Why There Was Never A Follow-Up To Angelina Jolie's Salt

If you're a fan of spy thrillers, you may have already seen 2010's Salt, starring Angelina Jolie. Fans regarded Jolie as an iconic action star in the mid-2000s as she made various films being the brave heroine. The Tomb Raider franchise in 2001 and 2008 were both a success — and the blockbuster hits made her one of the highest-paid actresses in Hollywood (via GOBankingRates).

Screenwriter Kurt Wimmer, known for his works on Ultraviolet and Equilibrium, made a script entitled The Far-Reaching Philosophy of Edwin A. Salt. Columbia Pictures acquired his work and initially cast Tom Cruise to play a CIA agent suspected of being a Russian spy. The actor got excited about the film at first, but he eventually turned down the role for he felt Salt being too similar to his Mission: Impossible series (via SyFy). "Tom was flirting with the part, and we just couldn't pin him down," Salt director Phillip Noyce told NBC.

Columbia Pictures' chief executive Amy Pascal then suggested Jolie for the role — which led to changes in the script. The Maleficent actress became Evelyn Salt, and her portrayal of the character in the movie made people forget about Tom Cruise being the first choice. Jolie also received great reviews from critics. Despite the success, the second installment of the film never happened.

Did Angelina Jolie turn down the Salt sequel because of the script?

The sequel to the mystery film almost happened; screenwriter Kurt Wimmer started working on the script in 2011. With the success of Salt (grossing over $300 million), Angelina Jolie initially wanted to do the second installment.

Jolie received the script for the sequel, and her enthusiasm for the second film quickly changed to the point that the movie never pushed through. She turned down the role, and Columbia Pictures never replaced her nor changed the script (via Fandango). In 2012, Columbia Pictures had their eyes set on hiring a new writer for Salt 2 — Becky Johnston, an Oscar nominee and well-known for her works on Arthur Newman and Seven Years in Tibet (via Vulture). In spite of efforts, though, the progress of the film stalled.

Then came 2014, when Lorenzo di Bonaventura, the producer of Salt, shared some news about the sequel. "I just read the Salt 2 script last week, and we'll be going into the studio soon," he said at the U.K. premiere of Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit. "One of the mysteries of our business is what gets made, why it gets made and when it gets made. It's an exciting script and has a very daring idea" (via Den of Geek). Despite di Bonaventura's statement regarding the second film, nothing happened to its production.

Sony planned on releasing a Salt TV series

In February 2016, news of Sony Pictures releasing a Salt TV series emerged. Screen Daily reported that the entertainment company planned to introduce the idea at the European Film Market in the same year. "We want to bring it to Europe in a completely different way," Sony Picture's Diego Suarez said.

Sony wanted an adaptation of the original spy thriller, but they aimed for the European market. As to Angelina Jolie playing the same character, Sony did not reveal any information. Noting that more than ten years have passed, Jolie would highly unlikely reprise her rose as the Russian-born CIA agent.

Indeed, Jolie has turned her attention to various other projects in the years since Salt, most notably Disney's Maleficent franchise, which has had significant success on the big screen (she got $33 million for the first film, per TIME). Though Jolie really did nail all her fight scenes, and she looked so empowering as Evelyn Salt. A shame that a Salt follow-up never happened. Nonetheless, Sony hasn't really addressed the cancelation of the pitched Salt series. So, there's still hope.