After the popularity of the first Now You See Me movie back in 2013, Lionsgate decided to follow up their tale of a group of highly skilled illusionists who utilize magic as a means of robbing banks with a sequel. Now You See Me 2 brought back the original main cast of Jesse Eisenberg, Mark Ruffalo, Woody Harrelson, Dave Franco, Morgan Freeman, and Michael Caine, but this time also added some new faces with Daniel Radcliffe and Lizzy Caplan (The Night Before). Though the sequel somewhat underperformed domestically, the international market helped bolster its gross to a point where a third film is a financially viable prospect.
Less than six months since Now You See Me 2 was released in theaters, the third installment in the franchise is in the works. The project is currently in the scripting stages, and Lionsgate has officially hired its writers for Now You See Me 3. There’s no definite confirmation of who will direct this third offering, but as of this writing there is word that Now You See Me 2 director John M. Chu is attached once more.
According to Deadline, the film has tapped Neil Widener and Gavin James for scripting duties. The duo was recently hired to write the sequel to the 2015 Dwayne Johnson-led, earthquake adventure San Andreas and will also be getting to work on Battle of Alcatraz, an action-adventure tale set in 1946 at San Francisco’s notorious Alcatraz prison. As fairly new writers on the Hollywood scene, these sorts of accomplishments are no small feat, meaning there’s likely a lot of confidence in their ability to produce scripts that not only maintain the momentum of current franchises, but will also create new ones as well.
After Now You See Me 2’s less than spectacular domestic performance this past summer, it would be nice if Widener and James could breathe some new life into the franchise. There’s never been any shortage of talent involved in the films, but neither film in the series has been much of a hit with critics. Audiences on the other hand, warmed to the first entry but remained slightly less interested in its sequel. With some of the biggest stars in Hollywood involved, the question has often been asked as to why these films aren’t bigger hits. Perhaps Widener and James can help bring out the true potential in the next installment.
Now You See Me 3 is rumored to feature the return of its cast, though that has yet to be confirmed. If the third film in the franchise can secure these same stars once more as well as offering an action-packed story befitting of the talent involved, then the third time just might be the charm for the Now You See Me franchise. There’s no word yet as to when the new film is due in theaters, but as Lionsgate doesn’t seem to be interested in taking their time with this franchise, the smart money is on a summer 2018 release.
Screen Rant will keep you updated on all Now You See Me 3 news.