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Remember when every Young Adult novel was getting snatched up by Hollywood and turned into a blockbuster franchise? That was certainly the hope when Dreamworks brought I Am Number Four to the big screen in 2011.
Based on the sci-fi book series by Pittacus Lore (a pseudonym for co-authors James Frey and Jobie Hughes), I Am Number Four follows an alien teenager named John Smith hiding on Earth.
Despite its well-known brand name among teens, I Am Number Four failed to become a movie franchise. Why did this series fail where many other books thrived? Let’s dive into why we never got an I Am Number Four 2.
Dreamworks Considered Making a Franchise
Even before the movie’s release, Dreamworks had plans to turn The Power of Six into a film. As fans know, that’s the name of the second book in the Lorien Legacies saga. The studio followed Harry Potter‘s footsteps by adapting the series chronologically, unlike the less-successful Narnia franchise.
That said, plans for a sequel were scraped very early into production. Seeing the poor critics and box office performance of I Am Number Four, Dreamworks pulled the plug on the whole franchise.
Screenwriter Marti Noxon put rumors of a sequel to rest in a 2011 interview. Just months after the first (and only) movie’s release, The Power of Six got the axe from Dreamworks. “Right now, I don’t think there’s any immediate plans (for a sequel),” Noxon told Collider.
Though the sequel might be officially canceled, there’s still hope for a continuation of some sort. After all, fans aren’t the only ones who want to see a new film in the series.
Teresa Palmer and Alex Pettyfer Want the Sequel to Happen
Actress Teresa Palmer, who plays Number Six in the film, really wants the sequel to materialize. At least, she wanted it to happen. While she knows that the ship has sailed, she was eager to return to the character.
“It was really disappointing when we found out they were not doing a sequel,” Palmer commented. She also revealed she initially signed a contract to make a trilogy. Still, she remains hopeful for a sequel. “I’m disappointed but look never say never I would be down […] we could do it ourselves!“
Alex Pettyfer, who plays the eponymous Number Four, is also vocal about his love for the film. “I wish we could have made a sequel to I Am Number Four,” Pettyfer told Screen Rant. He believes Dreamworks’ rough year at the box office is to blame for the lack of a sequel, even if it had a smaller budget compared to the first.
Could the Sequel Still Happen?
Now, more than a decade after I Am Number Four, the possibility of a sequel seems slim. However, as Teresa Palmer says, “Never say never.” While the idea of a sequel to the original film might be impossible now, the series could always be rebooted.
When I Am Number Four came out, streaming wasn’t nearly as mainstream as it is today. With the new Harry Potter show coming to HBO Max in the future, we might see a revival of the YA novel film adaptation craze – now on adapted to a series format.