The Bourne Legacy and Identity Thief Sequels Moving Forward at Universal
Universal Chairman Adam Fogelson helped push the studio to its highest-grossing year worldwide in 2012, with hits like Ted, Dr. Seuss' the Lorax and Les Miserables pulling in millions of dollars at the box office. But the studio currently lacks a franchise, and is the only studio amongst the heavyweights to not yet have a billion-dollar grossing movie amongst its back catalogue of hits.
Fogelson hopes to change that in the near future, as he plans to move forward on a number of sequels to recent audience favorites. He gave an update on potential franchise starters The Bourne Legacy and Snow White and the Huntsman, and even announced that a sequel to their most recent hit, the comedy Identity Thief with Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy, is on its way. If its not a direct sequel, the two comedic talents will work together again in some capacity. The Chairman also says that an adapation of the hit Broadway musical Wicked is not that far off, even despite Oz: The Great and Powerful's current stealing of that particular spotlight.
"We're actively developing the movie right now with Kristen Stewart 's character central, as well as the Huntsman role. We think that for a first movie out of the gate to do basically $400 million worldwide, there is a lot of opportunity. I don't think Rupert Sanders is pursuing the next Snow White as a directing opportunity."
As previously rumored, the Universal Chairman does confirm that Matt Damon is insterested in returning for another Bourne, but that The Bourne Legacy also opened the door for many different franchise opportunities.
"The point of the last movie was to create a universe, a world and characters that give us a lot of freedom and flexibility in how we go forward. Yeah, the movie didn't perform the way the last one did. It also didn't cost what the last one did. It performed more along the lines of how the first one did. I absolutely see us doing more Bourne, 100 percent yes. Matt Damon has talked about the possibility of coming back, and we totally respect that and are excited if and when he wants to have conversations. But I think the last movie gave us a big bunch of options to pursue a next chapter."
Maybe this will surprise some, as it garnered horrible reviews, but another Identity Thief is also on the table at Universal.
"Absolutely a conversation that we're having. We think we created great characters, so we'll discuss how to re-pair Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy going forward."
Finally, Adam revealed that the highly anticipated big screen adaptation of Wicked is closer than it ever has been before.
"Wicked has been an enormous win for this company [Universal is majority owner of the Broadway musical]. The way it works, we should be in agreement together on when the right time to do this is. But I will tell you I believe that we are collectively moving toward Wicked coming to the screen sooner rather than later."