Louis Leterrier’s 2013 magicians and con artists thriller Now You See Me was an out-of-left-field hit, a crackling ensemble film that dropped into theaters amidst the likes of busy blockbusters like Fast & Furious 6 and Star Trek Into Darkness… but surprised the industry by having massive legs. By the time it was finished, the film had banked a whopping $117.7 million domestically, and a powerful $351 million worldwide, carried by the drawing power of the film’s personable co-stars: Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Isla Fisher, Mark Ruffalo, Morgan Freeman and Dave Franco. The sequel was greenlit, and today, we picked up a few details on the production’s possible future.
Dave Franco jumped on the phone with me this afternoon to talk about Neighbors, the hysterical dudes-versus-parents comedy from director Nicolas Stoller that will entertain audiences beginning next week. It’s one of a few winners Franco has on his summer agenda, which also includes June’s massive sequel, 22 Jump Street (where he says he has a brief, but memorable cameo in a prison cell). And he thinks he’s going from this busy summer into the planned Now You See Me 2, which allegedly is filming at the end of the year.
On the topic of that sequel, Dave Franco told me:
Last I heard, we were still going at the end of this year. … I’ve heard a pitch of the story. It’s actually going to be really exciting. I was slightly weary, just because you never know when it comes to a sequel. But I think the first one opened up enough avenues. There are many directions left to explore. There are many places that it can go, and they really – they held true to the spirit of the first one, but it’s going to be enough of a departure that it doesn’t just feel like a complete copy of the first one."
Franco went on to explain that a big portion of Now You See Me 2 will be spent exploring who this tight-knit band of illusionists really are off of the stage. As he mentions, they spent so much time in the first movie on a stage, in various states of performance, and the team now wants to figure out who they are as individuals – and likely, who they can scam next.
Who will be back for Now Your See Me 2 (or, Now You Still See Me)? Louis Leterrier is scheduled to return to the director’s chair. Most of the original cast is expected to return, while Deadline reported in February that locations will shift to Europe and Asia to capitalize on the first film’s international successes. While he waits for that script, Dave Franco kills it opposite Zac Efron in Neighbors, which opens on May 9. Check it out.