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Why The Angelina Jolie Sequel Never Happened


Why The Angelina Jolie Sequel Never Happened


Summary

  • Salt 2
    fell through despite early plans and the potential for a franchise. Angelina Jolie rejected the sequel script in 2012, and the project quietly died due to lack of traction and financial success.
  • A
    Salt
    TV series was briefly considered as an alternative, but the concept was deemed too similar to
    The Blacklist
    . With over a decade since the first movie, it is unlikely that Jolie would return to the role.
  • Salt
    may be better off without a sequel. While it set up the potential for a franchise, the movie received mixed reviews and didn’t generate overwhelming demand. The lack of originality in the genre and Jolie’s career transition may have contributed to the project being shelved.



2010’s Salt starring Angelina Jolie was an exciting new entry into the spy thriller genre — but despite initial plans for a franchise, Salt 2 never happened. Tom Cruise was originally attached to Salt, which dealt with a CIA agent named Edwin Salt going on the run when he was accused of being a Russian mole. Jolie stepped in with the gender-switched protagonist of Evelyn Salt. Following the first movie grossing $293 million at the box office (via Box Office Mojo), there were quickly plans announced for a Salt sequel — though, unfortunately, Salt 2 still hasn’t arrived over a decade later.


The ending of Salt clearly set up at least one sequel with the potential for the franchise to grow beyond Salt 2, and there are many who view Evelyn Salt as one of Angelina Jolie’s most underrated roles. More than a decade since the first movie became a hit, talk of a Salt franchise or sequel has all but disappeared and the likelihood of it happening is next to zero. Angelina Jolie has largely taken a step back from the acting world aside from her more recent roles in Eternals and Those Who Wish Me Dead. With the promising franchise no more, it is interesting to look back on what happened and why it might be best Salt 2 never worked out.

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Early Plans For Salt 2 Fell Through

Jolie Rejected The Sequel Script


At the end of Salt, Evelyn is able to prevent a nuclear war, then escapes CIA custody after vowing to hunt down all the remaining Russian sleeper agents. There’s also a suggestion the new President could be a Russian mole, which set up the Salt 2 movie to follow Evelyn becoming something of a vigilante taking down the KA agents within the U.S. government. Salt‘s ending was clearly left open-ended so that studio Columbia Pictures could easily develop a sequel if the movie was successful.

In the years that followed the first movie,

Salt 2
entered early development, but it doesn’t appear to have gained much traction.

Angelina Jolie rejected a draft for Salt 2 in 2012
(via

Indie Wire
), which was penned by Kurt Wimmer, the writer of the first movie. While reports of the sequel still being developed would follow, the actress’ involvement remained in question. In truth, while

Salt
was a hit, it wasn’t a box-office juggernaut relative to its $110 million budget. After years of fruitless development, Sony likely opted to let the project quietly die.

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A Salt TV Series Was In Development

The New Direction For The Franchise Has Also Stalled

Evelyn Salt weaving through traffic on a bike in Salt

With no sign of Salt 2 moving forward, a report emerged in 2016 that Sony was developing a Salt TV series instead. The sequel tease at the end of the movie would have perfectly set up the show, with Evelyn Salt tracking down various moles. That said, this concept is also quite similar to The Blacklist, which may be one reason nothing has been heard about a Salt series ever since.


Angelina Jolie has shown a willingness to return for sequels like Maleficent: Mistress of Evil, but the actor has shown more interest in directing and humanitarian work in recent years. Given that more than 10 years have passed without Salt 2, it seems unlikely that Angelina Jolie would choose to return to the role for a TV series.

Salt Is Better Off Without A Sequel

Poster image of Angelina Jolie in Salt

As it stands, Salt 2 is unconfirmed and seemingly not currently in development, and despite a script being written, the sequel obviously entered development hell a long time ago. However, while Salt set up a sequel, that doesn’t necessarily mean that there should’ve been one.Angelina Jolie may not be as active as she once was, but the best roles of the latter half of her career weren’t the action-heroine parts like Lara Croft in Tomb Raider, Fox in Wanted, or Evelyn Salt.


Salt came at a time when her career was transitioning to a new phase, and Salt 2 realistically wouldn’t have been as much of a successful role for her as, for example, Maleficent in Disney’s live-action trilogy of the same name. In addition, Salt received mixed reviews from critics and audiences too, so while it didn’t bomb at the box office, there wasn’t an overwhelming demand for more of the story.

The issue with Salt‘s longevity as a story and how long it could continue with Salt 2 and beyond was that it relied too heavily on its genre predecessors, trying to take the best parts of earlier, better action-spy movies without giving the film an original spin or approach. Jolie might have carried the movie, but since she refused to take on Salt 2, studios probably thought it best to shelve the project.


Angelina Jolie Has Mostly Avoided Sequels In Her Career

Salt 2 Would Be An Outlier In Her Filmography

While many fans of 2010’s Salt have hoped for Salt 2, even over a decade after it was released, a key reason that it’s unlikely to happen is that Angelina Jolie isn’t an actor who tends to make sequels. There are a few notable exceptions — she reprized her roles as Lara Croft for 2003’s Tom Raider – The Cradle of Life, as Tigress for Kung Fu Panda 2 and 3, and as Maleficent for 2019’s Maleficent: Mistress of Evil. Outside these examples, though, Jolie has been one of several Hollywood stars who seem to avoid sequels and franchises.

While action movies like
Salt, Tomb Raider,
and 2008’s
Wanted
are how many viewers predominantly know of Angelina Jolie, these are far from the most celebrated movies in her wider body of work.


It should also be noted that, while action movies like Salt, Tomb Raider, and 2008’s Wanted are how many viewers predominantly know of Angelina Jolie, these are far from the most celebrated movies in her wider body of work. Angelina Jolie is a multi-award-winning actor, with an Oscar, three Golden Globes, and two Screen Actors Guild wins to her name, including multiple nominations. None of these were for her action movies or films, like Salt, that could have potentially spawned a sequel.

Jolie won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for 1999’s Girl, Interrupted. She was also nominated for Best Actress in 2008 for Changeling. Her Golden Globe wins come courtesy of Girl, Interrupted as well as 1997’s George Wallace and 1998’s Gia (for which she also won a Primetime Emmy). So, while Salt 2 may be on the wishlist of many fans of the original, it was always an unlikely career move for Angelina Jolie, and Salt is itself actually something of an outlier when considering the rest of her incredibly vast filmography.


Salt Movie Poster

Salt

Release Date
July 23, 2010

Director
Phillip Noyce

Cast
Angelina Jolie , Liev Schreiber , Daniel Olbrychski , August Diehl , Chiwetel Ejiofor

Budget
$110–130 Million

Studio(s)
Columbia Pictures

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