After what looked like it could be a rough summer for Universal Pictures, their slate of films evened out as the company found some impressive hits. While The Bourne Legacy did not exactly come out as strong as they would have hoped, the R-rated smash of the summer still goes to Seth MacFarlane’s directorial debut in Ted. Talk has already surfaced regarding a sequel for the foul-mouthed teddy bear that everyone has taken a shine to, but there is no word on whether or not the spin-off plan for the Jason Bourne action saga was well worth the effort. Regardless, now it seems Universal is ready to embrace both films as they have announced additional installments are coming in the future.
In a conference in Los Angeles yesterday, NBCUniversal CEO Steve Burke that Universal will be working on ”further Bourne movies after the recent Bourne Legacy“, while wanting to getTed 2 into motion “as soon as we can.”
This doesn’t come as too much of a surprise given sequel talk has slowly begun for both films, but the most interesting aspect is just where both films will land on a timetable. Seth MacFarlane is busy with three television shows for FOX so he doesn’t have too much free time considering MacFarlane co-wrote, directed and starred in Ted as well. If anything it’s likely a script could get off the ground sometime next year, though production is a bit uncertain at this point.
As for The Bourne Legacy follow-up, there’s still no word on whether or not Matt Damon will be returning as the titular character. Producer Frank Marshall has expressed interested in uniting both Bourne and Jeremy Renner’s new hero of Aaron Cross together on-screen though it’s unclear now if plans have changed given the limp box office. The Bourne Legacy was given the highest budget of the franchise thus far with $125 million, but has only grossed $181 million so far worldwide (a franchise low).
On top of the sequel news, Burke also revealed that the studio is planning to release at least two animated films a year in order to appeal towards the family demographic. Universal has a strong contender in the Despicable Me franchise, which already has two additional films incoming, while they are also attempting to bring The Cat in the Hat back to the big screen in a 3D CGI-animated format. The announcement is likely in response to 20th Century Fox’s own reveal that in less than four years they will be releasing at least a dozen Dreamworks Animation projects, which all have set release dates.