While taking a break from driving sports cars off high-rise buildings in the Fast & Furious franchise, Vin Diesel is currently hard at work on what could be his next hit film series — The Last Witch Hunter. Turns out, Summit Entertainment and Lionsgate are already banking on just that.
In a recent post on his Facebook page, Diesel revealed the studio is apparently quite pleased with the direction of the supernatural action flick. So pleased, in fact, that a sequel has already been put into early development. Assuming the first film puts up decent numbers this October, there could be a witch-hunting followup on the big screen soon after.
The film stars Diesel (and a goatee that could kill a man all by itself) as a witch hunter named Kaulder, the only warrior left to protect humanity from all kinds of supernatural evil. Cursed with immortality, Kaulder spends his life hunting down witches. But, when the powerful enemy who cursed him returns, it sets off an all-out war for survival. The film could certainly be fun, but the initial trailer was flirting a bit too closely with a Seventh Son vibe, which is worrisome.
The big question will be whether Diesel can find any lasting success outside the billion-dollar Fast & Furious franchise. Yes, he’s turned Riddick into a sci-fi “franchise” by sheer force of will, but none of those movies have actually been major financial hits. They mostly turned a small profit or broke even thanks to low-ish budgets (except for the high-profile flop of 2004’s Chronicles of Riddick), but Diesel has yet to prove he can be a bankable star without a muscle car around him.
If nothing else, we’ll know a whole lot more when this one opens Oct. 23.