EXCLUSIVE: While there has been much talk, a sequel to “Wanted” has been moving slowly. While the original writers were hired to pen a sequel last fall, it remained to seen how they would continue from the blood-soaked finale of the first film, a breakneck comic book actioner from director Timur Bekmambetov that grossed $341 million worldwide. With an ending featuring a bloodbath that killed the most important characters, not to mention the biggest names in the cast, a follow-up looked like a tricky proposition, but it looks like that particular story nut has been cracked.
We spoke to Bekmambetov over the weekend during press rounds for “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” and learned that “Wanted 2” is very much moving forward. “An unbelievable thing happened three weeks ago,” Bekmambetov said. “Because we stopped, we didn’t know what to do for three or four years. Three weeks ago I came up with a great idea and I pitched this idea and everybody fell in love with it. And now I think we’re on track. Right now the writer is working on the script, and it will be shocking.”
It seems to suggest the status quo, or what’s left of it, would be shaken up, though Bekmambetov says it would closely follow the events of the first film. “It’s a continuation of the story, with Wesley Gibson,” he confirms, discussing the character played by James McAvoy in the first film. But he laments, “Other people are dead, you know, we can’t bring them back. The story is the same character, same mythology, but it’s got a great twist.”
He’s also spent the last four years developing “Moby Dick,” a big screen version of the famed novel by Herman Melville. “I am trying to touch all famous American icons. Moby Dick, Lincoln, Edison,” he joked, the last one referring to one of his next directorial efforts, “The Current War” (“It’s an unbelievable script”). “It will be a bigger than life story, and it’s got a great twist for the famous story. The idea is, it’s exactly what’s in the book, from a different character point of view.”
However, don’t look for Bekmambetov’s Ridley Scott-produced adaptation of “20,000 Leagues Under The Sea.” One of many Jules Verne adaptations at major studios, it seems as if it’s very mention had struck a chord with Bekmambetov. He does confirm that it’s not dead, however, saying, “It’s still somewhere, it’s not really moving forward. I was busy with Lincoln, so I didn’t have time. I don’t really want to talk about it, because I don’t really like where we are at now, and it’s not really something I want to do. And I don’t know if they will find a way to fix it.”
“Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” opens this Friday.