ABC Is Developing a TV Series Sequel to 'Enemy of the State'
Photo Credit: "Enemy of the State"
Film , Television

ABC Is Developing a TV Series Sequel to 'Enemy of the State'

Buena Vista Pictures Distribution
Buena Vista Pictures Distribution

In an intriguing move, ABC has ordered a pilot that will serve as a sequel to the 1998 Will Smith/Gene Hackman actioner “Enemy of The State,” which was directed by the late Tony Scott movie. This feels more like Fox’s territory, as it’s a broadcast network that’s shown the most interest in prequelizing or sequelizing tent-pole studio movies as TV series (see “Gotham” and “Minority Report” to start).

The ABC “Enemy of the State” pilot, which will be written by Morgan Davis Foehl (“Blackhat” from director Michael Mann), will be set 20 years after the end of the original film, and will follow an NSA spy on the run who is charged with leaking classified intelligence, and the female attorney who partners with an FBI agent to track down the spy, and prevent an international conspiracy that threatens to expose dark secrets.

So what we have here are some Ed Snowden/Wikileaks/Julian Assange-esque scenarios that are certainly of the present time.

The original film follows corrupt NSA official Thomas Reynolds (Jon Voight) who has a congressman assassinated to assure the passage of expansive new surveillance legislation. When a videotape of the murder ends up in the hands of Robert Clayton Dean (Will Smith), an attorney, he is framed for murder. With the help of ex-FBI agent Edward “Brill” Lyle (Gene Hackman), Dean attempts to throw Reynolds off his trail and prove his innocence. Some similarities with the ABC pilot, in terms of characters especially – an attorney who partners with an FBI agent (ex-FBI agent in the case of the film), to take down an NSA spy.

No word yet on casting – specially, given this blog’s interests, whether either of the leads will be a black man or woman. I would assume so, but we’ll see. It’s still early in the process.

“Enemy of the State” – the ABC project – is executive produced Jerry Bruckheimer (he also produced the 1998 movie), Jonathan Littman and KristieAnne Reed.

The original film was a success for the studio, Buena Vista Pictures Distribution (although not a bona fide blockbuster), grossing over $250 million on a $90 million budget. It also co-starred Regina King and Lisa Bonet.

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