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Now You See Me was a surprise hit for Lionsgate, banking a hefty $350 million during the summer of 2013 and launching a potential franchise out of what could have been just a castoff standalone con game. Now that the movie has whet an audience’s appetite for more magic tricks, Lionsgate is moving ahead with Now You See Me 2, and they think they found the perfect director.
Jon M. Chu, who has helmed three Step Up movies and a G.I. Joe sequel, is in talks to take over the reigns of Now You See Me 2, according to Variety. The sequel plans a fall shoot, and we have been hearing that there are international locations planned for the production. Earlier this year, we spoke with Dave Franco about his involvement in the sequel, and he told us:
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."
The original Now You See Me starred Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Isla Fisher and Dave Franco as rival magicians and illusionists who pulled off a series of escalating capers as The Four Horsemen. Mark Ruffalo was the law enforcement agent working to take them down. A last-minute twist turned everything we thought we knew about the group on its ear, setting up several potential avenues for Now You See Me 2.
No clue yet as to why the original Now You See Me director, Louis Leterrier, isn’t returning to helm the sequel. Last August, he was in the conversation to continue telling the story of The Four Horsemen. IMDB has him attached to Grimsby, a 2015 comedy with Sacha Baron Cohen, Rebel Wilson and Mark Strong. Maybe the production schedule on that kept him off Now You See Me 2?
As for Jon M. Chu, he’s hard at work on the live-action Jem and the Holograms movie, which has been stacking its cast and preparing to film. If he lands the Now You See Me 2 gig, I’m assuming he’d move to it right after Jem. And seeing how he helmed the over-the-top action of G.I. Joe: Retaliation, he strikes me as an interesting and exciting choice to continue the magic in the Now You See Me storyline.