Director Ruben Fleischer, best known for directing “Venom” and most recently “Uncharted,” is set to direct the third installment of the action-heist franchise “Now You See Me” for Lionsgate, Nathan Kahane, president, Lionsgate Motion Picture Group, announced on Thursday.
Seth Grahame-Smith (“Pride and Prejudice” and “Zombies”) has been tapped to work on a new draft of the screenplay, overseen by Fleischer. The previous draft was written by Eric Warren Singer, who previously co-wrote “Top Gun: Maverick” and “American Hustle.”
“The Now You See Me” franchise has grossed $687 million worldwide at the box office. The previous “Now You See Me” films starred Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Isla Fisher, Dave Franco, and Morgan Freeman, among others.
Bobby Cohen, alongside Alex Kurtzman of Secret Hideout, will produce the new installation. Meredith Wieck and Chisom Ude are overseeing the project for Lionsgate.
“There are three things in this world I absolutely love… Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson and magic,” Fleischer said in a statement to TheWrap. “To have the chance to work with these two talented actors, as well as the rest of the incredible cast of the ‘Now You See Me’ movies is a dream come true. I am a lifelong fan of heist movies – I love getting drawn in by the twists and the mystery where nothing is what it seems. And that’s even more true when the thieves are magicians – the opportunities are endless. Eric was able to unlock a fresh and exciting way into a new movie and fun new characters, so I’m excited to dig in even further.”
Kahane added, “Ruben has proven time and again that he has a special talent with character-driven blockbuster entertainment. He delivers big excitement while ultimately keeping the focus on the characters audiences care about. We feel like we’ve assembled a dream team to get this movie off the ground. For everyone we’ve kept in suspense, the wait is almost over.”
Fleischer most recently directed and executive produced “Uncharted,” which took in over $400 million worldwide, and directed “Venom,” which grossed over $850 million globally. As a producer, he executive produced HBO’s upcoming limited series “The White House Plumbers.”
Grahame-Smit previously wrote “The Lego Batman Movie,” “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” and “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter,” the latter two based on his novels. He produced 2017’s blockbuster “It,” and is currently showing running “Green Lantern” for HBO Max.
Robert Melnik negotiated the deals on behalf of Lionsgate. Fleisher is repped by CAA and Sloane, Offer, Weber & Dern. Grahame-Smith is repped by WME and Johnson Shapiro Slewett & Kole.
Deadline first reported the news.