It looks like Gerard Butler has found himself another franchise. Den of Thieves 2 is officially happening, with the cast from the original, as well as director Christopher Gudegast, set to return for the sequel. Den of Thieves rolled out in the U.S. in January and, though it may not have been a critical darling, the movie managed to rustle up enough business at the box office to justify a sequel, which sounds like it's already well on its way to becoming a reality. The story for the Den of Thieves sequel comes from Gudegast, who will write the script. Here's a brief synopsis provided by Deadline.

"[Den of Thieves 2] will find Big Nick (Butler) on the hunt in the streets of Europe closing in on Donnie (Jackson Jr.) who is embroiled in the dangerous world of diamond thieves and the infamous Panther mafia, as they plot a massive heist of the world's biggest diamond exchange."
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Den of Thieves takes a lot of inspiration from crime thrillers like Heat and The Town. Though, the general consensus seems to be that it isn't quite as good as other comparable crime classics, as the movie currently holds a 39 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Still, money talks and Den of Thieves is making money. So far, the movie has pulled in $57.3 million, $41.3 of which comes from the domestic box office. Plus, the movie still has 35 markets to roll out in, so it should wind up turning a decent profit for the studio. The movie only cost $30 million to produce. Not to mention that 60 percent of the budget was said to be covered by foreign pre-sales, with a tax incentive that made for roughly 70 percent of the budget being covered.

Tucker Tooley, Mark Canton, Alan Siegel and Curtis Jackson, aka 50 Cent, are all slated to return for Den of Thieves 2 alongside Gerard Butler. O'Shea Jackson, Jr. is also expected to be back, but he's currently in negotiations for the sequel and hasn't yet signed on officially. But, it's hard to imagine they would press forward without him, as he's poised to be a central figure in this new movie.

STX Entertainment will distribute Den of Thieves 2 worldwide, with Diamond Film Productions set to finance. Mark Canton and Tucker Tooley will produce the sequel, with Gerard Butler and Alan Siegel's production company G-BASE. 50 Cent will also produce Den of Thieves 2, via his G-Unit Film and Television production company.

Christopher Gudegast made his feature directorial debut with Den of Thieves, but he had worked with Gerard Butler previously, having written the script for London Has Fallen. Butler is busy working on Angel Has Fallen, the third installment of that trilogy, but his schedule looks pretty clear after that, meaning he can get to work on the Den of Thieves sequel. There's no word yet on a release date for Den of Thieves 2, but it sounds like the project is on the fast track, so don't be surprised if it winds up with 2019 release date. This news was first reported by Deadline.