Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane's Ted was a surprise strong success at the box office, taking in some $395 million worldwide while racking up solid reviews from critics and casual moviegoers alike. The Jeremy Renner-headlined Bourne spinoff, The Bourne Legacy, has proven to be somewhat of a disappointment by comparison - with a series-low $182 million global take on a $125 million budget, as well as a more lukewarm reception than its predecessors.
Universal, however, knows there's still life in the Bourne name - especially if Matt Damon returns for a future installment - so the studio still plans to make Bourne 5 and beyond. A Ted sequel (we'll call it Ted 2 for now) looks to become a reality for $imilar reasons.
NBCUniversal CEO Steve Burke has announced (via THR) that Universal Pictures is focused on increasing its animated feature output, following the success of such films as Despicable Me and The Lorax - that is, in addition to putting an increased emphasis on developing and maintaining live-action franchises from hereon out. Hence, Burke says the Bourne franchise will live on; meanwhile, he and his fellow studio executives plan to jump-start development on Ted 2 "as soon as we can."
Before Bourne Legacy hit theaters, series producer Frank Marshall announced that future Bourne installments will follow Renner and costar Rachel Weisz' characters - while teasing that the door remains open for Damon to reprise his role as Jason Bourne in Bourne 5. Chances are good that Universal will make a very strong push for that (re: offer Damon a sizable paycheck), as his return would help ensure that Bourne Legacy's trend of diminishing returns doesn't continue.
Here is an excerpt from our interview with Damon, where he addressed the idea of him teaming up with Renner's ex-government assassin in Bourne 5:
“You know, if they had a script, I mean I’d love it... If there is a great movie to be made, then we can figure it out beforehand and then go make it, the way you always do. You know what I mean? But nobody’s ever come forward with that script, so we’ll see. I mean I want to do it, but we’ll see. We’ll see what happens..."
Damon's commitment to Bourne 5 would help ensure the project gets greenlit sooner, rather than later; similarly, there's one man who needs to sign a deal in order to get Ted 2 going as soon as possible - and that's MacFarlane. Of course, the latter is known for milking his television cartoon creations (Family Guy, American Dad!, The Cleveland Show) for all they are worth - and then some - but that does not guarantee he's interested in doing likewise with his first feature.
Ted works as a standalone comedy about letting go of your childhood (literally), but the high-concept of a foul-mouthed living teddy bear could arguably sustain itself for at least one more movie. Similarly, while Mark Wahlberg and Mila Kunis could feasibly return for a sequel, it's not necessary - given that their respective characters would, once again, play second fiddle to the titular star of the show (voiced by MacFarlane).
Moreover, not bringing Wahlberg and Kunis back could open up Ted 2 to feature even more crass antics, raunchy humor, and Family Guy-style pop culture jokes from MacFarlane's furry onscreen alter ego; on the other hand, though, that could also result in the sequel lacking any semblance of an emotional core.
How about it, readers - are you interested in Bourne 5 with or without Damon? Does Ted 2 sound like a good idea, with or without the human stars of the first film? Do one, both, or neither of these sequels sound interesting?