Reports are now coming out that plans are under way for a Chinese spin-off of the hit heist franchise, Now You See Me in the wake of its sequel which opened in June. The film is one of two titles in a new co-production deal between the film’s studio, Lionsgate, and Beijing-based Leomus Pictures.
“We’re working closely with Lionsgate on the story,” Leomus Pictures CEO Jie Qiu tells THR. “And a Hollywood writer will be involved to make sure the spinoff is aligned with the Now You See Me franchise and has the same level of quality.”
The move was reportedly off-set by the success of the Hollywood sequel in China surrounding a quintet of magicians forced into a battle of wits and tricks with a villanous tech wizard. Filmmaker Jon M. Chu, who has already been tapped to direct the third film for Lionsgate, helmed the film which doubled its opening weekend gross to the tuned of $43 million compared to its U.S. release last month.
As per the two-film co-production deal, the report also tells of a possible sequel for Mikael Håfström’s 2013 heavy hitter, Escape Plan which starred Sylvester Stallone as a prison security expert forced to fight his way out of a facility located in the middle of nowhere. The film, a wall-to-wall thriller with Stallone joined by Arnold Schwarzenegger, Vinnie Jones and Jim Caviezel, opened to $23 million in China compared to its U.S. weekend debut at $10 million.