Think of it as Hancock: angrier, scruffier, stronger. Comicbookmovie.com reported on Wednesday that director Peter Berg, star Will Smith, and producers Akiva Goldman and Michael Mann have expressed interested in, and have begun discussing ideas for, a potential sequel to 2008’s Hancock. “I think it will happen,” Berg told Comicbookmovie.com, “it’s just a question of timing.” (Berg’s reps have yet to respond to EW’s request for comment.)
While the original film wasn’t exactly a hit with critics — it has a Rotten Tomato score of 40 percent — it was one of the highest grossing films of 2008 with more than $225 million. And in the eyes of some superhero genre fans and/or Berg-ians (like myself), Will Smith as a belligerent, boozing vagrant with superhuman abilities made for an unique take on a tired genre.
But there is one potential problem with having another go at Hancock: the character suffers from Superman Syndrome. When we last saw our rehabilitated hero [SPOILER ALERT], he had relocated to New York after painting a giant heart on the moon. It would be easy enough to just follow his crime-fighting shenanigans in the Big Apple, but Hancock, much like the Man of Steel, is essentially invincible (and immortal) unless put in the presence of kryptonite — in this case, Charlize Theron. Because of this, there’s only so many ways you can introduce peril into the plot. The movie would either be Springtime for Hancock: A Delightful Romp in Central Park or the writers would have to find a credible way that a villain is able to lure Hancock back to L.A. and into a room with Theron, at which point there would be some semblance of a fair fight and plot tension. A third option would be a sequence of convoluted dialogue that attempts to explain why Hancock is suddenly losing his invincibility. “Oh no, Hancock, didn’t I tell you in the first movie that you can’t stand next to microwave ovens?” [Suddenly hit from behind by the superpower-canceling hammer from some planet, or something]
I’m willing to give Berg the benefit of a doubt. He has a special penchant for mixing a gritty visual style with cinema fun and big action — have you seen the trailer for Battleship? It’s bananas! — and with any luck, we can get Will Smith back in his wolverine suit without tossing the whale.