There's been much talk about a sequel to the 2008 surprise superhero hit, Hancock, with conversation picking up particularly when it comes to the cast of Will Smith, Charlize Theron and Jason Bateman possibly returning to do another. Director Peter Berg said a few months ago that everyone was excited to return, but not long after that Bateman came out and said he hadn't heard anything about him returning (we're still not sure if that cluelessness was applicable to Smith and Theron, too).
However, when Berg sounded pretty excited about directing Hancock 2, that was before he landed the Battleship gig, a big-screen adaptation set for release in 2011 with a production start date of Spring 2010. That ties Berg up a lot for what I would guess would be the better part of a year. And that appears to be one of the big reasons why we shouldn't expect Hancock 2 anytime soon.
Speaking to HitFix, Berg says that Hancock 2 will still happen at some point, just not soon. I'll let Berg explain:
"There are so many cooks in that particular kitchen that are so busy and Will's [Smith] kind of taken time off to be with his kids and his kids are now making all kinds of films and there are so many people involved in that from Will to his partner James Lassiter to Akiva [Goldsmith] to Michael Man and myself."
"To get us all in the same room where we can talk and then agree on anything? You'll never meet a group of people who will have a harder time agreeing on anything... I think it will happen, we just all have to get in the same room with some consistency."
When asked about whether Hancock 2 would be his next film AFTER Battleship, Berg said he wants to do Lone Survivor, which tells the tale of, "17 seals that were killed in one gunfight in Afghanistan. One survived." But what about after that? Well, Berg didn't say, but hasn't ruled out a sequel to his action-adventure, The Rundown. He's not sure why there hasn't already been plans put in place to do The Rundown 2, but said he'd definitely be up for doing another:
"I love 'The Rundown.' I don't know if the audience was quite ready to accept Dwayne [at the time]. We had a certain amount of resistance... They screwed around with our release date, but the film still performed well."
"He'd [The Rock would] love it... We always joke 'When are we gonna do it?' But sometimes it's just a question of timing and getting all the stars to line up. There is no reason why we wouldn't ."
Personally, I'd love to see a sequel to The Rundown, which I think is an under-appreciated film that features Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Sean William Scott cooking up some great comedic chemistry. I'd much rather he concentrate on doing another one of that than do Hancock 2, because frankly, I don't wanna' see another Hancock. To me, the first installment was a fun-at-times film, but one that didn't live up to its huge potential, IMHO. And the story was fine for one film, but the possible sequel storyline pitched by Berg awhile back didn't sound that good to me.
Peter Berg directing The Rock on set of 'The Rundown'
Having said that, just think about this: the studio has already hired two writers for Hancock 2, and so it seems they want to get it into theaters sooner before later. I've said it before but I'll reiterate - could we see Berg departing Hancock 2 and the studio bringing in another director in his place? If they want to get this thing in the can soon, and Berg is busy, it only makes sense that he'd be replaced. It's not like the reason people went to see the first Hancock was because Berg directed... And he already had to drop out of the Dune remake...
Are you looking forward to Hancock 2? Are you annoyed it will be hitting theaters later rather than sooner? Would you be bothered if Berg didn't come back to direct again, since he appears to be ultra-busy with other projects?
Hancock 2 has a tentative release date of sometime in 2011.