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Jon M. Chu Returning to Direct ‘Now You See Me 3’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Jon M. Chu is returning to the director’s chair for Lionsgate’s “Now You See Me 3,” Variety has learned exclusively.

The studio struck a deal with Chu nearly two months before it releases his “Now You See Me 2” on June 10 — a signal that it believes the sequel will perform in the same range as the 2013 original, which took in $351.7 million worldwide.

CEO Jon Feltheimer announced nearly a year ago during a conference call with analysts that Lionsgate had already started planning for the third film, but gave no details.

Mark Ruffalo, Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg,  Dave Franco, Morgan Freeman and Michael Caine are reprising their roles for “Now You See Me 2,” while Lizzy Caplan has replaced Isla Fisher and Daniel Radcliffe has joined the cast.

Feltheimer said at the time that Lionsgate believed that “Now You See Me 2” would top the gross for the original comedy caper in 2013.

Chu is directing “Now You See Me 2”  from a script by Ed Solomon and Peter Chiarelli. Producers are Alex Kurtzman and Bobby Cohen.

Eisenberg, Harrelson, Fisher and Franco played magicians who engineered a multi-million heist of a Parisian bank with financing by an insurance magnate (Caine). Louis Leterrier directing the original.

Besides “Now You See Me 2,” Chu’s directing credits include “Step Up 2: The Streets,” “Step Up 3D,” “Justin Bieber: Never Say Never” and “G.I. Joe: Retaliation.”

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