In an article that examines the poor box-office performance of Jolie's "By the Sea," which has yet to cross the million-dollar mark after two weeks of release, The Hollywood Reporter finds a potential silver lining for the studio: By propping up the relationship drama, which Jolie wrote, directed and stars in, Universal is "gambling" the Hollywood superstar might be more open to headlining its "Bride of Frankenstein" remake or "Wanted 2."
It's a big gamble, of course. Jolie helped to propel 2008's "Wanted," loosely based on the comic by Mark Miller and J.G. Jones, to a $341 million worldwide box office. However, Jolie's character Fox was killed off in the original, and the actress has made it clear she's not interested in reprising the role.
"Being dead makes it difficult," Jolie said in a 2010 interview. "They were [trying to bring me back] but I kind of feel like if I die in a movie, I should die actually. I'm that way, and that character is not as complex as Salt. It would just be doing the exact same thing in another movie, so it's not that interesting to me."
Universal seemed prepared to move on without her, hiring original writers Michael Brandt and Derek Haas to develop a follow-up that picks up four years later, with James McAvoy's character recruiting a young woman, essentially casting him in the Fox role.
A year ago, producer Mark Platt pledged the sequel was still "coming along." But of course, it would be a lot easier sell if Jolie's name were in the credits.