Before issuing a spoiler warning for The Protégé so we can discuss the potential of a sequel, it feels necessary to reemphasize that the Martin Campbell-directed action film is excellent. Maggie Q stars as Anna, a skilled contract killer raised and trained by Samuel L. Jackson’s Moody. When someone murders Moody, Anna sets out to track down his killer. Yes, it’s that simple, but The Protégé reaches standout territory courtesy of one brilliantly crafted set piece after another and Q’s commanding performance in the lead role.
If you’ve seen her work in projects like The CW’s Nikita and Mission: Impossible III, you know that she’s an ideal match for this character — and sure enough, she delivers big in the finished film, so big that I walked away convinced that the character deserved her own action film franchise, à la John Wick. (And yes, I know it’s an overused comparison at this point, but hopefully that very quickly and clearly conveys what we could have here — and what Q deserves as one of the most talented action stars we’ve got, for that matter.)
With that in mind, it’ll probably come as no surprise to know that I absolutely had to ask Q my self-proclaimed “obnoxious question” about the chances of getting a Protégé sequel while she was on Collider Ladies Night. While she couldn’t offer any guarantees, she did tease:
“I would love more. I don’t think I’ve ever really said that. First off all, this cast, but also, I really want to work with Martin again and I think it would be really fun to team up again on something like this. We did leave it open and so we shall see. And it’s not obnoxious. It’s fun! It’s like, listen, if audiences respond to it, we’ll probably get to. If they don’t then, you know, it’s a different story, but we’ll see.”
It’s a challenging time for sequel potential to be reliant on box office receipts, but hopefully The Protégé gets the attention it deserves to warrant more — especially with that ending. And that brings us to the point of the article that necessitates a big old spoiler warning.
[Editor’s note: The following contains spoilers for The Protégé.]At the end of The Protégé, Anna and Moody complete their mission, eliminating Edward Hayes (David Rintoul). However, Moody is killed in the process and a wounded Anna winds up in a standoff with Michael Keaton’s Rembrandt. It’s abundantly clear they have feelings for each other, but can one really let the other go without feeling the need to look over their shoulder 24/7? That’s the question the end of the movie poses, but never fully answers. Instead, the movie cuts to an exterior shot, a gun fires and then we see Anna walk out of the building. Does that mean she shot Rembrandt dead, or was there a different outcome?
Assuming Q wouldn’t reveal the true answer, I opted to ask her if she knew the answer at all. Here’s what she said:
“I do. Yes, I do. And I kinda know what we’d go into from there.”
My take? Anna and Rembrandt had so many opportunities to kill each other throughout the film and never did. Why would that change now? Perhaps someone shot, deliberately missed and they parted ways, paving the way to a sequel film where they could cross paths again. Wishful thinking given how much I enjoyed the characters and their chemistry together? Perhaps, but it does feel like an outcome that would be in line with their behavior throughout the film.
While we wait to see if we’ll get more Protégé movies, be sure to catch my full uncut conversation with Q about her journey to Hollywood, working with Tom Cruise on Mission: Impossible III, how she upped the quality of the stuntwork on Nikita and so much more in the podcast below:
“Could mass murderers in history have been attributed to demonic possession?”
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