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Joe Cornish provides update on 'Attack the Block' sequel; reflects on Ant-Man evolution in the MCU

"We are deep in research, working on the screenplay."

By Josh Weiss
Joe Cornish

All good things in this world (and out of it) take time. Ever since May of 2021, writer-director Joe Cornish has been hard at work on a sequel to the feature-length debut that placed him and John Boyega on Hollywood's radar: Attack the Block.

While there are no specific plot details at this time, we do know that the direct follow-up to the modern cult sci-fi classic will feature the return of Boyega as London street gang leader and all-around alien butt-kicker, Moses. SYFY WIRE recently sat down with Cornish over Zoom to discuss his new Netflix series, Lockwood & Co., and couldn't resist asking about where the movie currently stands.

"We are deep in research, working on the screenplay," Cornish told SYFY WIRE. "One of the things that we feel helped the first movie work was this combination of made-up fantasy and reality. So we did a lot of research for the first movie, and we're doing the same for this movie. We have the storyline, we have a detailed treatment, and we're doing all the research necessary to take that to screenplay at the moment."

Of course, things have gotten rather busy in the 12 years. Cornish, for instance, went on to make The Kid Who Would Be King at 20th Century Fox (now 20th Century Studios under Disney's ownership), while Boyega landed a starring role in a little franchise called Star Wars. As such, it's not really a big mystery as to why the development process for Attack the Block 2 has taken this long. What's more: Cornish wants to be as authentic as possible to real-world encounters with unexplained phenomena.

"I’ve literally just come from a two-hour interview with a real person, whose experiences overlap with some of the story," he added. "And then I'm meeting [with] John regularly. Attack the Block was my first film, so nobody was waiting for that. Nobody was going, 'Come on, hurry up with that one!’ I had plenty of time to get the script where I needed it to be and I'm going to do the same with this one."

And, with Phase 5 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe officially kicking off in just a few weeks with the wide theatrical release of Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, we also probed Cornish for his thoughts on the evolution of a character he helped develop for the big screen alongside Edgar Wright when the latter was still attached to direct the 2015 origin film.

Over the last eight years, Paul Rudd's Scott Lang has become an integral part of the MCU, serving as the linchpin for the core time travel element in Avengers: Endgame. His reward? Getting to introduce this universe's next big bad — Kang the Conquerer (Jonathan Majors) in the third movie of his blockbuster trilogy.

"Well, it's fantastic," Cornish said. "And every time I look at Ant-Man, I think, ‘Okay, that's, our suit!’ We designed that suit. It's Edgar’s casting for Paul and Michael [Douglas]. There’s still a lot of Edgar's energy and invention in the broad concept. But I think we can both just enjoy them as movies now and it’s great that the movies are so successful and [that] he’s such a key and interesting member of the Avengers. I think a lot of that is to do with the work that Edgar did, formulating what he should be before Peyton [Reed] took over."

Based on the bestselling YA novels written by Jonathan Stroud, Lockwood & Co. centers around a London-based agency of teenage ghost hunters/exterminators. All eight episodes are now streaming on Netflix.

Looking for more sci-fi content? Check out shows like Resident Alien, Brave New World, Project Blue Book, Eureka, Heroes, Intergalactic, and more streaming now on Peacock. Looking ahead, SYFY has the new series, The Ark — from original Stargate film producer Dean Devlin and Stargate SG-1 producer Jonathan Glassner — debuting on Feb. 1.