It’s a kind of magic.
Venom and Uncharted director Ruben Fleischer will helm Now You See Me 3. The upcoming film will continue the Now You See Me franchise, which stars Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Dave Franco, and Mark Ruffalo.
“There are three things in this world I absolutely love… Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson and magic,” said Fleischer. “To have the chance to work with these two talented actors, as well as the rest of the incredible cast of the Now You See Me movies is a dream come true.”
Fleischer has worked with Eisenberg and Harrelson previously, on his debut movie Zombieland. Earning just $100 million at the box office, it was nevertheless considered a success – debuting at number 1 with the second-highest opening weekend for a zombie film since the 2004 Dawn of the Dead remake.
Although Venom managed an impressive $856 million, it was received poorly.
The Marvel-adjacent superhero film holds a 30% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 362 reviews, so it’s safe to say that critics didn’t exactly love it. IGN’s own review said: “Tom Hardy’s committed performance can’t overcome a painful script and indecisive direction, resulting in a film with a personality that’s as split as its titular character. There are occasional moments of brilliance in the dynamic between Eddie and Venom that give a hint of what the film could have been in steadier hands, but ultimately, that only makes the finished product a more frustrating viewing experience.”
It's much the same for Uncharted, too – with 40% on Rotten Tomatoes and $401 million at the box office. Commercially successful? Sure… but not exactly well-received.
Nevertheless, Lionsgate president Nathan Kahane said Fleischer has a “special talent with character-driven blockbuster entertainment” in the release announcing the hiring.
“Ruben has proven time and again that he has a special talent with character-driven blockbuster entertainment,” said Lionsgate president Nathan Kahane. “He delivers big excitement while ultimately keeping the focus on the characters audiences care about. We feel like we’ve assembled a dream team to get this movie off the ground. For everyone we’ve kept in suspense, the wait is almost over.”
That certainly sounds as though we’ll be getting more details soon… and perhaps we’ll find out whether Ruffalo will be back as Dylan Rhodes after the events of Now You See Me 2.
“I am a lifelong fan of heist movies,” added Fleischer. “I love getting drawn in by the twists and the mystery where nothing is what it seems. And that’s even more true when the thieves are magicians – the opportunities are endless. Eric was able to unlock a fresh and exciting way into a new movie and fun new characters, so I’m excited to dig in even further.”
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IGN’s Now You See Me review gave it 6.3/10 and said: “Now You See Me seemed so promising, but it squanders its cool cast and nifty premise on smarmy, shallow characters and a flimsy, nonsensical plot.”
Fleischer will oversee a new draft of the film’s screenplay by Seth Grahame-Smith, while an earlier draft was written by Eric Warren Singer. Bobby Cohen and Alex Kurtzman will produce the film with Meredith Wieck and Chisom Ude overseeing the project for Lionsgate.
Want to read more about Now You See Me? See where it sits among the biggest summer blockbuster flops and check out our review of Now You See Me 2.
Ryan Leston is an entertainment journalist and film critic for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter.