The Accountant is off to a fantastic start at the box office. The movie not only opened at number one this weekend, pulling in nearly $25 million, but it's even already looking like one of Ben Affleck's most successful movies. It's this kind of win that usually gets Hollywood buzzing about sequel potential -- and director Gavin O'Connor is totally on-board with that idea.
Earlier this month, I had the pleasure of sitting down with Gavin O'Connor for a one-on-one interview during a Los Angeles press event for The Accountant, and it was at the very end of the conversation that I asked him about the potential future for Ben Affleck's autistic hero, Christian Wolff. As it was more than a week before the movie's opening at the time, I set up a hypothetical for the filmmaker, asking if he could see himself working on a The Accountant 2 if the first one made enough money to warrant it. Without hesitation, he explained exactly why he would love the chance to make a sequel:
I would love to make another movie with Chris - another movie with Ben [Affleck], another movie with this cast. I would love to create another original way to tell the story, because the origin is there. We understand all that, so now we don't need to go to the flashbacks, because you understand who he is now.
This is a storytelling trick that a lot of filmmakers and audiences are learning nowadays, particularly thanks to the dominance of the superhero genre. While the first movie in a potential franchise typically has to be used to set up a backstory and explain who the hero is, once all that is out of the way you can use the sequel to basically tell any story you want. It's because of this kind of thinking that sequels have started to vastly improve in the modern blockbuster era, and The Accountant is a perfect candidate for the treatment given the strength of Ben Affleck's lead character.
What it may also interest you to know is that Gavin O'Connor's thinking about a possible The Accountant 2 hasn't merely been limited to the question of whether or not he would want to make it. Rather, the director told me that he already has a very clear idea of the subject matter he wants to deal with in the follow-up -- and it's pretty damn dark. Said the director,
In the second one, if we're ever fortunate to do it, I keep having this idea of a Catcher in the Rye kind of thing. He's surrounded by children, dealing with slavery and these kids that are sex slaves and things like that... If there's a way to deal with that subject matter and him saving children, that's something I'd be really interested in doing.
When you take into consideration Christian Wolff's autism, pairing him with children for a potential The Accountant 2 is definitely an interesting idea. After all, kids can be chaotic, impatient noise machines, and while Christian will certainly want to help them because of his strong ethics, they should also really push his sensitivities to a limit. Trying to save them could be as much of a test for him as a hero as any paces that the villain orchestrating the child slavery ring puts him through.
For now, the idea of a The Accountant 2 is merely hypothetical, but it certainly has the potential to become a possibility. Stay tuned for updates!