A video game movie renaissance might be on the way, but last year's car chase action flick Need for Speed didn't quite manage to kick it off. Based on the long-running series of racing games published by Electronic Arts, Need for Speed starred Breaking Bad's Aaron Paul as street racer Tobey Marshall, who is framed for car theft and manslaughter - and, upon being released on parole, sets out to get revenge for the death of his friend.
Need for Speed saw a fairly low turnout in U.S. theaters, grossing only $43.5 million domestically, but had greater success in China by hitting over $66.2 million in ticket sales - almost a third of the total worldwide gross. Although Need for Speed was generally panned by critics, its success overseas makes it a financial success - and now it seems that this about to pay off.
According to a report by The Wrap, a sequel to Need for Speed is in development as a co-production between China and the U.S.. The U.S. side of things will be represented by Electronic Arts, whose joint venture partners are three Chinese production companies: China Movie Channel Program Center, Jiaflix Enterprises and 1905 Pictures. These three previously teamed with Paramount Pictures to produce Transformers: Age of Extinction, which broke box office records in China.
While Need for Speed made enough money that it could go either way in terms of a sequel, it's certainly no coincidence that this news comes in the wake of Furious 7 grossing $147 million during its opening weekend.
The global appeal of Need for Speed is understandable, since it's one of those movies where you can follow the plot without even needing to read the subtitles: there is a problem and the solution is to drive cars really, really fast. There probably weren't many people who went to go and see it for the story; it's all about those beautiful cars and ridiculous stunts.
There are no actors, writers or directors attached to Need for Speed 2 yet, although it's expected to feature a considerable amount of Chinese talent. Creative and casting announcements are expected in the following weeks, with production expected to begin later this year.
We'll keep you updated on Need for Speed 2 as development continues.
Source: The Wrap