wanted 2 sounds like it will not happen any time soon if at all”. That same year, James McAvoy said, regarding the sequel, “I think the studio is keen to make it, and we really want to make it, but we want to make it if it’s right and when it’s right, and that might not be ever.” McAvoy also expressed interest in a sequel focusing on a character other than Wesley.Universal later brought Wanted screenwriters Michael Brandt and Derek Haas to write the sequel, which Haas described as happening “right after the events that just happened; it’ll pick up Wesley a few years later and go back in for another round”, while also being “Fox-less and loom-less.” Haas would later detail that the script featured a new female protagonist, who Wesley would recruit “sort of in the Fox role.” Bekmambetov declared during the interviews for Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter that after many years of indecision as the Wanted sequel entered development hell, he pitched an idea to the screenwriters, where the plot followed Wesley while featuring “a great twist.”
McAvoy declared that since he “had a blast making the first Wanted“, he would make a sequel regardless of the quality of the script; however, he also acknowledged that the time spent in development hell “suggests to me that they’re not finding it very easy to come up with a story that they’re passionate about, so we’ll have to wait and see.” In 2014, McAvoy acknowledged that a potential sequel has been in the talks, saying he “had a couple of versions of script thrown my way” while adding that Universal is still waiting for the right screenplay.