While out doing the press rounds for ABRAHAM LINCOLN: VAMPIRE HUNTER (opening nationwide this Friday), director Timur Bekmambetov managed to drop some pretty juicy details to Indiewire about the long-gestating sequel to his 2008 hit WANTED.
Per Indiewire: "An unbelievable thing happened three weeks ago," Bekmambetov said. "Because we stopped, we didn't know what to do for three or four years. Three weeks ago I came up with a great idea and I pitched this idea and everybody fell in love with it. And now I think we're on track. Right now the writer is working on the script, and it will be shocking."
It seems to suggest the status quo, or what's left of it, would be shaken up, though Bekmambetov says it would closely follow the events of the first film. "It's a continuation of the story, with Wesley Gibson," he confirms, discussing the character played by James McAvoy in the first film. But he laments, "Other people are dead, you know, we can't bring them back. The story is the same character, same mythology, but it's got a great twist."
Long story short: Bekmambetov and the studio gave up on trying to bring back Angelina Jolie and Morgan Freeman and opted to focus on the character who didn't (SPOILER ALERT!!!) get a bullet to the brain pan. Squish.
This is a good call. McAvoy has more than proven himself as a leading man (X-MEN: FIRST CLASS, THE CONSPIRATOR). With Jolie and Freeman's characters dead, McAvoy doesn't have to worry about them hogging the spotlight anymore. The time has come to let the man shine. Here's hoping the suits do just that and don't hire another duo of BIG STARS to bury the poor guy again.
USELESS KNOWLEDGE: James McAvoy screen-tested for the role of Wesley Gibson in early 2006 but was initially rejected, as the studio wanted a more "conventional" leading man. He was later recalled when the producers decided that his character was more "the runt of the litter". The studio ultimately changed its mind and wanted someone geeky. McAvoy got the part.