Even though the film was painfully disappointing considering its outstanding cast, Now You See Me was a bit hit for Lionsgate, and the studio has moved forward on Now You See Me 2. Even though the sequel, officially titled Now You See Me: The Second Act, won’t arrive until next summer, the studios is now developing Now You See Me 3.
Variety reports that Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer told analysts, “We’ve already begun early planning for ‘Now You See Me 3,” during a conference call to discuss quarterly earnings.
Production recently wrapped on Now You See Me: The Second Act, which stars Mark Ruffalo, Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Lizzy Caplan, Dave Franco, Michael Caine, and Daniel Radcliffe, and it will be interesting to see how the cast for the sequel lines up. The sequel lost Isla Fisher, Morgan Freeman, and Melanie Laurent, but gained Caplan and Radcliffe. If Lionsgate wants to make this a legit franchise, it’s going to need anchors, and it will be interesting to see who sticks around.
My hope for the Now You See Me franchise going forward is that it learns how it wants to approach magic and stick with a consistent approach. The big problem with the first movie is that eventually the characters stop doing tricks and move to acts that couldn’t be done in reality. I don’t need their methods confined to a stage, but once you start throwing in tons of CGI wizardry, then there’s nothing special about what they do. They’re just superheroes at that point.
Lionsgate, like all major studios, realizes that its future lies in franchises, especially since The Hunger Games concludes this year with The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2. The studio still has The Divergent Series through Summit Entertainment, and now they’re pushing a multi-part adaptation of Homer’s The Odyssey. The studio also greenlit John Wick 2, so they clearly see some franchise potential there as well.
For more on Now You See Me 2, watch Steve’s interview with Mark Ruffalo.