Ruben Fleischer, who has proven himself a reliable studio director of late with hits such as Venom ($856 million worldwide) and Uncharted ($401 million), has been set to direct the third chapter in Lionsgate’s Now You See Me franchise, which has grossed nearly $700 million worldwide to date.
Jesse Eisenberg and Woody Harrelson are set to return as two of the Four Horsemen, the master illusionists who have pulled off heists in the middle of their revered act. It’s unclear which co-stars from the first two films will join them in the new installment.
Seth Grahame-Smith is currently working on a new draft of the script that is being overseen by Fleischer, with the previous draft credited to Eric Warren Singer (Top Gun: Maverick).
“There are three things in this world I absolutely love… Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson and magic,” Fleischer said in a rather hokey statement to Deadline. “To have the chance to work with these two talented actors, as well as rest of the incredible cast of the Now You See Me movies is a dream come true. I am a lifelong fan of heist movies — 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.”
So, right there, Fleischer references “the rest of the incredible cast” as well as “fun new characters,” so I suppose it will be a mixture of the two rather than the same old, same old.
“Ruben has proven time and again that he has a special talent with character-driven blockbuster entertainment,” added Lionsgate’s 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.”
Alex Kurtzman and Bobby Cohen will produce the sequel for Secret Hideout, and Lionsgate’s Meredith Wieck and Chisom Ude will oversee the project for the studio, whose Robert Melnik negotiated the deals.
Fleischer is an executive producer on HBO’s upcoming limited series The White House Plumbers starring Harrelson and Justin Theroux, while Lionsgate previously worked with Grahame-Smith on the adaptation of his novel Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. He’s currently showrunning the Green Lantern series that’s in the works at HBO Max.
Fleischer is represented by CAA, while Grahame-Smith is repped by WME.