Perhaps I am stretching it a bit here, but looking at all of film history, among all the genres combined, it is action that has actually produced the most iconic films. Not best, iconic. Science fiction may come remarkably close, but the sheer number of franchises stemming from this genre owing to a classic first one is in itself a formidable number. Over the years, it has also become one of the genres that has experienced a certain degree of sophistication and an unparalleled sense of scale and execution, and among the modern ones, I can specifically credit the ‘Bourne’ series for almost revolutionizing action films, especially in the 21st century, to make them look and feel like they do: more specifically speaking, the hand to hand action sequences.
Alternate stream of thought coming in from that, I would not be too wrong in saying that an entire legion of male actors have successfully either revived their careers or based it on the success of action franchises that began with a successful first and followed it up with definitely bigger, but maybe not better sequels. However, the same may rarely be said for a franchise led by a female action star: to begin with, there would hardly be a name that would have come to mind. That all changed in 2017 when ‘Atomic Blonde’ was released with Charlize Theron playing a deadly MI6 agent operating at the cusp of the Cold War in Berlin.
She is hardly the first femme fatale on screen, but she can arguably be credited as one of the foremost ones, with say, Black Widow coming in a close second. Despite the year being practically loaded with action movies, for me, ‘Atomic Blonde’ managed to stand out on the strength of its merits, finely executed action sequences and simply outstanding visual style. Theron was especially in her element given how she had already established a footing for herself in the genre with hits including ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ and ‘Fast and Furious 8’, the latter in fact releasing the same year. While the sequel hasn’t officially been announced, Charlize Theron herself came on record stating that the sequel would most definitely be happening. “We’re working on a sequel” is currently all that we have on this following her appearance at the San Francisco International Film Festival, and quite honestly, that is enough for us to go on. I for one cannot wait for the return of the killer queen!
Atomic Blonde 2 Plot: What is it about?
I thought ‘Atomic Blonde’ was terrific. In fact, the first film closed out with a respectable number, a $100 million in return for a $30 million investment, on top of a very favourable critical score. Now while that alone is not enough reason by itself for a film to return with a sequel, the makers have in a rare statement claimed that the sequel is for a latent fan base of sorts, small but concentrated. This film is for them. Well, count me in that, but I am completely game for a sequel and ONE of the directions that the franchise may potentially take literally has me weak in the knees.
While there is no official word, the first direction for where the sequel could head in comes in from a literary source. The original is based on the graphic novel ‘The Coldest City’ by Antony Johnston. A prequel for the same titled ‘The Coldest Winter’ was released in 2016, but that one sees a change in its primary protagonist to David Percival. Since ‘Atomic Blonde’ anyway takes a handful of liberties from the original graphic novel, a similar change for the second one to introduce Lorraine Broughton earlier on wouldn’t seem too off the charts. If the makers decide to go the route for a direct sequel, the plot could chart her travels to international waters in line with the typical spy espionage thriller, especially considering she vanquished all her foes from the last film.
Another potential direction could be to show Lorraine Broughton following a time shift and land her in the 90s maybe. History as such is rife with socio-political events that shaped the very world, akin to the fall of the Berlin Wall, so that there should really be no problem at all. Since we are already out on a limb and speculating, why not speculate a defected Lorraine Broughton at odds with the MI6, and on the run from CIA and the KGB. May seem like more than she can handle at first, but that is what should add to the stakes to be worthy of a sequel. The rest of it is pretty tough to predict given that all we know about the sequel is that one line from Theron; but there is also another interesting direction that ‘Atomic Blonde’ could take.
Looking way ahead into the future, there is a potential for two vastly popular film series, including this one to be fused into one explosive outing in the present day. David Leitch, the director of ‘Atomic Blonde’ and the uncredited co-director of the first ‘John Wick’ film, has discussed a wild theory that gets my hopes and adrenaline up but also sadly unlikely to happen any time soon: a crossover movie between John Wick from the eponymous film series starring Keanu Reeves and Lorraine Broughton from ‘Atomic Blonde’. Reeves and Theron are a match made in hell, and the devil there too dare not cross paths with them. It would be quite something to see the two characters kicking serious ass, and Lionsgate and Focus Features need to pour in some money to make this happen, ASAP. I mean, can you just imagine something like the iconic and extremely well done staircase one-take fight sequence done with these two?
Atomic Blonde 2 Cast: Who is in it?
It would be safe to assume that any talks of a sequel to ‘Atomic Blonde’ wouldn’t be bereft of Charlize Theron, who headlined the first film too and practically carried it on her more than able shoulders, despite other heavyweights including James McAvoy and John Goodman present for good measure. If the next film goes the prequel way, expect a fair bit of David Percival in James McAvoy returning for the role, but you can reasonably rule him out if it chooses to go the direct sequel way. Expect a fair bit of new casting as well, while John Goodman Emmett Kurzfeld and Toby Jones as Eric Gray may return as respective operatives of the CIA and the MI6.
I was particularly intrigued and impressed with Sofia Boutella’s character, Delphine Lasalle, a French agent who also becomes Lorraine’s lover. The chemistry between her and Theron was sizzling to say the least, and the makers most definitely want to explore more of that sizzle in the next film, or at least Lorraine Broughton’s colourful sexual escapades beyond her regular spy life. People in this context have been apt in calling her the female James Bond; I say she goes a step further. Seeing as though Boutella’s character is dead in ‘Atomic Blonde’, we need just similarly alluring casting.
Atomic Blonde 2 Crew: Who is behind it?
To keep a passion project like this alive, even if studio backed, one needs an equally passionate team to be on board. While we have extremely little bit of news to practically go on, I can state that it is imperative that David Leitch return in his directing capacity. Leitch moved from co-directing the first ‘John Wick’, leaving the second one to direct ‘Atomic Blonde’ and subsequently helming ‘Deadpool 2’ and the upcoming ‘Hobbs and Shaw’. In the action genre alone, that is quite an impressive lineup of studio backed films, all of them blockbusters.
Why I state his return as imperative is his vision for the project, and his desire to transform ‘Atomic Blonde’ beyond the regular, stuffy Cold War era spy film, all of that being reflected in his stylistic choices for the film, including even the music. I also feel that the man can be instrumental in the realisation for the dream crossover that I discussed above: John Wick and Atomic Blonde, with him being the one to discuss the idea in the first place. We can also expect Kurt Johnstad to return as the writer of the film, though nothing is confirmed as of this point.
Atomic Blonde 2 Release Date: When will it premiere?
The confirmation from Theron regarding the sequel came in 2018, so it is safe to assume that the project is still in either the initial stages of scripting, or even before, ideation. Expect an official confirmation by the end of this year. My best guess is that Atome Blonde 2 release date could either late in 2020, or early to mid 2021.
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