Is Hancock 2 happening with Will Smith? Hancock arrived in 2008, at a time when cinema, as we know it today, was just beginning to be shaped by the influence of superhero movies. Just two months before, Iron Man premiered and effectively launched the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But while Iron Manand the rest of the MCU flourished, Hancock‘s future was murky, despite delivering key superhero story ingredients – smarmy hero, a complicated past, big action, unique powers, etc. – and the sequel never came to be. Why didn't Hancock 2 end up happening?
Directed by Peter Berg and starring Smith, Charlize Theron, and Jason Bateman, Hancock told the story of the John Hancock (Smith), a superhero with the potential for doing real good who preferred to self-sabotage with substance abuse and a general disdain for others. PR man Ray (Bateman) sees there is potential to rehab Hancock, as well as his image, and turn him into a force for good. Hancock cautiously accepts Ray's offer to help him get back on track but as the two start their work and things seem to be turning around for Hancock, the truth about his past and why he is the way he is come to light, thus affecting his future in the process.
Despite promising reports that Hancock 2 would be made, nothing has materialized. Let's look at what happened after Hancock was released and see what reasons led to Hancock 2 getting permanently pushed to the backburner.
HANCOCK'S STORY COULD CONTINUE IN HANCOCK 2
Hancock was based on the millennia-old connection shared by Smith and Theron's characters, powerful gods who couldn't defy their attraction to one another but knew only bad things would happen to others if and when they eventually joined forces. The reveal of Theron's character, Mary, as a superhuman, as well as Mary's connection with Hancock, left the story at a place where it could be expanded, diving deeper into their history while also investigating if other superhumans were out there in hiding, just like Mary. Berg teased in August 2009 a key plot point for Hancock 2, telling SciFiWire, “There might be another god out there… Might be another one.”
HANCOCK DID WELL AT THE BOX OFFICE
Hancock did well enough at the box office that it would have justified a sequel happening. Hancock had a modest opening weekend of $62.6 million domestically. When it left theaters, Hancock had made back its estimated $150 million budget in spades, walking away with $624.3 million globally. Add in the fact that, individually, Smith and Theron have been able to open up films over the course of their careers, and on paper, Hancock 2 looked like a safe investment.
WILL SMITH AND CHARLIZE THERON SIGNED ON FOR HANCOCK 2
Progress on Hancock 2 was still going in a positive direction in August 2009, when it was reported the film had secured two writers, The Shield‘s Adam Fierro and Glen Mazzara. (A year later, they both went to work on The Walking Dead.) It appeared at the time like Fierro and Mazzara would be working with Berg and Smith, who themselves were working on expanding the world and bringing in new story elements. More good news arrived in September 2009 when Berg confirmed at the time both Smith and Theron has signed on for the sequel, telling MTV News that “Everybody's going to come back for a sequel.” Although Smith and Theron remained relatively quiet about coming back, it was promising that the two stars were all in.
PETER BERG CONFIRMED HANCOCK 2 WASN'T HAPPENING
The last word spoken about Hancock 2 was in December 2009, a year-and-a-half after Hancock released. At the time, Berg offered up a vague but telling response on just how much of a priority a sequel was and at what stage of development the sequel was in. Speaking with HitFix, Berg remarked, “There are so many cooks in that particular kitchen that are so busy,” later adding that “to get us all in the same room where we can talk and then agree on anything? You'll never meet a group of people who will have a harder time agreeing on anything.”