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Summer 2016 saw a sleeper hit born out of director Gavin O’Connor and star Ben Affleck’s surprise smash hit The Accountant. It was a movie that felt ripe to be franchised, and not too long after the initial release, it looked like that wasn’t too far off from the truth. But then the project seemed to vanish into thin air, with little to no updates over the last five years. So the recent announcement that O’Connor and Affleck are in fact re-teaming for The Accountant 2, along with co-star Jon Bernthal, is something that feels absolutely random, but at the same time long overdue.
Joining CinemaBlend's ReelBlend podcast, Gavin O’Connor broke the news to our hosts, and in a rather interesting way. While The Accountant 2 was confirmed in the works, it was at the cost of dismissing a sequel to The Way Back. Still, reading O’Connor’s affirmation that the long-awaited return of Ben Affleck’s Christian Wolff, who's part vigilante and part forensic accountant, is too sweet not to share:
There will not be a Way Back sequel, but we are doing an Accountant sequel. We literally just closed that deal. We’re doing The Accountant again.
That’s not all of the good news that Gavin O’Connor had to share with the ReelBlend boys. After confirming that The Accountant 2 is officially on the table, the director of The Way Back dished a couple of details about what the sequel’s story will be doing. But the real gem is the fact that there’s two big reasons The Accountant 2 is being made.
The first is so that Jon Bernthal, whose character Braxton was revealed to be Christian’s long lost brother in the third act, can play a bigger role. Which leads to the second huge factor: The Accountant 2 has to happen so that The Accountant 3 can also be brought to life. Here’s how Gavin O’Connor laid out both of these ambitious sequels:
Yeah. Yeah. So, I've always wanted to do three because what, the second one's going to be more with -- we're going to integrate his brother into the story. So there'll be more screen time for Bernthal in the second one. And then the third movie’s going to be, I call it, ‘Rain Man on steroids.’ The third movie is going to be the two brothers, this odd couple. The third one is going be a buddy picture.
The prospects for The Accountant 2 have been a bit of a rollercoaster over the past couple of years. As recently as 2019, Ben Affleck still spoke positively about the film’s chances, and noted that ideas were being kicked around. One such prospect was to turn the sequel into a potential TV series, which, judging by what Gavin O’Connor has to say about two presumably theatrical sequels, would have made sense. Though as early as last spring, it sounded like major hopes for The Accountant 2 were pretty much dashed.
During our interview with the director for The Way Back, we asked if The Accountant 2 was still a priority. And at the time, Gavin O’Connor seemed to be somewhat uncertain about the prospect, in a way that almost made another adventure with the Wolff brothers rather unlikely. His official response, as of early 2020, was as follows:
I don’t know. It’s not at the top of my list. You know, it’s been done.
Of course, the ensuing events of the COVID-19 pandemic bringing the industry to a standstill may have played a part in changing Gavin O’Connor’s mind on The Accountant 2. Perhaps some tinkering with the ideas that he, Ben Affleck and writer Bill Dubuque had initially waded through yielded an idea too good to pass up. Whatever led all parties to supposedly jump back in and close the deal, it did the trick. And we now have renewed hopes for not one, but two Accountant follow ups in the years to come.
Unfortunately, there’s no further information as to when we can expect those films. At the moment, 2021’s release schedule still has plenty of films to account for in the coming months. Though Ben Affleck fans won’t have to wait too long to see him again, as he’ll be seen in Ridley Scott’s The Last Duel in October. And you can next catch Jon Bernthal in The Many Saints of Newark, which hits theaters and HBO Max on October 1. Should you want to see Tony Soprano's origin story in the comfort of your own home, check out the latest subscription offer that'll welcome you into the family of HBO Max.