No, you did not misread the title, Activision Blizzard Studios has indeed already hired a writer for the sequel to their ‘Call of Duty’ movie which is not even CLOSE to being released, in fact the first film does not even has a cast or a distributor yet, though to be fair it does have a director that they hired earlier this year, Stefano Sollima (‘Sicario 2: Day of the Soldado’), who will be working off a script by Kieran Fitzgerald (‘Snowden’). But the point is that Activision Blizzard is supremely confident in the franchise which has spawned fifteen video games to date, enough so that they already have a whole blueprint for what they want to do with the series.
Here’s what Activision Blizzard co-president Stacey Sher had to say on the studio’s plans for the franchise last year:
“We have plotted out many years…We put together this group of writers to talk about where we were going. There’ll be a film that feels more like Black Ops, the story behind the story. The Modern Warfare series looks at what it’s like to fight a war with the eyes of the world on you. And then maybe something that is more of a hybrid, where you are looking at private, covert operations, while a public operation is going on.”
So they have hired Joe Robert Cole, the man who co-wrote Marvel’s smash hit ‘Black Panther‘ with Ryan Coogler, to write the second film in the ‘Call of Duty’ franchise, which does seem like a smart move considering the man has some serious momentum behind him at the moment and is already committed to a number of other projects including an adaptation of the graphic novel ‘Failsafe’ (with ‘Black Panther’ alum Michael B. Jordan) for Netflix and also writing and directing the film ‘All Day And a Night.’
Most likely Activision Blizzard booked Cole while they had a chance, even if the man cannot actually start working on their script for some months. Which would work out in their favor since the second film would probably benefit from knowledge about how the story in the first film actually turns out since a lot can change on set and in post-production on movies like this. Variety is reporting that Activision Blizzard wants the second script “as soon as the first pic goes into production next year.” Meaning that Cole will end up writing the full script and the studio will be left praying that nothing major changes during production on the first movie that will force a re-write, none of which sounds like a good idea to me.
When studios try to force a shared universe and plan movies around sequels and world-building, it always seems to fail, as they forget to focus on making each individual movie a success. I fear the ‘Call of Duty’ franchise is heading down the same dark path as Universal’s shared “Monster” universe, or the last reboot of the ‘Terminator’ franchise.
Still, I could be wrong, and I am sure many fans out there are hoping for an amazing ‘Call of Duty’ film, and their hopes cannot help but be sparked by the knowledge that a talent like Cole is on board for the sequel. So for now, we’re in a wait and see situation. Feel free to share any of your own thoughts in comments below!