Netflix is reportedly developing Atomic Blonde 2. Adapted from the 2012 graphic novel The Coldest City, the first Atomic Blonde stars Charlize Theron as an MI6 agent who undertakes a treacherous mission in Berlin circa 1989 (i.e. shortly before the end of the Cold War). It was a critical and commercial success when it hit theaters in 2017, grossing $100 million at the box office on a $30 million budget and landing praise for Theron‘s performance, in combination with the action sequences by John Wick‘s uncredited co-director David Leitch. After that, the latter went on to tackle bigger productions in the forms of Deadpool 2 and the Fast & Furious spinoff Hobbs & Shaw.
Between Leitch‘s work schedule and Theron staying as busy as ever, it’s no surprise Atomic Blonde 2 has been relatively slow to move forward since Theron confirmed it was happening two years ago. More recently, Leitch revealed the film is not only (still) being discussed, it’s also attracted the attention of a streaming service which he did not identify at the time. It’s probably the streamer you immediately suspected it was, too, assuming the latest update on the sequel is accurate.
Discussing Film is reporting Atomic Blonde 2 is being actively developed by Netflix, with 87Eleven (which also worked on the original film) once again producing. Theron is also set to produce the sequel, though the site’s sources say a writer has yet to be hired. Screen Rant has reached out to 87eleven for confirmation, but have yet to receive a reply at the time of writing.
Truth be told, it’s not hard to buy the idea of Netflix making Atomic Blonde 2. The sequel will presumably be a mid-budget production like the original film, meaning it falls well within the streamer’s usual wheelhouse. In addition, both Theron and Leitch already have a previously-established working relationship with Netflix. The former is starring in the streaming service’s upcoming comic book adaptation The Old Guard (which will launch later this year), while the latter is attached to helm Netflix‘s The Division video game movie (starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Jessica Chastain) sometime within the next year or so. It’s not clear just yet if the plan for Leitch to direct Atomic Blonde 2, but he’s likely to be involved, seeing as 87eleven is run by his producing partner and wife Kelly McCormack.
Generally speaking, it’s probably only going to become increasingly common for mid-budget genre movies like Atomic Blonde and its (potential) sequel to release as streaming exclusives in the future. Things were already headed in that direction before the coronavirus pandemic, and if anything the ongoing health crisis – which has led to several films releasing early on-demand and streaming while theaters are closed down – will only push the industry further in that direction once it’s over. Until we have confirmation, though, it’s best to treat this Atomic Blonde 2 update as a plausible rumor, but a rumor all the same (lest we get too far ahead of ourselves with speculation about Hollywood’s future).