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Why We Never Got A Salt Sequel

Angelina Jolie's bonafides as an action movie star may have seemed unexpected to those who followed her early career, but by the end of the 2000s, she already had two Tomb Raider films, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, and Wanted under her belt. She kicked off the next decade by starring in the high-octane blockbuster Salt. The film, which had originally been written for Tom Cruise, saw Jolie playing a CIA agent named Evelyn Salt who must go on the run when a spy identifies her as a Russian sleeper agent.

Salt received somewhat solid reviews from critics, who mostly praised Jolie's committed performance in the title role. Like any studio action film worth its salt (sorry), the ending left the door wide open for a sequel. In 2011, news dropped that a follow-up was indeed underway. Both Jolie and the film's screenwriter, Kurt Wimmer, were coming back to craft the sequel, which looked poised to potentially launch an action franchise.

However, a decade later and Salt 2 is as far along in production as John Carter 2 – which is to say not at all. Even though Jolie has her schedule full with Marvel's The Eternals, we're still wondering what happened to the once-promising Salt sequel and why it never came to fruition.

Angelina Jolie wasn't a fan of the script for the Salt sequel

After the sequel news cropped up in 2011, there wasn't a peep about the second Salt film until 2012, when it was reported that a script had been finalized. But the film was now facing a major hurdle. In March of that year, it was reported that Angelina Jolie had allegedly rejected the script upon reading it. Given how integral Jolie was to the success of the first film, this development was a big issue for the sequel.

Later in the year, Vulture reported that Becky Johnston, a screenwriter who had previously written Seven Years In Tibet and Arthur Newman, had been brought on to do a rewrite of Kurt Wimmer's script. However, even with a new screenwriter, Salt 2 seemed to have stalled. It wasn't until 2014 that the public got another update on the potential sequel.

At the U.K. premiere of Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit in January 2014, one of Salt's producers, Lorenzo di Bonaventura, provided a few kernels of information about the waylaid sequel. He shared, "I just read the Salt 2 script last week and we'll be going into the studio soon... It's an exciting script and has a very daring idea."

Contrary to di Bonaventura's assertion, Salt 2 didn't begin production soon after his statement. In fact, that was the last anybody heard of the project. Well, the last anybody heard of it as a straight film sequel. The next time a follow-up to Salt poked its head above ground, the project had taken on a very different shape.

A Salt TV series failed to materialize

In 2016, Screen Daily reported that Sony had been pitching a very different version of a new Salt property at the European Film Market. Instead of a film sequel, the studio was attempting to create a TV series based on the movie that would likely have served as a reboot or remake. Furthermore, the series was to be aimed at a European television market rather than the American one.

This seems like a fairly surprising development, but it wasn't completely without precedent. At the time, other popular films such as The Exorcist were being rebooted as TV series that expanded on the original ideas presented on the silver screen. Salt had also done very well in international markets when it first hit theaters, so the idea to launch a reboot for a European audience wasn't completely out of the blue.

What was the plot of the Salt TV reboot and who was set to star in it? Nobody knows. The project never got further than the rumblings from the European Film Market, and although it was never officially called off, now that it's been four years and the spate of TV show movie remakes has died down, it seems very unlikely the show will ever come together.

Is there still a possibility for a Salt sequel?

It has now been a decade since Salt debuted in theaters, and despite interest from the studio, so far it has failed to produce even one sequel or follow-up of any kind. What's the status of the long beleaguered project these days? The truth is, we have no idea. Since the 2016 rumors of the TV reboot, there hasn't been any news about any potential sequels or reboots.

Although the idea of a possible Salt 2 hasn't been formally killed, it's probably very unlikely that we'll ever see another film. The movie was popular upon release, but outside of its ardent fans, it hasn't exactly inserted itself as part of the cultural zeitgeist. Given the difficulty Sony Pictures had trying to put the sequel together over the years, it's very likely that the project was seen as causing more trouble than it was worth. Now that we live in an era of Marvel and DC dominance, it doesn't feel plausible that Sony would be willing to spend the money it would take to make a proper sequel happen, especially if it wouldn't hold a candle to larger tentpoles.