Well, here is this week’s most unexpected news. Universal Studios has announced that they are fast tracking a sequel to the 2003 Rowan Atkinson spy-spoof Johnny English. A script is already in place and the studio hopes that cameras will begin rolling, under the direction of St. Trinian‘s helmer Oliver Parker, in August.
Considering that the original film only made $28 million at the domestic box office against its $40 million budget, Johnny English seems like an unlikely film to get a sequel. But outside the States, where English comic Atkinson has a much higher profile, the adventures of a bumbling civil service who gets mistaken for a spy pulled in $161 million at the box office.
Unfortunately, Rowan Atkinson has never been able to make a big impression in the US. His best known character is the mute Mr. Bean, who appeared in a long running BBC series which became a popular programming choice on PBS stations around the country. Atkinson spun the character off for two films which grossed a combined $481 million worldwide.
Hopefully, if this does well, Atkinson may be amenable to revisiting some of his other past successful characters like my personal favorite, Edmund Blackadder.