It’s time for some frank talk: unless something drastic happens, American Ultra is not going to get a sequel. The movie didn’t even crack the top five at the box office in its opening weekend, reviews haven’t been kind, and no one is particularly clamoring for more. But none of that is going to stop writer Max Landis from talking about the sequel that could have been.
Sitting down with The Daily Beast, Landis, who is well known for saying exactly what is on his mind at all times, revealed that he already had an American Ultra sequel in mind. This time around, it would switch things up and put Kristen Stewart’s character front and center, making her the action-movie badass. He said:
American Ultra might not make enough money for a sequel, but the sequel is a Kristen Stewart action movie. Mike at the very beginning gets taken away and hypnotized, reprogrammed, by a bad guy—so Jesse and Kristen are apart the whole movie. It’s Kristen against everyone. But that’s a dream. And I’ve learned my lesson after Chronicle. These worlds are so big in my head. These characters are so real, and I can tell you anything about them. And then something doesn’t make enough money.
Not to ruin anything for those of you still intending to see American Ultra, but the end is very much set up so that more movies can easily follow, should the demand for such a thing arise. And as remote as it may be, there could possibly still be a chance for American Ultra 2: Kristen Stewart’s Revenge (that’s what I would call it anyway).
Though the movie only took in $5.5 million dollars in its debut, finishing in sixth place at the box office, despite a fairly big name cast—Kristen Stewart, Jesse Eisenberg, Walton Goggins, Topher Grace, Bill Pullman, John Leguizamo, and Connie Britton—it doesn’t wasn’t the most expensive movie to produce, with a reported $28 million budget. There are some explosions, and one scene in particular obviously required a ton of black lights, but aside from that, any expenditure appear to be rather minimal.
While I wasn’t super into the movie, it’s not hard to imagine it finding a niche cult fan base once it hits the home video market. If it does find a big enough audience, you can imagine a scenario where a sequel could maybe, just maybe, be in the cards. That’s a big if—even a movie like Dredd, which tanked at the box office but broke records on Blu-ray, isn’t likely to get a follow up anytime soon, despite the fact that people keep talking about it happening. That, however, is also a much more expensive style of film than American Ultra.
If you don’t know, the story of American Ultra follows a stoner convenience store clerk (Jesse Eisenberg) who just so happens to be an undercover CIA sleeper agent. When he’s activated, all hell breaks loose in his small town and he goes on the run with his girlfriend (Kristen Stewart). It does sound like fodder for midnight movie screenings, but we’ll have to wait and see if a sequel with an ass kicking Kristen Stewart waits in our future.