Fans of the 2008 action movie Wanted have been waiting patiently for word on a sequel since the film hit big at the domestic box office (grossing nearly $134.5 million), but now it sounds like Wanted 2 may finally on the horizon.
Talking to Hollywood.com about his new novel spy novel, The Right Hand (set for release in November), Wanted screenwriter Derek Haas revealed that he and his writing partner Michael Brandt are readying to deliver their second draft of the script. Arriving at this point nearly half a decade later was a bumpy ride Haas was happy to take.
"After the first movie came out, we were supposed to write the sequel," says Haas. "For various reasons, we didn't connect with what Universal wanted to do creatively. A little bit of what Timur [Bekmambetov, director] wanted to do. So we just sort of bowed out gracefully."
Universal hired multiple writers to tackle the Wanted 2 script after Haas and Brandt departed the sequel. But in 2011, the studio reapproach them for the job. "We got that call that you always love as a screenwriter. 'Can you guys please come back?' We loved the world. That experience was great. We said, 'Well here's what we want to do with the sequel.' And they said, 'Okay.'"
Haas says his time away from Wanted 2 has strengthened his interest in the project, and will actually serve the story. "After four years, from a creative standpoint, it's almost better, because we can pick up the story four years later," says Haas. "It's 'Where is Wesley four years after the events of the first movie?'" Rumors surrounding the plot of Wanted 2 have come and gone with the various attached screenwriters (including possible prequel ideas that could open the door for the return of Angelina Jolie), but Haas insists the goal is not to undo anything presented in the original film. "Angelina Jolie gets shot in the head and everyone's like, 'Oh, are you going to bring back Fox?' I said, 'Did you see the bullet go into her head?' And they say, 'Oh, she can take one of those milk baths!' We never wanted to do that movie."
What Haas and Brandt are working on sounds much more interesting: "The only thing I can tell you is that Wesley [James McAvoy] is now, four years later, recruiting a young woman who is in his situation in the first movie. She's got a sh**ty life. He's sort of in the Fox role. This new girl is brought into the world."
After penning a novel and cooking up a TV show that debuted this season (Chicago Fire), Haas says he's thrilled to be back in the comic book universe of Wanted 2, where his imagination can really run wild. "The world is a blast. Timur is awesome. You get to go nuts. As writers it's really freeing to bend physics and natural laws."
Derek Haas' The Right Hand arrives on Nov. 13. Look for the rest of the interview on Hollywood.com before then!
Follow Matt Patches on Twitter @misterpatches
[Photo Credit: Universal Pictures]
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