Lionsgate has officially confirmed that the cast of 2010′s hit action-comedy Red – featuring members of the over-50 crowd like Bruce Willis, John Malkovich and Dame Helen Mirren – will be returning in the sequel, simply titled Red 2.
Moreover, the next Red flick will add some (relatively) younger acting blood to the cast, with new additions like Oscar-winner Catherine-Zeta Jones and Korean actor/Tae Kwon Do specialist Byung-hun Lee (Storm Shadow in the G.I. Joe movie franchise).
Red 2 follows the gang of retired (and extremely dangerous) CIA black-ops agents (Willis, Malkovich, Mirren) on a new adventure where “they use their old-school style to take on a new set of enemies all across Europe.” Taking over directorial duties from Red helmer Robert Schwentke is Oscar-winner Dean Parisot (Galaxy Quest), who will work from a screenplay penned by the same duo responsible for writing the original film, Erich and Jon Hoeber. Unlike the first Red movie, which was loosely based on the comic book by Warren Ellis, the Hoebers will not be drawing inspiration from any exterior source material for the second installment in the series.
Zeta-Jones, who’s been working below most moviegoers’ radars since 2005′s Legend of Zorro, stands to make a comeback this year with her role in the musical Rock of Ages; thereafter, the Chicago alum will make appearances in both Allen Hughes’ Broken City and Steven Soderbergh’s The Bitter Pill, before joining the party for Red 2. Lee, by comparison, should continue to make a good name for himself with this summer’s G.I Joe: Retaliation – has recently added a pair of cult Korean titles to his belt (The Good, the Bad, the Weird and I Saw the Devil) – and should also be received as a welcome addition to the Red sequel, along with Jones.
It should also be mentioned that Mary-Louise Parker is confirmed to reprise her Red role as ordinary gal Sarah Ross in the followup; however, fellow fan-favorite supporting players Karl Urban and Brian Cox are not mentioned in the studio press release. While news of their return would also be greeted with open arms, it’s admittedly less apparent how their respective characters would figure into the plot of Red 2 (without coming off as contrived).
So long as the sequel can replicate the popcorn fun of its predecessor – and features at least one moment as memorable as Malkovich’s face-off with a rocket propelled grenade - it should be good.
Red 2 hits theaters around the U.S. on August 2nd, 2013.