‘Butterfly 2’ takes wing

Kutcher not expected to be involved

“The Butterfly Effect” is fluttering back again.

Filmengine has approved a pitch for a sequel to the 2004 New Line hit that studio plans to distribute as a negative pickup.

Pic will have all new characters, meaning original’s star, Ashton Kutcher, isn’t expected to be involved.

Veteran D.P. John Leonetti, who directed “Mortal Kombat: Annihilation,” has been tapped to helm from a script being written by Michael Weiss.

Story will follow a new character who, like Kutcher in the first, finds he can travel through time. As he changes past events, though, they have unexpected consequences in the present.

Filmengine’s A.J. Dix and Anthony Rhulen are producing along with Benderspink’s Chris Bender and J.C. Spink. William Shively is exec producing.

“Mike’s pitch really took the concept of the butterfly effect to the next level,” Rhulen said of the story the producers chose.

Original pic’s writer-directors Eric Bress and J. Mackye Gruber will receive “story” credit on the sequel. They’re working on “A Cool Breeze on the Underground” for NL.

Pic is on a fast track, with casting set to start as soon as a script is delivered. Producers hope to start shooting by the fall.

“The Butterfly Effect” was made for around $13 million and grossed $58 million domestic when it was released last January. Sequel is expected to have a similarly low budget.

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