[Update: Jolie has dropped Gravity and is Wanted 2 still alive? ]
Back at the start of summer '09 we got word that Angelina Jolie would be returning for Wanted 2 - [SPOILER ALERT!!!] even though her character in film, Fox, ended up having her brains blown out.
The whole "Isn't she dead?" question was the first on many fans' lips; however, Wanted director Timur Bekmambetov insisted that an explanation for resurrecting Jolie's character would (somehow) be logically established.
Well, it looks like Angelina managed to retain some cognitive abilities after that head shot did its damage, because she has jumped ship from Wanted 2 and hopped aboard a space-thriller called Gravity, which is being helmed by one of the best directors in the business at the moment, Alfonso Cuarón (Children of Men, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban).
Taking a page out of Sam Rockwell's playbook for Moon, Gravity would feature Jolie onscreen alone for most of the film, playing the last surviving human member of a space mission, who is fighting to get back home and be re-united with her daughter. Notice I said "last surviving human member."
It may sound a little too close to Moon for some sci-fi fans' liking, but with Cuarón at the helm you know it's going to be an accomplished piece of cinema.
Ironically enough, Universal Pictures had Gravity on their docket (with Jolie set to star) before putting the film into turnaround where it was scooped up by Warner Bros. When the movie traded hands Jolie went along for the ride, effectively killing Universal's hopes for bringing Wanted 2 to the screen. At the moment, the sequel is looking dead in the water.
How do I feel about all this? Fan-freaking-tastic! I said it before: in my opinion Mark Millar's Wanted comic book was lukewarm at best, the movie was even weaker and the sequel would've been even weaker than that. To me, trading some "back from the dead" nonsense for an Alfonso Cuarón sci-fi thriller is like trading in a rusted hatchback for a limo; I'm all for it and I think Jolie is smart for making this move.
Update: I may have nominated Angelina Jolie for Mensa membership a bit prematurely. According to Entertainment Weekly, the story in Vulture didn't have all of the facts right: Jolie has apparently dropped out of Gravity as well as Wanted 2. Not only that, but Gravity has yet to be confirmed on Warner Bros.' slate.
Angelina is still done with Wanted 2, though - but that hasn't stopped the creator of the comic book, Mark Millar from once again opening his mouth (unevidenced proclamations have been his signature) and claiming to STV that Wanted 2 will be proceeding as planned, sans Jolie.
For a more official source, The Hollywood Reporter is reporting that insiders at Universal are claiming that we will be seeing a Wanted sequel, despite Jolie's departure.
We'll see what happens with both Gravity and Wanted 2 as time unfolds.
Sources: Vulture via /Film