When the action comedy Spy hit theaters in 2015, audiences sparked to director Paul Feig’s humorous take on a genuine spy movie. What made the film work so well wasn’t just Melissa McCarthy’s lead performance or Jason Statham’s hilarious comedic turn, but the fact that Feig shot and approached the film like a real spy thriller. Yes, it was funny, but that didn’t mean it couldn’t also work just as well as a straight-up spy movie.
The film was a hit, grossing $235 million worldwide against a budget of $65 million, and folks immediately began asking about a sequel. Clearly the film established McCarthy and Statham’s characters as a mismatched team of sorts for future adventures, and there seemed to be a lot to mine there. But three years later, Spy 2 hasn’t happened yet and there’s no word on when or even if it will.
So when Feig recently appeared on Josh Horowitz’s Happy Sad Confused podcast, he was asked why a Spy sequel hasn’t happened yet. The director gave a blunt but disappointing answer: 20th Century Fox isn’t interested:
“They’re on the third Kingsman movie, I love the Kingsman movies, that’s the same studio. They made more money than we did, but we didn’t not make money. We made pretty good money. We made $235 million worldwide, that’s pretty good on a $65 million budget—you always wish it was higher. But yeah, they just didn’t wanna do it, and now the moment may be passed, I don’t know. But I’m really proud of it.”
Feig even says he already knows how Spy 2 will open, suggesting that coming up with a story isn’t exactly the problem:
“I’m very excited about how it will start, I have the greatest setup in the world for this movie.”
The studio comedy is indeed in danger at the moment. If you discount Deadpool 2 because it’s also a superhero film, the highest grossing comedy of 2018 is Crazy Rich Asians with $119 million domestic. That’s great, but star-studded films like Tag and Game Night which used to be easy hits have fallen far short of cracking the $100 million barrier—Game Night managed just $69 million domestic, while Tag pulled in $54 million.
That would seem to suggest a high-concept idea like Spy, which brings in another genre on top of comedy, would be a safer bet, but apparently Fox just isn’t interested. The studio’s last straight-up comedy was the Amy Schumer-fronted Snatched, which managed only $60 million worldwide, and their impending slate is pretty bare when it comes to comedies.
So perhaps it’s more the genre than the material, but regardless, Spy remains one of the most rewatchable films of the last few years and I would very much like for Fox to greenlight a sequel. So, you know, get on that please.