Universal hasn’t been having the best year so far. Sure, they had an unexpected hit in the Seth MacFarlane comedy “Ted” and “Snow White and the Huntsmen” probably did just well enough to merit a sequel (writer David Koepp, who specializes in oversized blockbusters, is hard at work as we speak). But they have also been saddled with pricey duds like waterlogged board game adaptation “Battleship,” violent drug world freak-out “Savages,” and stillborn romantic comedy “The Five-Year Engagement.” So it’s no surprise they’ll want to seize upon one of their few hits and produce a follow-up, which is what they’re doing in the case of the Ryan Reynolds/Denzel Washington thriller “Safe House,” according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The report states that David Guggenheim, who wrote the original film on spec while working as an editor at Us Weekly, is already working on the script for the sequel and Scott Stuber is also returning as a producer, via his Universal-housed Bluegrass Films shingle. The report states that Universal is intent on bringing back both Reynolds and Washington, even though (can you really issue a spoiler alert six months after the movie came out? If so: spoiler alert) Washington’s character died in the first movie.
If you missed it, “Safe House” concerned a young CIA agent (Reynolds), who is stuck in a lousy office position in South Africa, but after most of his contemporaries are murdered, is put in charge of bringing in Washington’s character, a super bad-ass and former agent who has become public enemy number one.
The movie was pretty boilerplate, by-the-numbers stuff, but it was energetically directed by “Snabba Cash” helmer Daniel Espinosa, and proved to be a hit at the box office, bringing in $126 million domestically and $202 million worldwide. As of now it’s unclear whether or not Espinosa will return, and whether the film is a sequel or a prequel.
Guggenheim’s other big spec sale, “Stolen” (formerly “Medallion“), starring Nicolas Cage and directed by “Expendables 2” filmmaker Simon West, opens later this month and the writer was working with Tony Scott on the underwater drug running thriller “Narco Sub” at the time of the director’s tragic suicide. The status of “Narco Sub” remains foggy, but whoever takes over from Scott, you know they won’t nearly be as badass. Guggenheim also just signed his first book deal (with co-writer and college buddy Nick Mennuti). Their novel, entitled “Exile,” about an American businessman living in exile in Cambodia who gets mistaken for a spy, will be published by Little, Brown imprint Mulholland Books next year.
Either way “Safe House 2” is on the way. Could it be what Bourne was to Matt Damon for Ryan Reynolds? Time will tell.