Wanted sequel screenlife

For years, Hollywood was considering making a sequel to Wanted, the 2008 film starring James McAvoy and Angelina Jolie as assassins who can curve a bullet’s trajectory in mid-air. And even though the movie came out more than a decade ago, it seems like the idea for a Wanted 2 isn’t dead just yet – at least, not in the mind of the first film’s director.

Timur Bekmambetov, the director of Wanted and the producer of films like Searching and Unfriended, now suggests that a Wanted sequel could be made using that same Screenlife technology utilized for his recent films. Read his comments below.

Screenlife, the “everything plays out on laptop and/or phone screens” conceit that we’ve seen in several movies at this point (used most creatively thus far in 2018’s Searching), seems to be here to stay. According to Deadline, Bekmambetov, the producer behind this technology, has just signed a deal with Universal to make five more movies shot in that format. It isn’t clear if these five films are part of the slate of fourteen he was developing a couple of years ago or if these are five fresh projects, but either way, it’s clear that Universal thinks there’s a big upside to this type of on-the-cheap production.

When the topic of a Wanted sequel came up again, the producer suggested that Wanted 2 could be made using that same screens-only cinematic approach:

“Maybe do the sequel in Screenlife. I cannot imagine an assassin in today’s world would run with a gun. Why? He will use drones, he will use computer technology, probably. You don’t need to bend bullets anymore. You need to bend ideas.”

Wanted 2 has been in various stages of development for the past decade, with the first film’s writers initially stepping away from a sequel and then getting rehired by the studio. In 2012, writer Derek Haas explained the take for the sequel: “It’s ‘Where is Wesley [James McAvoy’s character] four years after the events of the first movie?’ The only thing I can tell you is that Wesley is now, four years later, recruiting a young woman who is in his situation in the first movie. She’s got a shitty life. He’s sort of in the Fox [Angelina Jolie] role. This new girl is brought into the world.”

It’s unclear if Bekmambetov was just spitballing or if he has actually put significant thought into developing a sequel in this format, but it would certainly mark a huge aesthetic change for the franchise. And if it actually happens and it’s financially successful, it could open the door for unconventional sequels to other movies. I’d be all for that – especially since studios are more likely to take a chance on rookie filmmakers, and if those directors can establish themselves with a smart, creative take on a piece of popular IP, it’d be a great way to move up in the industry.

If the Wanted sequel does happen, it will most likely be without one of its biggest stars. Angelina Jolie has said she isn’t interested in reprising her role in a follow-up (which would be difficult, since her character died in the first movie), but as recently as 2015, Universal was hoping she’d change her mind. Could Fox show up as some sort of ghost in the machine in a Screenlife version of Wanted 2? Maybe she’ll appear in a photo gallery that Wesley could flip through on his desktop if he’s feeling sentimental.

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