Despite a poor plot and even worse execution, Journey 2: The Mysterious Island has somehow managed to make itself a financial success.
As such, New Line Cinema has eagerly kicked off development of yet another sequel to the 2008 version of Journey to the Center of the Earth.
That first film in the franchise wasn't exactly stellar, but did have some substance, unlike its direct sequel.
Frannly, I’m surprised New Line was happy with Journey 2, despite the financial success. Often, in order to secure another film in the franchise, a film must garner both monetary and critical success - or at least not utter critical failure.
This clearly wasn't the case for this film, which means that while Journey 2 may have been able to succeed on the memory of the first film, Journey 3 will not be able to succeed on the memory of Journey 2. Of course, whether or not it’ll be a worthwhile addition to the American film landscape is apparently not part of the formula.
The Journey franchise is based on a family of Jules Verne fans who know that the books the author wrote are all true, rather than the fiction everyone believes them to be - an idea which insults Verne right off the bat, but we won’t get into that here. In the first film, they traveled to the strange and prehistoric underground world from Journey to the Center of the Earth, and in the second, they manage to locate the island from The Mysterious Island. There is no word yet on which Vernian locale they will visit in the new sequel.
Screen writers Brian and Mark Gunn will be returning to write the third film, and Brad Payton will be back to direct, so I wouldn’t expect anything more interesting than we got this time. Unsurprisingly, Payton seems utterly undeterred by the poor critical reception, as he has grand plans for the new film.
"I grew up a fan of Verne, so I know a lot about the mythologies," Payton told an interviewer over at The Hollywood Reporter. "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."
Journey 3 has no announced production or release dates.