Salt Sequel is Officially a Go at Sony

It looks like “Salt 2″ (quickie tagline: “This time, She’s Saltier!”) is a go over at Sony Pictures, with Deadline reporting that the studio has once again hired Kurt Wimmer, who penned the original, to return for the sequel.

The original “Salt” certainly leaves plenty of room for a sequel, and indeed, begs for one. Angelina Jolie starred as a CIA operative who had given up a field career for the love of a good man, only to find herself accused of being a Russian sleeper agent destined to assassinate a visiting diplomat. This, of course, leads to her going on the run, with her old crew giving chase. Political intrigue, decades-old conspiracies, and Russian bad guys eventually enter the fray.

“Salt” is a strange movie. I don’t recall that it had all that much hype entering the 2010 year, but it did end up doing very brisk business at home and abroad. The film would eventually go on to make $293 million worldwide (with an additional $20 million on DVD sales) from a $110 million dollar budget.

No word yet on whether Phillip Noyce, who directed the original, would return for the second go-round. The director currently has his hands full with a couple of high-profile projects, including the submarine actioner “Hunter Killer” for Relativity Media, as well as that remake of the Jean-Claude Van Damme tournament fighting film “Bloodsport”. And in any case, he’s already stated publicly that he has no interest in directing a sequel to “Salt”, so that would seem to put the kibosh on that idea.

Of course, getting Angelina Jolie back will be the ultimate decision on whether the sequel moves beyond the writing stage. Without Jolie, there is no “Salt 2″.