Ryan Reynolds, Samuel L. Jackson and Salma Hayek will be returning for more comedy-tinged crime action in a sequel to The Hitman's Bodyguard, now officially called The Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard. In the original movie, Reynolds played a down-on-his-luck bodyguard hired to protect an old nemesis, Jackson's Darius Kincaid, from an even more despicable and dangerous criminal. The Hitman's Bodyguard also featured Salma Hayek in the supporting role of Darius' jailed wife, Sonia.
Despite featuring plenty of high-octane action and a plot wrapped in criminal conspiracy, The Hitman's Bodyguard also mixed in a lot of laughs, thanks in part to Reynolds' own trademark humor. Falling somewhere in the territory between Taken and Johnny English, The Hitman's Bodyguard was released to a decidedly mixed reaction from critics but made a very tidy profit at the box office nonetheless and it was reported earlier this year that talks were underway with cast members regarding a potential sequel.
Lionsgate have now confirmed (via Variety) that the follow-up will be called The Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard and will see Reynolds, Jackson and Hayek reprise their previous roles. Also returning is original director, Patrick Hughes, but the new writing pair of Brandon and Phillip Murphy have been drafted in this time around. Although it's too early for a release date at this stage, production on the sequel is reportedly set to begin in March next year.
The Hitman's Bodyguard didn't explicitly set-up a potential sequel so it isn't immediately clear where the second movie will go in terms of plot but the title suggests a more significant part for Salma Hayek's Sonia. The title of The Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard also seems to imply that the follow-up will see Reynolds' character tasked with protecting Sonia this time around, with Kincaid the jailbird, flipping the set-up of the original.
If true, this could be a very positive move in the sense that Hayek's character was woefully underused in The Hitman's Bodyguard. While the actress was undoubtedly a highlight of the original film, she was featured very sparingly and if there is more to explore in the story, Sonia is surely the best character to start with. However, such a plot has the potential to limit the interactions between Reynolds and Jackson which most reviews considered to be the best part of the first film. Hopefully, The Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard finds a way to balance an increased role for Hayek while not restricting Samuel L. Jackson's character to a prison cell.
The Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard is currently without a release date. More news as it arrives.