Movement is happening on a second Now You See Me sequel. Lionsgate announced today that it has hired American Hustle writer Eric Warren Singer to write the script for Now You See Me 3, based on his original idea. The follow-up is described as a “fresh take” on the franchise that will capture the fun, magic, and spirit of the original film, introducing new characters while at the same time providing the opportunity for members of the original cast to reprise their roles.
The first Now You See Me was released in 2013 and follows a group of magicians who perform bank heists as they were followed by an FBI agent, played by Mark Ruffalo. The sequel, incorrectly titled Now You See Me 2 instead of Now You Don’t, found the core magicians teaming up once again to perform a heist for a criminal mastermind.
The films boasted a surprisingly impressive ensemble that included Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Dave Franco, Isla Fischer, Michael Caine, Lizzy Caplan, and Morgan Freeman, with Louis Leterrier (The Incredible Hulk) directing the first film and Jon M. Chu (Crazy Rich Asians) helming the second. Now You See Me was written by Ed Solomon, Boaz Yakin, and Edward Ricourt from a story by Yakin and Ricourt, while Now You See Me 2 was written by Solomon.
No casting has been set for Now You See Me 3, and it sounds like this will be mostly a reboot with some of the original cast returning for an unspecified amount of screen time. Bobby Cohen and Alex Kurtzman of Secret Hideout are teaming up again to produce, while Meredith Wieck and Aaron Edmonds will oversee the project for Lionsgate.
“Eric has always been fascinated with the fine art of deception and illusion in all of its forms and he came to us with a great story that takes the mythology of Now You See Me and pushes The Four Horsemen to a whole new level with our key returning cast and new characters,” said Nathan Kahane, President of the Lionsgate Motion Picture Group. “The Now You See Me franchise has been built on keeping the audience surprised and guessing. Any great magician knows, you can’t keep doing the same tricks. And Eric and his team of illusionists have something special up their sleeve for this new film.”
Jonathan Bayme and his company Theory 11 will serve as a magic consultant to the filmmakers.
A release date has not yet been announced, but both Now You See Me movies crossed $300 million at the worldwide box office against modest budgets, so it’s not terribly surprising to see Lionsgate moving ahead with another follow-up.