Charlize Theron became a breakout action star thanks to her 2017 action-espionage film Atomic Blonde, based on the graphic novel series The Coldest City. Since then, fans of the genre have been waiting to see Theron step back into the role of Cold War-era spy Lorraine Broughton, and now it seems like the Oscar-winning actress is getting her shot. Discussing Film reports that Atomic Blonde 2 is in early development at Netflix. Kelly McCormack and Beth Kono are said to be attached to the sequels as producers, through production company Denver and Delilah Productions, which produced the original Atomic Blonde.
Additionally, it's reported that Charlize Theron will indeed be back as both producer and star of Atomic Blonde 2. The project is said to be still looking at screenwriters for the script, and while no director is mentioned, there's reason to expect that Atomic Blonde and Deadpool 2 director David Leitch could also return. After all, he is married to producer Kelly McCormack, and Leitch has already hinted that he's returning Atomic Blonde 2, during an interview last summer:
"I think there is [still talk of a sequel]," Leitch told Slashfilm. "A streaming service is into it. I don’t know all the details. I was a work-for-hire on that movie, but at the end of the day, Kelly McCormick – my producing partner and my wife – she will be involved, I’m sure, as a producer. That’s how I got the gig in the first place. We’ll see."
Atomic Blonde ended up being a modest hit at the box office. It made a modest $100 million worldwide, but only cost $30 million to make. So, it wasn't really up to the usual standards of Charlize Theron films (Mad Max: Fury Road) or David Leitch films (John Wick, Deadpool 2), but it was profitable enough for a second investment - especially on a smaller scale. Netflix can slash the marketing and distribution costs of Atomic Blonde 2 by a much bigger margin than a studio theatrical release, which give Atomic Blonde 2 even greater potential for profit. Having Charlize Theron headline a major action flick on Netflix will also be much bigger "event" for the streaming service than it would for theater audiences - especially in a post-COVID-19 era.
It seems that Netflix isn't just producing its own original features using big-name stars and directors - it's also sustaining film franchises that fall into that middlegrounds of profit. Given the way the entertainment industry is rapidly changing, it's definitely a smart move.
No release date on Atomic Blonde 2 as of yet.
Disclosure: ComicBook is owned by CBS Interactive, a division of ViacomCBS.