A couple of weeks ago news came out, by way of Hancock director Peter Berg, that the full cast was returning for the recently announced, Hancock 2. It wasn't official word from the studio that the cast was returning, but Berg sounded pretty sure of himself.
But wait! One of the main cast members, Arrested Development's Jason Bateman, has put the breaks on this Hancock 2 casting news, saying that no one has contacted him about returning. When we reported the Will Smith and Charlize Theron were coming back, we did point out that the news didn't explicitly include Bateman, but when Berg says, "everybody," I think we can assume he meant the trio of main actors, Smith, Theron and Bateman. Here's what Bateman told HitFix about the Hancock 2 casting:
"I only know what I've read... No one has contacted me or anyone who represents me have to ask if we're interested or if we would. I know nothing about it. So, it's surprising to me that Variety and The Hollywood Reporter would write that story, because they are usually pretty well vetted before they write something and that was completely false. I haven't heard anything about it and the whole thing about me being on board? Couldn't be farther from the truth."
Maybe Variety and Hollywood Reporter should read more Screen Rant, since we broke this story down the right way...
Those looking forward to Hancock 2 (and more specifically, the cast coming back) will be glad to know Bateman added that even though he's not heard anything, he'd personally love to return. But nonetheless, this does put a bit of a damper on the apparent moving forward of the Hancock sequel, which already has two new writers already working on a script. There's no word yet on whether or not Smith or Theron have been contacted, but if Bateman hasn't, maybe they haven't either?
On top of this news, we also recently learned that Peter Berg has signed-on to direct the live-action Battleship, and attached to other projects as well, such as Lone Survivor and the long-awaited new Dune adaptation. So I'll ask yet again what I asked last week: Will we see a change of director for Hancock 2? If the studio is hoping to move forward with it soon (why else would they have hired two new writers?), and Berg is busy (he's said it himself), I don't know if it can really be helped.
Also, if Sony is eager to get Hancock 2 in theaters ASAP, shouldn't they contact the cast? Just a thought...
What do you think of the monkey-wrench Bateman has thrown into the works of Hancock 2? Could you see the studio getting a new director since Berg has a lot on his plate?
Hancock 2 is currently in the development stages and doesn't have release date yet.