Proof That Not All Hollywood Sequel Announcements Are Bad News

By  · Published on December 10th, 2013

If you’ve read FSR for a while you know that unlike some movie sites we like to add commentary and opinion to the news we’re reporting, and since a lot of what Hollywood produces are sequels and remakes you’ve probably also noticed that once in a blue moon our opinions can lean toward the critical. But seriously, they’re remaking Poltergeist and Videodrome, so can you really blame us?

But while negativity breeds louder and funnier jokes, not all such announcements meet our ears with the expected skepticism and disappointment intact. Case in point are a pair of news items that hit over the weekend and immediately put a smile on my face. It’s worth noting that neither represents an official announcement and production starts on both are at least a year or two away, but hot damn this is good news all the same.

First up are some new details regarding a sequel to 2012’s criminally underseen Jack Reacher. The Tom Cruise film did okay enough domestically, but international box-office helped push it over $200m which was enough for Paramount to cautiously move forward on a follow-up. The first film is a surprisingly entertaining ’90s action throwback that’s higher on character and attitude than it is on massive explosions or set pieces. This much we’ve known, but per Deadline Cruise and company have officially decided on which of Lee Child’s seventeen other Reacher novels should be adapted for the sequel.

They settled on the most recently published one, Never Go Back. It makes sense in that it’s freshest in readers’ minds, but that won’t be the case in another year or two obviously. Another possible reason it was chosen is that it reportedly features a teenage girl character that could potentially be used to broaden the film’s appeal to a younger demographic. I don’t know about all that as I’m only fifteen books into the series, but I prefer to think it’s not true as Reacher is no fan of sidekicks.

But while I shudder at the thought of a Selena Gomez-like creature being cast in the role I’m perfectly content as long as Cruise and Christopher McQuarrie stay in the picture. McQuarrie wrote and directed the first film, and while Cruise wants him back in the director’s chair it’s unclear at this point if he’ll have time even if someone else handles script duties. The duo are working together on Mission: Impossible 5 so expect more news as that film’s production progresses.

And then there’s the most unexpected but most welcome sequel news of the week.

Director Peter Berg has a new movie opening in a couple weeks, but the biggest news to come out of his promotion for Lone Survivor is in regard to something a bit older on his resume. No, I’m not referring to his recent decision that a new Friday Night Lights movie would be a bad idea.

It’s even better than that.

Per an interview Berg gave with Collider, he’s apparently actively looking for writers to pen a sequel to his decade-old action/comedy, The Rundown. The 2003 film starred Dwayne Johnson, then acting under his Christian name The Rock, and Seann William Scott as a mismatched pair on an adventure in the Amazon jungle. The duo face off against multiple enemies, but their main adversary is an ornery Christopher Walken. The cast’s chemistry is fantastic with all three leads delivering the laughs, and its bolstered by some fun and often impressive action/fight scenes.

Berg has already spoken with Johnson about returning, but it appears Scott isn’t part of the equation. “I really want to do it,” Berg says. “I’ve talked to Dwayne. I have an actor in mind that I can’t say that I want to work with Dwayne on it, and we want to do it.” That’s a bit of a shame as the role was one of the rare times where Scott’s particular brand of ego and sarcasm worked to perfection (Role Models is the other), but hopefully Berg has someone equally suitable in mind. Either way, this is a couple years off as in addition to the ongoing search for writers Berg and Johnson have their respective plates full.

I’m already smiling, though, and will be first in line for both of them.

Rob Hunter has been writing for Film School Rejects since before you were born, which is weird seeing as he's so damn young. He's our Chief Film Critic and Associate Editor and lists 'Broadcast News' as his favorite film of all time. Feel free to say hi if you see him on Twitter @FakeRobHunter.