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Ben Affleck’s ‘The Accountant 2’ Moves from Warner Bros. to Amazon MGM as Prime Video Exclusive

“The Accountant 2” with Ben Affleck is moving forward, with Amazon MGM now picking up the sequel rights to the action film from Warner Bros. and Affleck’s production company Artists Equity. Affleck and director Gavin O’Connor are set to return, IndieWire has confirmed.

Amazon MGM will be planning to release “The Accountant 2” as a streaming exclusive through its Prime Video; it likely would have been a theatrical play if released through Warner Bros. The original film from 2016 earned $155 million worldwide at the box office and was also the most-rented digital film of 2017.

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J.K. Simmons, Jon Bernthal, and Cynthia Addai-Robinson are set to star in the sequel film, and O’Connor will direct from a script by the original’s writer, Bill Dubuque.

Here’s the synopsis for “The Accountant 2:” When her former boss is killed by unknown assassins, Treasury Agent Marybeth Medina (Addai-Robinson) is forced to contact Christian Wolff (Affleck) to solve the murder. With the help of his estranged but highly lethal brother Brax (Bernthal), Chris applies his brilliant mind and less-than-legal methods to piece together the unsolved puzzle. As they get closer to the truth, the trio draw the attention of some of the most ruthless killers alive—all intent on putting a stop to their search.

This is Amazon’s fourth project with Artists Equity, the company led by Affleck and Matt Damon. Together they’ve worked on “Air,” which was the flagship theatrical release under the Amazon MGM banner, and also last month’s “The Greatest Love Story Never Told,” the documentary on Jennifer Lopez that was a Prime Video exclusive. The fourth project is the upcoming “Unstoppable” based on the true story of Anthony Robles; its distribution plan is currently unknown. All of those are very different movies from “The Accountant,” but it stands to reason a sequel to even a modest box-office hit could play well in theaters.

Affleck and Damon’s Artists Equity tries to expand profit participation to creatives as a way to make the economics of streaming movies with big stars make more sense for all involved, so it may be that Affleck and company saw this as the best path for the film after buying back the sequel rights from original distributor Warner Bros.

Amazon MGM’s ambitions with theatrical has been a major industry question in part because of drama surrounding the release of this month’s “Road House” remake starring Jake Gyllenhaal. Director Doug Liman vowed to boycott the movie when it opens the SXSW Film Festival this weekend because he wanted the film to be released theatrically rather than through streaming exclusively. But there have been reports the film obtained a higher budget by agreeing to go streaming, and Gyllenhaal himself said there was never any confusion that it was always meant to be a streaming play.

Artists Equity’s Affleck and Damon, 51 Entertainment’s Lynette Howell Taylor, and Mark Williams will produce “The Accountant 2.” Executive producers include Artists Equity’s Dani Bernfeld, Kevin Halloran, Michael Joe, and Alison Winter. Scott Lastaiti and Jamie Patricof are also executive producers.

Affleck through Artists Equity is also producing a U2 documentary feature called “Kiss the Future,” a historical drama starring Cillian Murphy called “Small Things Like These,” and “The Instigators” for Apple.

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