Filmmaker Joe Russo has said that conversations about a follow-up to the recent Netflix action film Extraction began about a month ago, and the film's record-breaking performance only encouraged everyone involved to move ahead with another instalment.
Russo, who wrote the script for the first film, confirmed that he had signed on to the follow-up on Tuesday. Asked about how the sequel (or prequel) came into being, he told Collider, "I think there were preliminary conversations prior to release. Everyone was very happy with the movie and very excited about it. There was good energy going into the release. And certainly the release cemented it. But yeah, it had been a conversation that's been going on for a little over a month."
Extraction is the feature film debut of stunt coordinator Sam Hargrave, who worked with Russo and his brother Anthony on several Marvel movies. The film stars Chris Hemsworth as a black market mercenary sent to Dhaka to rescue a kidnapped Indian boy.
Russo continued, "Yeah, they said they were very happy with the film and excited about it. And they knew there was potential there for another story. And everyone was blown away by Sam's execution on the film, so I think the numbers just reaffirmed what we all felt about the movie. And now we're just going to go explore what potential story there could be moving forward with this character. With Anthony and I, everything we do is story based, we got to find the right story to tell to know that, 'Yeah, we're going to go make the film.'" Russo also said, "I don't think the sequel's going to be filmed without Sam."
Netflix revealed recently that Extraction is pacing to become the biggest ever original film debut for the streaming service, with an estimated 90 million households tuning in during the first month. According to Deadline, it eclipsed Spenser Confidential (85 million), 6 Underground (83 million), Bird Box (80 million), and the Adam Sandler/Jennifer Aniston comedy Murder Mystery (73 million).
Asked about where he'd like to take the story next, Russo said, "Well I think what was compelling about our approach to this one — and has been informed by our time spent working on Marvel films and travelling the world — is hopefully gaining a deeper understanding of international markets and telling stories that explore them in the films [and] that are less 'U.S.A.' in the story. I think that that was very successful in this film and something that we would continue to do on a future movie in this franchise."
He added, "Certainly I'm going through that in my mind right now, what makes sense. There's critical aspects of [Extraction] that you would want to carry over as part of the main tenets of a franchise. And location is a big part of that. What I like is that there's a fresh approach just in terms of the canvases are pretty wide open on it."
Hargrave was asked during a recent watch party which elements he'd like to explore in a possible follow-up, and he said, "It's a hypothetical ... there are so many storylines in this world that Joe built with the script, there's so many ways it could go. If anything were to happen, it's really up to finding the best story… and what's the best thing for the movie and the universe that is growing out of the script that Joe wrote. I am open, I think there's so many fun possibilities, I'm ready, whatever the next challenge brings, I'll be there."