Universal Plotting 'Identity Thief' Sequel, More Bourne & 'Snow White'
After hearing the mostly disappointing news that Universal is considering a sequel to the horror hit Mama, today comes word that the studio is thinking about more sequels. It's still early for a lot of these projects, and no official plans are in order just yet, but Universal Pictures chairman Adam Fogelson talked about a future for some of Universal's more successful properties, even if they weren't critical successes. The projects include the gestating sequel to last year's Snow White and the Huntsman, more for the universe expanded in The Bourne Legacy, and a sequel to the R-rated comedy Identity Thief. Read on!
For Snow White and the Huntsman, which will bring back Kristen Stewart, director Rupert Sanders will not be returning. Snow White will be the central character, as opposed to news that a sequel might follow just Chris Hemsworth as the huntsman (though he will be back as well). Fogelson told THR, "We think that for a first movie out of the gate to do basically $400 million worldwide, there is a lot of opportunity." That sentence should have ended with "to make more money" when really it should have also been about telling a great story. But that's show business for you.
Meanwhile, though The Bourne Legacy underperformed, Fogelson says it wasn't much of a disappointment since it didn't cost as much to make as the installments starring Matt Damon. As for sequels in the wake of the Jeremy Renner led action thriller, Fogelson says:
"The point of the last movie was to create a universe, a world and characters that give us a lot of freedom and flexibility in how we go forward. I absolutely see us doing more Bourne, 100 percent yes. Matt has talked about the possibility of coming back, and we totally respect that and are excited if and when he wants to have conversations. But I think the last movie gave us a big bunch of options to pursue a next chapter."
He might be being a little too optimistic since Damon recently talked about the difficulty of getting back in the franchise after The Bourne Legacy and The Bourne Ultimatum, but we'll see. Either way, Universal isn't doing too hot nowadays, so they have to keep their cash cow franchises alive for the time being. Hopefully they can figure out a way to bring back Damon and have him work with or against Renner's character. That would be a slam dunk and could make for an interesting story as well. The script just needs to be stronger this time around to capture the essence of the Bourne saga.
Finally, despite getting mostly negative reviews, the box office draw of breakout Bridesmaids star Melissa McCarthy is undeniable as the R-rated comedy has pulled in $77 million worldwide to date, and is still raking in cash. That means Universal is having talks in their offices about how to get McCarthy and co-star Jason Bateman back together. Again, the movie wasn't terrible, but the cast was better than the script and did the best with what they had on the page. I'd rather see McCarthy and Bateman team on a better movie. Either way, studios need to be careful or they'll wear out McCarthy's welcome far too soon. Thoughts?