Sony is having a huge 2012 at the box office – thanks in no small part to The Amazing Spider-Man, 21 Jump Street, and Men in Black 3. If next month’s Total Recall reboot does big business, it could propel Sony’s film division to its best year in history. So, what will that mean for the company moving forward? More sequels and reboots.
The July 27th issue of The Hollywood Reporter features an extensive interview with Columbia Pictures president Doug Belgrad wherein he drops some hints about what’s to come – including some interesting tidbits on Marc Webb’s possible return for a Spider-Man sequel, Men in Black 4, the 21 Jump Street follow-up, and a plan to reboot Jumanji.
Having already eclipsed the $500 million mark in worldwide box office, a Spider-Man sequel is a foregone conclusion at this point. What isn’t so certain is if filmmaker Marc Webb will be back behind the camera. Belgrad makes it clear that would be his preference, but offers up the following:
“We'd really like him back, but there are obstacles. He has an obligation to Fox.”
That obligation turns out to be a post-500 Days of Summer film for the studio. If he’s required to make that his next project, it seems unlikely that he’ll be back for another adventure with the Wallcrawler.
Belgrad then discusses the success of Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill’s 21 Jump Street, saying that Tatum is one of the few stars who can do action, romance and comedy. He adds that work on the sequel will begin “in the fall.”
The conversation shifts gears to another actor who can do action, romance and comedy – Will Smith. Despite countless reports of issues from the set (particularly with the script), Smith’s Men in Black 3 has made over $600 million this summer. Will there be a sequel?
“We're very pleased with the financial performance of Men in Black 3, and we believe it is an ongoing franchise. We're going to do [another one], but we don't have clarity yet on how it should be done.”
That shouldn’t be a problem – reports were that they were writing scenes while they were shooting on the last film and that seems to have worked for them.
And finally, what’s a Hollywood studio update without at least one reboot? Belgrad delivers the news that the studio is hard at work imagining an update to the family-friendly Robin Williams vehicle Jumanji.
Belgrad breaks it down like this:
“Michael [Sony Corp. of America CEO Michael Lynton] has created a bit of a mandate to do more in the family space. It involves animation [which Belgrad doesn't oversee], hybrid and live action. Michael's impact on the studio is great; he helped reel in The Smurfs property. We're going to try and reimagine Jumanji and update it for the present.”
So, what do you think of Sony’s plans for the future? We’ll gladly take follow-ups to Spider-Man and 21 Jump Street, but we remain unconvinced about MiB sequels and wonder who was clamoring for a Jumanji reboot. Are any of these projects interesting to you? Opine below.