Just when some moviegoers were beginning to tire of the seemingly unrelenting wave of superhero action movies, director Peter Berg and mega-star Will Smith turned the genre on its head and released Hancock. The final film, about a burned-out and cantankerous superhero, may not have quite lived-up to its especially clever marketing pitch but the project did well enough to warrant a sequel. However, after nearly four years, the fledgling movie franchise seemed to be slipping closer and closer to one-and-done territory.
That is until Berg started chatting with reporters in the media build-up to his big budget Battleship movie (check out our interview with Berg for more) - due out May 2012. According to the director, Hancock 2 is definitely still in the works and it's just a matter of getting everyone in a room to hash-out the details.
Berg spoke with Comic Book Movie about the potential sequel:
"We've been talking about the sequel between us, Will Smith, [producers] Michael Mann and Akiva goldman and myself. We're all interested, but we literally just have trouble getting into the same room at the same time. We did have a series of meetings last year and started to hash out an idea for sequel -- and Will Smith actually had the idea -- so I think it will happen, it's just a question of timing."
It's understandable that most of the people involved would be interested in working on Hancock 2 - especially given that that film ultimately grossed over $624 million worldwide. Not to mention sequels, even sequels to movies that weren't blockbuster megahits (see Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance and Punisher: War Zone) are still a great platform for big business at the box office - as is Will Smith - who doesn't always pass on opportunities to reprise roles (even less-iconic ones).
While superhero sequels can be somewhat of a mixed bag, Hancock (likely to its detriment) put out a metric ton of background story by the end of the first movie - star-crossed lovers, romance triangles, and a convoluted "origin" explanation. As a result, where the filmmakers decide to take the story, as opposed to whether or not they'll actually do it, is the more interesting question. Especially given that the down-on-his-luck superhero angle from the original is likely to be much more interesting (and entertaining) than catching-up with Hancock as an actual crime fighter.
Berg had previously indicated that there might also be another super-powered person like Hancock out there - which, if the filmmakers went that route, would at least give Will Smith a real threat to fight in the next installment. That said, given the origin "twist" in the Hancock mythos - it could also make for an especially exhausting history lesson.
Hancock 2 is little more than a gleam in Berg's eye at this point - but we'll keep you updated as we hear more.
Follow me on Twitter @benkendrick for further updates.