From a financial point of view, it’s no surprise Hollywood is wild about sequels. With a built-in audience, most properties are guaranteed to have at least a reasonable opening and today we have three varied examples of sophomore franchise entries moving forward. First up, defying its initial odds, Marc Forster‘s World War Z will be actually getting a sequel. The zombie film, loosely based on the book by Max Brooks, took in nearly $550 million worldwide, and now Brad Pitt, serving as producer and actor, is ready to fight again.
According to THR, Forster is stepping out and the man for the job is Juan Antonio Bayona, who helmed the tsunami drama The Impossible and the horror flick The Orphanage. With just a few films under his belt, he’s already shown a expert knack for tension, so he sounds like the perfect fit to capture a zombie epidemic. The first film clearly set things up for more to come, but with no writer attached yet, don’t expect this one to arrive for another few years.
Moving on to another sequel set up at Paramount, we weren’t sure if the studio would want to continue with the Jack Reacher franchise after the first Tom Cruise-led film did just over $200 million worldwide, but it looks like they indeed will be. According to Deadline, they are developing a sequel in the Lee Child franchise, which will be based on his recent book Never Go Back. With Cruise returning, it’ll follow him heading back to his old Virginia-based military unit and getting arrested for a crime he didn’t commit. The original’s director, Christopher McQuarrie, is busy with Cruise on the next Mission: Impossible, but hopes are that he’ll return for this follow-up.
Lastly, before Peter Berg got serious with The Kingdom and Lone Survivor and then went overboard with Battleship, he crafted the fun, no-frills actioner The Rundown. While rumors have swirled of a sequel for some time, it looks like it actually could happen. Speaking with Collider, the director said he has recently met with writers and “we’re trying to do it.” He adds, I really want to do it. I’ve talked to Dwayne [Johnson, star of the original]. I have an actor in mind that I can’t say that I want to work with Dwayne on it, and we want to do it.” Count us in for this one and check back as we learn who the actor might be.
Which sequel is most enticing?