Movies & TV Shows

Why The Angelina Jolie Sequel Never Happened

The original movie was a star vehicle for Angelina Jolie. But despite being a major hit, Salt 2 never happened. Here’s why the sequel was canned.

The original was a hit star vehicle for Angelina Jolie, but why did Salt 2 fail to materialize? Angelina Jolie was a regular face in the action genre in the mid-2000s, which include her Tomb Raider movies and comic adaptation Wanted. Tom Cruise was originally attached to Salt, which dealt with a CIA agent named Edwin Salt going on the run when he’s accused of being a Russian mole. Cruise was attached for over a year before departing as he felt the character was a little too close to Mission: Impossible’s Ethan Hunt.

The script for Salt was eventually rewritten for Angelina Jolie, with the character being renamed Evelyn. Salt was a vehicle to show off Jolie’s action and acting chops, and while the film itself suffered from a fairly generic plot, her performance and some good setpieces made it worth watching. The film grossed almost $300 million and was poised to become a new franchise, but nearly a decade after release, it’s clear that’s unlikely to happen.


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Salt also boasted a strong cast outside of Angelina Jolie, with Liev Schreiber, Chiwetel Ejiofor, and Andre Braugher also starring. While there may have been a sequel tease in Salt‘s ending, nothing came to follow up the rest of the movie — and that might’ve been for the better. Here’s why Salt 2 never materialized and the potential future of the franchise.

Salt Ends With A Sequel Tease

After preventing nuclear war — similarly to Interceptor‘s ending — Salt escapes CIA custody after vowing to hunt down all the remaining Russian sleeper agents. There’s also a suggestion the new President could be a Russian mole, which set up Salt 2 to follow Evelyn becoming something of a vigilante taking down the KA agents within the U.S. government. All in all, Salt‘s ending was meant to be left open-ended and suggest that a second installment could occur. However, that never happened for a number of reasons.

Angelina Jolie Rejected The Script For Salt 2

salt 2010 bike chase

In the years that followed, Salt 2 was developed but it doesn’t appear to have gained much traction. Jolie rejected a draft for Salt 2 in 2012, and while reports of the sequel still being developed would follow, the actress’ involvement remained in question. In truth, while Angelina Jolie’s movie Salt was a hit, it wasn’t a box-office juggernaut either. So, after years of fruitless development, its likely Sony opted to let the project quietly die.

A Salt TV Series Was Rumored In 2016

Angelina Jolie as Evelyn Salt in Salt

With no sign of Salt 2 moving forwards, a report emerged in 2016 that Sony was developing a Salt TV series instead. The sequel tease at the end of the movie would have been ready-made for a show, with Evelyn Salt tracking down various moles. That said, this concept is also quite similar to The Blacklist, which may be one reason nothing has been heard about a Salt series ever since. Angelina Jolie has shown a willingness to return for sequels like Maleficent: Mistress of Evil, but given that ten years has passed without Salt 2, it’s very unlikely she will return to the role.

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Why It’s A Good Thing There’s No Salt 2

While Salt set up a sequel, that doesn’t necessarily mean that there should’ve been one. If Tom Cruise bowed out of the original production because he felt that the character was too similar to his Mission: Impossible counterpart and the TV show was scrapped because it too closely resembled The Blacklist, the original may simply be too derivative to creatively justify a follow-up. In addition, Salt received mixed reviews from critics and audiences, so while it didn’t completely tank at the box office, there wasn’t overwhelming demand for more of the story. The problem with the movie was that the characters and storyline relied too heavily on its genre predecessors, trying to take the best parts of earlier, better action-spy flicks without giving the film an original spin or approach. Eternals‘ Angelina Jolie might have carried the movie, but since she refused to take on Salt 2, studios probably thought it best to let this sleeping dog lie.

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