Now You See Me 3 taps Venom and Uncharted director Ruben Fleischer to take on the sequel for Lionsgate. Fleischer first rose to prominence with the surprise success of the horror comedy Zombieland; he also directed the 2021 sequel Zombieland: Double Tap. Fleischer has even joked about making a Zombieland 3. From there he was allowed to make projects with increasingly bigger scope and budget, leading to Venom, which grossed $850 million globally, and Uncharted, which grossed over $400 million globally earlier this year.
The Now You See Me series follows a group of magicians known as The Four Horsemen who pull off elaborate heists. It stars Jesse Eisenberg, Mark Ruffalo, Woody Harrelson, Dave Franco, Morgan Freeman and Michael Caine, alongside Lizzy Caplan and Isla Fisher, who have appeared in one film each. Although Now You See Me 3 was announced back in 2016, there haven’t been many updates on the project since 2020, when Now You See Me 2 and Crazy Rich Asians director Jon M. Chu was still attached. The film has also gone through several writers, with the last draft having been worked on by American Hustle and Top Gun: Maverick scribe Eric Warren Singer.
Now Deadline reports that Fleischer has been tapped to direct the next Now You See Me installment. Announced alongside it is the news that Pride and Prejudice and Zombies writer Seth Grahame-Smith will tackle the next draft of the screenplay, with Fleischer overseeing it. The director responded to the announcement with great enthusiasm. Check out his quote below:
“There are three things in this world I absolutely love… Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson and magic. To have the chance to work with these two talented actors, as well as 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.”
What Ruben Fleischer Could Bring To Now You See Me
Whether it’s faithfully reproducing action scenes for Uncharted, or staging the fairground battle finale in Zombieland, the director is great at balancing action with lighter, often comedic elements. A major portion of the fun derived from the Now You See Me series comes from the magic set pieces, scenes that have a very fleet-footed and whimsical sense of action; Jack Wilder’s apartment fight scene using magic tricks in the first film, and the hidden card heist from the sequel are among the highlights. The marriage of Fleischer’s directing style with the tone of the Now You See Me movies is almost a no-brainer.
Given the high-caliber stars he’s worked with, one wonders whether Fleischer will be able to attract either of his former leading actors Tom Hardy or Tom Holland to join the Now You See Me ensemble. Even if he can’t, Fleischer clearly has a great relationship with stars Eisenberg and Harrelson, as he’s not only worked with them in the Zombieland films, he glowingly name-dropped them in his director’s announcement. Their enjoyment at working together will hopefully translate to magic onscreen as well as behind it for Now You See Me 3, and be another reason why Fleischer boarding the series is such a great decision.