EXCLUSIVE: Venom and Uncharted filmmaker Ruben Fleischer has been tapped to helm the next installment of Now You See Me from Lionsgate.
The franchise involves thieving illusionists known as the Four Horseman, the first two movies combined making $686.5M. The previous films starred Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Isla Fisher, Dave Franco, and Morgan Freeman, among others.
For the screenplay, the studio has also brought on board Pride and Prejudice and Zombies scribe Seth Grahame-Smith to work on a new draft of the screenplay, overseen by Fleischer. The previous draft was penned by Oscar nominee Eric Warren Singer, who previously co-wrote the hits Top Gun: Maverick and American Hustle.
Commenting on the announcement, Fleischer said, “There are three things in this world I absolutely love… Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson and magic. 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.”
Bobby Cohen, alongside Alex Kurtzman of Secret Hideout, will produce the new installment. Meredith Wieck and Chisom Ude are overseeing the project for Lionsgate.
Lionsgate Motion Picture Group President Nathan Kahane added, “Ruben has proven time and again that he has a special talent with character-driven blockbuster entertainment. 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.”
Fleischer most recently directed and executive produced Uncharted, which took in over $400 million worldwide, and directed Venom, which grossed over $850 million globally. As a producer, he executive produced HBO’s upcoming limited series The White House Plumbers.
Grahame-Smith previously wrote The Lego Batman Movie, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, the latter two based on his novels. He produced 2017’s blockbuster It, and is currently showrunning Green Lantern for HBO Max.
Robert Melnik negotiated the deals on behalf of Lionsgate. Fleisher is represented by CAA and Sloane, Offer, Weber & Dern. Grahame-Smith is represented by WME and Johnson Shapiro Slewett & Kole.