One of the more entertaining action flicks I’ve seen in the last few years is Timur Bekmambetov’s adaptation of Wanted, starring Angelina Jolie and James McAvoy as bullet-bending assassins fighting for their lives. Between Bekmambetov’s visual prowess and the film’s gleeful amount of gun-firing intensity, I walked out of the film like I’d just hopped off an amusement park thrill ride, ready to give the whole ordeal another go around.
After finding box office success, producers were also keen to give the property another go, and the studio hired back original writers Michael Brandt and Derek Haas to delve deeper into J.G. Jones and Mark Millar’s source comic for an even more explosive sequel – then everything went dark on Wanted 2. The only real bit of concrete news we learned was that Angelina Jolie wouldn’t be reprising her role for the sequel, because, (SPOILER ALERT), you know, she’s dead and all, and that McAvoy would have a new love interest moving forward. Of course, it was back in 2012 when Jolie confirmed she wouldn’t partake in a sequel, and since then there hasn’t been much movement because no one wants to proceed without the perfect script – a surprisingly dignified move for a studio to make.
Since I had the chance to catch up with James McAvoy today while he was in New York City promoting The Disappearance Of Eleanor Rigby, I figured I’d roll the dice and see how things are moving along with Wanted 2. What McAvoy said wasn’t his typical jargon, revealing an interesting bit towards the end of his response:
James McAvoy: They’ve been talking about it for a long time. I’ve read a couple of scripts, and you’ve got to take your hat off to the studio – they weren’t going to do it unless they got the right thing, and I don’t think that thing has come about yet. If it does, I don’t even know if it will involve me. It’s been such a long time. “What happens to Wesley next? Wow, 15 years happens to Wesley!” So, I don’t really know if I’d even be in it.
WGTC: Do you want to reclaim your role if the sequel does come about?
James McAvoy: Yeah! Totally! You kidding? I had such a laugh. Brilliant fun.
So, while echoing the same sentiment about the studio refusing to move ahead without the right story, McAvoy added how he’s not even sure that he’d be a viable character come Wanted 2. Admitting that he’s read numerous scripts, it makes one wonder if there’s an idea floating around for Wanted 2 that doesn’t involve McAvoy at all, and if that’s the project studios are giving the most thought to. If you’ve read the original Wanted comics, you’ll know that there are numerous assassin fraternities that didn’t make Bekmambetov’s original film, so it’s entirely feasible that a fresh crew of rookies become the focal point of the possible sequel – I only say this because I haven’t heard McAvoy talk about not being a part of Wanted 2 as of yet. I sincerely hope this isn’t a foreshadowing event.
As the Wanted 2 saga continues to unfold, we’ll keep you in the know as more information surfaces. Let me ask, though – would you see Wanted 2 if James McAvoy wasn’t involved? Wouldn’t it be in the studio’s best interest to bring their star back, or do you trust that if the story is good enough, you’ll get over having an entirely new cast? Sounds like a gamble if you ask me.