Marc Platt Going for Wanted 2 and Wicked at Universal
by Kevin Powers
July 15, 2008
Most of us knew this was coming - and we even wrote about it a few weeks ago. Variety confirms that a sequel to Timur Bekmambetov's kickass Wanted (reflexively titled Wanted 2) released last month is already in the works, bringing back the original director and writers, along with producer Marc Platt. The real news today, however, is about Platt, who has signed a new contract with Universal extending his stay at the studio until 2012. During that time and in addition to the Wanted sequel, Platt will also produce a big-screen adaptation of the hit musical "Wicked" as well as "Jesus Christ Superstar." Two musicals and a sequel to a successful action movie - excited for Universal's future?
Firstly, the news that obviously interests me more. Platt says that for the follow up to Wanted "the writers are at work already, and those creative discussions are taking place." Brilliant! Obviously, if you've seen the flick, you can imagine those writers have quite a challenge ahead of them considering how the story concluded at somewhat of a dead-end. But if you think of the hyperbolic original, I'm sure a crafty extension isn't too big of an obstacle. Platt adds that the intention is to bring lead James McAvoy back, though you do have to wonder what appeal of the new film might have lacking his sultry sidekick, Angelina Jolie.
The other big item on Platt's radar is bringing "Wicked" to the movie theater. This shouldn't come as a surprise to those in the know, since both Universal and Platt already have ties to the property - co-financing and producing respectively. With Mamma Mia! out this week (and Sweeney Todd, Hairspray and Enchanted of last year), it seems like musical movies are gaining a bit of steam. Donna Langley of Universal said, "Our goal now is absolutely to make the Wicked film, but much like Judy Craymer wouldn't give up screen rights to Mamma Mia! until the stage show had reached its pinnacle, Marc and Stephen Schwartz are very mindful of the right timing. But we're dying to do it." Platt also agreed to supervise a remake of "Jesus Christ Superstar" during his additional five years at Universal.
Wanted 2 and Wicked span the landscape pretty well. Which are you waiting for?