Wanted announced the arrival of creator Mark Millar and director Timur Bekmembetov on the Hollywood scene, tapping their out-of-sector cool for what struck me as one of 2008’s least likely hits. A sequel seemed obvious, and Universal put the first film’s screenwriters Michael Brandt and Derek Haas to work in drawing one up.
Then there was a long period of silence. Then I remember hearing that one of the writers of Winnie the Pooh was taking over for a new draft. Then more silence. Lots of silence. There other writers amongst the silence, I think, but the silence pretty much drowned them out.
I hope I can be forgiven for thinking that Wanted 2 had just slipped away, faded to nothing. But, actually, behind the scenes, things have still been moving forwards. Under cover of all that silence, fingers have been hitting the keyboard. Just very quietly.
Derek Haas has been speaking to Hollywood (the website not the district of LA) and told them that he and Brandt were actually rehired last year and have been writing the sequel the way they want it.
We got that call that you always love as a screenwriter. ‘Can you guys please come back?’ We loved the world. That experience was great. We said, ‘Well here’s what we want to do with the sequel.’ And [Universal] said, ‘Okay.’
They’re also pretty clear on what they don’t want to do with the sequel.
Angelina Jolie [as Fox] gets shot in the head and everyone’s like, ‘Oh, are you going to bring back Fox?’ I said, ‘Did you see the bullet go into her head?’ And they say, ‘Oh, she can take one of those milk baths!’ We never wanted to do that movie.
Perhaps the coming and going of Ms. Jolie had an effect the coming and going of writers; it’s not too much of a stretch to see how the project would have shifted as Fox was worked in, worked out, worked in again.
But she’s definitely gone now, and there has to be a story that doesn’t need her. Haas and Brandt have got theirs worked out, but they’ll only share the most basic hook, for now.
The only thing I can tell you is that Wesley is now, four years later, recruiting a young woman who is in his situation in the first movie. She’s got a sh**ty life. He’s sort of in the Fox role. This new girl is brought into the world.
The world of clairvoyant carpets.
Haas says that they will be delivering their next draft of the screenplay imminently. Next question, I suppose, is whether or not Timur Bekembetov will be coming back too.
Mark Millar has recently teased that two Millarworld films will make news in the next couple of weeks. If he’s right and Wanted 2 is one of them, we could see this moving forward pretty quickly.