Presto, Jon M. Chu Will Return to Direct ‘Now You See Me 3’
As is now customary for big-budget studio releases, Now You See Me 2 has been deemed a smashing success two months ahead of its June 10 release date, and presiding studio Lionsgate has already laid plans for further expansion. Confident that the sequel will reproduce the fabulous box-office success of the original (Now You See Me turned around a handsome $117 million domestic gross on its hefty $75 million budget, but an infusion of $234 million from overseas markets pushed the project much farther into the black), Lionsgate has greenlit a sequel, and today brings the news that they‘ve landed a director to see it through.
No need to mess with a winning formula, apparently, even if that winning formula is only presumed: Now You See Me 2 director Jon M. Chu will return to helm the third installment in the franchise about daredevil magicians, according to an exclusive report from Variety. That’s a relatively big gamble, considering the fact that Chu’s most recent picture, last summer’s Jem and the Holograms reboot, was a flaming blimp-crash disaster at the box-office, mustering up a pitiful $2.3 million. But hey, that’s just how Hollywood works; a megaflop can only sink a career if the director in question is a woman.
Then again, the Jem debacle may have been an isolated incident. Chu also directed such cash cows as Justin Bieber: Never Say Never, Justin Bieber’s Believe, and Justin Bieber Says If You Can Dream It, You Can Do It!, only one of which is a joke title. He also helmed blockbusters Step Up 2: the Streets and G.I. Joe: Retaliation, demonstrating both a passion for semicolons and a reliable knowledge of assembling a studio-release money factory. So Chu‘s got a strong batting average overall, and if he can handle this Now You See Me, he will most likely be able to handle the responsibility of facilitating another one. But whether he can capture the same magic as original director Louis Leterrier still has yet to be seen.