11:53am PT by Jay A. Fernandez
New Line Moving Forward With 'Journey 3'
With Journey 2: The Mysterious Island stomping its way through the international box office, New Line is moving forward with a third movie in the series. Journey 2 director Brad Peyton (below right) and writers Brian Gunn and Mark Gunn have closed their deals to return for another sequel.
The studio is fast-tracking the project with a tentative plan to have the third movie in theaters in 2014. Like its predecessors, Journey 3 will be a 3D family adventure based on the works of 19th century French writer Jules Verne, who penned 54 Voyages Extraordinaires novels. No deals have yet been discussed with any returning cast members, but producers Beau Flynn, Tripp Vinson and Charlotte Huggins will return.
"I grew up a fan of Verne, so I know a lot about the mythologies," says Peyton. "Mysterious Island was one of eight or nine really seminal works. I know we've just scratched the surface of what we can do. This one's going to be a lot bigger. We're going to go to a completely different world. It's just going to be a bigger experience, and we're going to grow the mythology. Journey 2 was about rebooting a franchise; now it's about making the seminal work in the franchise."
Since opening Feb. 10, Journey 2 already has topped the $242 million worldwide that the first film in the series, Journey to the Center of the Earth, grossed in 2008. By midweek, Journey 2 will have passed $275 million worldwide.
In Journey 2, Josh Hutcherson — who stars in both films — heads off in search of his grandfather, played by Michael Caine, along with stepdad Dwayne Johnson, helicopter pilot Luis Guzman and the pilot's daughter Vanessa Hudgens.
The Verve-repped Peyton also directed Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore.
Repped by ICM, the Gunns also have MacGyver at New Line and The Monster Squad at Paramount.