“The Momentum Has Been Lost…”

Wanted, starring James McAvoy and Angelina Jolie, was released in 2008 to mostly positive reviews. The movie took some major liberties with Mark Millar and J. G. Jones’ comic book of the same name, but a $342.5 million haul meant a sequel was all but guaranteed. 

Millar initially got involved with the movie and Chris Morgan was tapped to pen the screenplay. Ultimately, the Fast & Furious scribe’s heavy workload saw him leave the project, with Evan Spiliotopoulos announced as his replacement. 

Jolie was supposed to reprise her role as Fox, only to pull out of the sequel…prompting yet another rewrite. Work was halted and, in 2011, Wanted co-writers Michael Brandt and Derek Haas were enlisted to write their version. So, all these years later, why has Wanted 2 still not happened?

Talking to MovieWeb, Brandt blamed director Timur Bekmambetov for wanting to take the movie in a different direction, explaining how the creative clash led to the sequel being “left behind.”

“We had an idea for a sequel. We pitched it, wrote it. And it seems like there was some real interest in the studio to make it. And then Timur, who directed the first one, absolutely was interested as well. But he had a kind of a different idea for what he wanted to do… And it’s just one of those moments where somebody says the wrong thing in terms of our movie going forward, and the script that we’d written going forward.”

“[He] suggested some changes. And it kind of took the wind out of the sails at the studio. And then, the studio’s turnover is ‘fast and furious,’ to borrow a phrase. And I think the sequel of Wanted just kind of got left behind as other things started going forward.”

“So there’s a script, I’d love to see it get made, and I really liked it. I thought it was a proper sequel to the first one. But so far, the momentum has been lost. I do get a call every now and then from some producer who says, ‘Can we reinvigorate this thing? And I say, ‘Yeah, here’s the script.’ And they say, ‘Wow, we love the script.’ And I say, ‘Cool, call the studio.’ And then it seems to die there for some reason.”

We’ve heard that Brandt and Haas’ Wanted 2 was going to take place several years after the original with a new female protagonist. Bekmambetov, however, had an idea to put a new spin on the story and the creative standstill followed. 

At this point, enough time has passed that the movie happening seems unlikely. There was a time when Millar’s comic book properties were a hot commodity in Hollywood, but none of his Millarworld adaptations on Netflix really took off and movies like Nemesis and Starlight have fallen by the wayside. 

Stay tuned for updates on the Wanted franchise as we have them.