From humble sleeper hit to bona fide series, the story behind Lionsgate’s Now You See Me franchise has been one riddled with success, and even though The Second Act isn’t set to slink into theaters until 2016, the studio has went one step further to greenlight a third installment in the crime caper franchise.
Speaking at an earnings call earlier today, Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer confirmed that the studio has entered the “early planning” stage in relation to the threequel, and a Now You See Me 3 dovetails with the company’s plan to double down on bankable franchises. Back in 2013, the original movie pulled in an impressive $350 million at the worldwide box office off the back of a $75 million budget, and Lionsgate will be hoping to increase this profit margin moving forward.
In fact, it’s a trend seen across the studio’s roster of IP, what with the recent announcement to push ahead with John Wick 2, not to mention The Hunger Games and Divergent franchises acting as bankable cash cows.
As for Now You See Me: The Second Act, Jon M. Chu will take control of next year’s sequel, which will bring together Mark Ruffalo, Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Lizzy Caplan – in lieu of Isla Fisher – Dave Franco, Morgan Freeman and Michael Caine. There are also roles for Daniel Radcliffe, Jay Chou and Sanaa Lathan.
When you consider that there is still more than a year between now and the release of the sequel, Lionsgate future-proofing plan may appear bold, but it’s one that will ultimately be determined by the critical and indeed commercial reception that Chu’s follow-up in due time.
Now You See Me: The Second Act opens on June 10, 2016.