Marvel may not be convinced, but cinema-goers are certainly sold on Scarlett Johansson as a leading action movie star. Her starring role in 2014’s Lucy was one of the surprise hits of that year, grossing over $458 million worldwide (from a budget of $40 million, no less).
All that “humans only use ten percent of their brains” nonsense is obviously a myth, but who needs logic when you’re watching an action movie? That was clearly director Luc Besson’s thought on the matter, and he’s set to stretch credulity even further with a sequel to the film.
In August of 2014 Besson was insistent a sequel couldn’t happen, saying in a promotional interview: “I don’t see how we can do one. It’s not made for that. If I find something good enough, maybe I will, but for now I don’t even think about it.” He’s certainly changed his tune since, with Lucy 2 more or less officially announced as being in development during a presentation at French film trade expo CineEurope, according to THR.
The first Lucy focused on Scarlett Johansson’s titular ditzy blonde being duped into becoming a drug mule, only for the experimental concoction to seep into her bloodstream and open her up to the full potential of the human brain (as explained by Morgan Freeman in some handy expository lectures). Which, in the case of that film, meant being able to dodge bullets, freeze time, and do any martial art that came to mind.
Besson is best known for directing the likes of Leon: The Professional and The Fifth Element, but in recent years he’s been diversifying with screenwriting and producing work under his production company EuropaCorp, who are responsible for the Transporter and Taken films. Along with Lucy 2, the studio’s presentation at CineEurope also touched on Naomi Watts thriller Shut In, the prequel Transporter Refueled, and Nine Lives, a film where Kevin Spacey swaps bodies with a cat.
Following up Lucy will be a challenge, not only because replicating the success of the first film is a tough job, but also because (SPOILERS) Johansson’s character ceased having a corporeal form at the end of it. There’s no word on whether or not the actress will reprise her role – if she’s just a disembodied voice, does that make Lucy a stealth prequel to Spike Jonze’s Her? – or when the sequel will be out, simply that Besson is actually working on it now.
Before that, EuropaCorp will release The Lake from Titanic and Avatar’s second unit director Steven Quale, an “epic underwater action movie” about Navy SEALS searching for lost Nazi gold. The studio also revealed plans for Colombian drug lord biopic Escobar and blockbuster sci-fi comic adaptation Valerian with Dane DeHaan and Cara Delevingne.
Lucy 2 is currently in development. Transporter Refueled will hit cinemas September 14 2015, followed by Shut In in February 2016, Nine Lives on April 29 2016, The Lake in July 2016, and Valerian in 2017.