EXCLUSIVE: Neil Widener and Gavin James have been set to write the script for Now You See Me 3 for Lionsgate. The two up-and-coming writers are proving to be hot property amongst the Hollywood community, having recently been hired to write San Andreas 2 for New Line, the follow-up to the earthquake epic starring Dwayne Johnson.
Widener and James just wrote Battle Of Alcatraz, after Paramount bought the project at the pitch stage in a competitive situation last year. Pic, which is set in California’s infamous prison and based on the 1946 escape attempt by six inmates, is out to directors and marks Bridge of Spies writer Matt Charman’s first step into producing (he pitched the story and exec produces).
I’m hearing that Now You See Me 3 should see most of the cast reprise their role and Jon M. Chu is currently attached to direct, with Bobby Cohen producing with Alex Kurtzman and Jeb Brody. Story continues to center on a band of criminal magicians known as The Four Horsemen who pull off astounding performances in order to steal huge amounts of money from either a bank or a wealthy individual.
The format has been so popular for Lionsgate it’s even making a Chinese spinoff of the thriller which it is set to produce with Beijing-based Leomus Pictures. It will be shot in China with a mostly Chinese cast.
Widener and James are repped by CAA, Grandview and Greg Slewett at Bloom Hergott.