Arriving on Netflix in April when Coronavirus restrictions were at their tightest around the world keeping tens of millions of people confined to their homes certainly worked in the favor of Extraction, which dominated the streaming service’s Top 10 most-watched list for weeks and became the platform’s most popular original movie ever.
It also helped that Sam Hargrave’s hugely accomplished directorial debut was the sort of no-frills, mid-budget actioner that the major studios rarely invest in these days, delivering a constant barrage of bone-crunching set pieces that made for ideal entertainment for those wanting to switch off from what was going on in the real world.
Unsurprisingly, a sequel was swiftly announced to be in active development, and Extraction 2 is set to start shooting next year. Apart from the opening scene, the first outing told a fairly linear story that began with Hemsworth’s Tyler Rake accepting his mission before he went about his business and punched, shot and stabbed his way through an army of henchmen.
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However, in a recent interview, producers Joe and Anthony Russo hinted that the sequel might not be quite as straightforward, and could adopt a different narrative approach incorporating numerous timelines to track characters other than the leading man.
“We’re trying to find more interesting ways to tell these stories and cross-pollinate them. We’re big fans of just forging new paths in narrative. Can we go backwards and forwards at the same time? Can things that happened in the past affect the movies in the present? What are new ways to tell those stories? And can we see different points of view? Every antagonist is the protagonist in their own story, so can we see their point of view? How do they perceive the world? What makes them empathetic? I think what makes that a compelling element to the Extraction universe is it is a global franchise telling global stories, and we’d like to diversify the point of view in those movies.”
Fans would be happy enough if Extraction 2 delivered the exact same sort of precision engineered choreography that made the first installment such a massive success, but any good sequel should always look to build on and expand the world instead of simply relying on what worked the first time around. In any case, Netflix have stumbled onto what could become one of their marquee franchises, and you can guarantee that Tyler Rake’s return will look to exceed expectations when it eventually arrives.