The original is a cult favorite produced by the Wachowskis but will a Ninja Assassin 2 ever happen? The Matrix was a groundbreaking blockbuster upon release in 1999 and the influence of anime on the project was no secret, particularly 1995's Ghost In The Shell. This anime influence would continue throughout their work, including The Matrix sequels and Speed Racer.
The Wachowskis worked with South Korean superstar Rain on Speed Racer, and after being impressed by his fighting skills decided to craft an old-fashioned ninja movie around him. This led to 2009's Ninja Assassin, where Rain plays an outcast from a cruel ninja clan who becomes a target when he tries to bring them down. Naomie Harris co-starred as Europol agent helping Rain and the movie was directed by James McTeigue, who previously helmed V For Vendetta for the Wachowskis.
The movie was also heavily inspired by the anime work of Yoshiaki Kawajiri, especially Ninja Scroll; Kawajiri-san also directed a segment for The Matrix anime anthology The Animatrix. While Ninja Assassin wasn't a huge box-office smash it was a fun, gory action film with a charismatic lead turn by Rain. The film has become a cult item in the years since its release but will Ninja Assassin 2 ever happen?
Ninja Assassin 2 Was Never Confirmed
Prior to the release of the original movie producer Joel Silver confirmed there was an idea for Ninja Assassin 2, but he didn't elaborate on the concept. James McTeigue also confirmed sequel conversations had taken place but they were waiting to see how the movie performed before pressing forwards.
Ninja Assassin ended up grossing just over $60 million during its theatrical bow on a budget of $40 million. Factoring in marketing it's unlikely the movie was very profitable, but on DVD on Blu-ray, it would take in a further $20 million. While the film likely broke even, it appears the lukewarm performance stalled any talk of Ninja Assassin 2.
The Wachowskis Have Seemingly Retired From Filmmaking
The Wachowskis were a big driving force behind Ninja Assassin, but the siblings appear to have essentially retired. Their most recent big screen projects Cloud Atlas and Jupiter Ascending both underperformed, and following the finale of their Netflix series Sense8 they put their studio and offices up for sale.
With no new projects on the horizon, rumors suggest the sisters are stepping away from the movie business for good. While reports suggest a Matrix reboot might happen, there has been almost nothing heard about a Ninja Assassin 2. Without the Wachowskis pushing for a sequel it seems very unlikely it will happen now. The first movie has a cult fanbase but it's doubtful the studio would see the benefit in pushing for Ninja Assassin 2 in light of the moderate financial performance of the original.