In the era of no-original-ideas Hollywood, even studio suits have to admit that rolling the dice on a “Salt” sequel seems a bit ludicrous. The Angelina Jolie spy film seems impressive when you look at the numbers — just under $300 million worldwide — but when you break it down, it looks less enticing. The film brought in $118 million domestic, just a shade over it’s $110 million budget. Overseas, the film fared better with a $175 million haul. But is anyone really asking for a sequel? The film is all but a distant memory and that other Angelina Jolie spy movie from last year, “The Tourist,” was met with even worse reviews than “Salt” and with both films opening at number two on their respective box office weekends, is banking on another big budget Angelina Jolie movie really the smart play here?
But Sony will press on, as Deadline reports that Kurt Wimmer (“Equilibrium,” “Total Recall“) is back to write the script which — of any of the many problems that “Salt” had — was easily the source of most of the issues. No word yet on where the story will go, but honestly, do you even care? Luckily, Jolie is playing it smart by waiting to see how the script turns out before signing on and hopefully some more sensible heads will prevail before this thing actually happens. But the first film was so poorly put together, with a story that barely held any semblance of logic that we fear where Wimmer will go from here.
Director Phillip Noyce, during interviews last winter for the home video release, announced that he wouldn’t be back for any sequels. “Those 3 [alternate] Blu-ray cuts [of the film] represent just about everything I have to offer on Evelyn Salt,” he said. “If there ever is a sequel, better it’s directed by someone with a completely fresh take on what I believe could be a totally entertaining and complex series of stories.”
“Totally entertaining” and “complex” are words that don’t exactly jive with Wimmer who has been behind such intellectual landmarks of cinema as “Ultraviolet” and “Law Abiding Citizen.” For now, the director’s seat remains open and the project in development. Let’s hope we’re all spared, but if they do make it, they should obviously call it “Saltier.”