Perhaps buoyed by the storming success of Furious 7, Electronic Arts has joined forces with Chinese film partners to issue the greenlight on Need for Speed 2. That’s despite a meagre $43 domestic box office haul. Although, as is the case with a growing number of Hollywood blockbusters, the franchise hopeful secured an audience overseas; particularly in China, where it earned a substantial $65 million in the sovereign state alone.
And so we arrive at the not-too-surprising news of the sequel. As you can gather, a chunk of financial support will come through those aforementioned Chinese partners, and it’s understood that the vast majority of the follow-up will be filmed in the country itself.
Much of Need for Speed 2 would be filmed in China, with the nation’s actors also taking significant roles, according to an announcement of the new arrangement by joint venture partners China Movie Channel Program Center, Jiaflix Enterprises and 1905 Pictures, along with Electronic Arts, creator of the Need for Speed videogame.
While today’s announcement will please fans of the original, there’s still a rights issue that needs to be settled before Need for Speed 2 drifts into production, as DreamWorks currently holds the rights to the sequel. Plus, there’s no word yet on whether Aaron Paul, Imogen Poots, or Dominic Cooper will reprise their roles in the video game adaptation, though with this financial backing behind them, EA will be eager to coax the actors back for round two sooner rather than later.
Should all the pieces fall into place, Need for Speed 2 should ease toward the production starting line later this year ahead of a release in 2016. But does the IP have the mileage in the tank for a sequel on the silver screen? We’ll leave that one to you.