As insane as it may sound on the surface, Lionsgate is about to move ahead and make the magic-centric Now You See Me crime thriller franchise into a trilogy. Now You See Me 2 came out over the summer and sneakily pulled in some decent box office dollars. So, the studio has hired a couple of up-and-coming writers to pen the script for Now You See Me 3.

According to a new report from Deadline, screenwriters Neil Widener and Gavin James, who were also recently hired to write San Andreas 2, have been brought in to pen the script for Now You See Me 3. The pair could quickly become known as the guys who write unlikely sequels, but at least San Andreas 2 has Dwayne Johnson to help anchor it. In any case, Now You See Me 3 is happening and most of the central cast is expected to return. So get ready to see The Four Horsemen do some more totally unrealistic magic and commit major Robin Hood style crimes

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The original Now You See Me did fairly well and went on to gross $351.7 million worldwide on a $75 million budget, which represented a pretty decent return for Lionsgate. Though, at least at the time, it didn't exactly feel like a franchise film. However, Now You See Me 2 brought in a similar return on investment, bringing in $334 million worldwide. The original also did quite well once it was released on DVD/Blu-ray and digital, as well as getting quite a bit of play on cable. There is no reason to expect Now You See Me 2 won't be able to do the same, so that further helps justify the seemingly eventual existence of Now You See Me 3.

Neil Widener and Gavin James are quickly becoming a sought after writing duo. They got their break writing the upcoming Battle Of Alcatraz, which Paramount purchased last year, but there was competition from other studios to land the movie. That movie will be set in the famous prison and center on a famous 1946 escape attempt by six inmates. That apparently got them noticed, because that landed them both the San Andreas 2 gig as well as Now You See Me 3.

Now You See Me 2 wasn't exactly a critical smash, as it currently sits at a 34 percent critic score on Rotten Tomatoes, but seemed to fare much better with fans. That seems to echo what happened with the first Now You See Me as well. Though critics didn't hate the original quite as much, they still didn't seem to love it either. The sequel added some star power with Daniel Radcliffe and Lizzy Caplan, but Isla Fisher didn't return. There is no word yet on an anticipated release date for Now You See Me 3, but Jon Chu is expected to return to direct.

Ryan Scott at Movieweb
Ryan Scott