New Line Maps Out <i>Journey 3</i>

Since opening Feb. 10, Journey 2: The Mysterious Island has so far grossed $270 million worldwide, leading a happy New Line to move ahead with plans for a sequel.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the studio has finalized deals with director Brad Peyton and screenwriters Brian and Mark Gunn to return for the third film. There's no word yet, however, whether stars Dwayne Johnson or Josh Hutcherson will be back.

The film series, which kicked off in 2008 with the Brendan Fraser-starring Journey to the Center of the Earth, takes its basic stories from the works of science fiction mastermind Jules Verne. The second film was based on Verne's Mysterious Island, and the third -- well, we're not sure yet, but Peyton is a big fan of the series and sees plenty of potential for films.

"I grew up a fan of Verne, so I know a lot about the mythologies," he told THR. "Mysterious Island was one of eight or nine really seminal works. I know we've just scratched the surface of what we can do. This one's going to be a lot bigger. We're going to go to a completely different world. It's just going to be a bigger experience, and we're going to grow the mythology. Journey 2 was about rebooting a franchise; now it's about making the seminal work in the franchise."

For those confused about the transition from Fraser in the first movie to Johnson in the second, allow us to explain: See, Hutcherson's character Sean went on an adventure with his uncle in the first movie and his mom's boyfriend in the second one. So, will he head out with a third dude or possibly lead the journey himself? Only time and press releases will tell.

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