Superhero origins happen differently in Project Power, which is currently the number one movie on Netflix. Instead of radioactive spider bites and Kryptonian DNA, it's strange pills that grant those who take the drug temporary — and unpredictable — superpowers.
With one movie down, is there any possibility for Project Power 2? Screenwriter Mattson Tomlin, also the screenwriter of the 2021 movie The Batman, says there's absolutely possibility despite the film's rather closed ending.
Warning: Spoilers for Project Power ahead.
Streaming now on Netflix, Project Power stars Jamie Foxx, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Dominique Fishback in a genre mash-up that combines superhero action with a gritty crime thriller. Set in New Orleans, a mysterious drug called Power grants those who take it temporary abilities. The catch is that you don't know what power you'll get. You could fly, or burst into flames. The big question Project Power asks: Are you willing to gamble your life for a little taste of power?
Project Power follows Art (Foxx), an original test subject of the Power drug who was permanently changed, giving him the power to launch incinerated air. A rogue cop, Frank (Gordon-Levitt) is a regular Power user and is suspended when his superior learns he was using on the job. The two team up with Robin (Fishback), an aspiring rapper who deals in Power to support her mother's medical bills.
The trio works to rescue Art's daughter, Tracy (Kyanna Simone Simpson) who was kidnapped by Teleios, the private military contractor who created Power. It is revealed that Teleios released Power — itself derived from animal abilities, such as the chameleon's camouflage — in New Orleans as a mass experiment. Project Power is a not-so-subtle commentary on the U.S. government's historical use of Black people as non-consenting medical subjects.
At the end of Project Power, Art reveals to Dr. Gardner (Amy Landecker), the head of Project Power, exactly what abilities Power gave him: Pistol shrimp. That's right. Pistol shrimp. It sounds funny, but these tiny sea predators produce the loudest sounds in the ocean, which they use to hunt their prey. The sounds pistol shrimp produce are so loud, they can actually disrupt anti-submarine technology. And Art uses his pistol shrimp powers to light up the rainfall, killing Dr. Gardner and her goons.
The end of the film has Frank intending to expose Teleios to the world, Robin inheriting Art's truck and bag of money, while Art and his daughter Tracy freely move on with their lives.
How the end of Project Power sets up Project Power 2
Project Power ends with very few loose threads, but screenwriter Mattson Tomlin told Polygon there are still ideas on the table for a sequel.
“There were a lot of conversations specifically about the power pill,” Tomlin told Polygon. “Is it something that the whole world knows about? Is it something that everybody has? Is it urban legend? And through the development we were always putting that on the table, and judging if we were making the right choices.”
“We ended up where we ended up in, in large part because we wanted to be able to go somewhere in the event that we’re lucky enough to do sequel. For me, [Power] is urban legend and people aren’t quite sure. And that means there’s a very exciting opportunity: How does the world change once everybody knows that this exists? It will change the fabric of how all of life is potentially lived. And I think that that’s a really cool place to go.”
Is there a Project Power 2 release date?
Standing in the way of Project Power isn't Kryptonite. It's the pandemic. With so much left uncertain regarding how to proceed in Covid-19, it is unknown if Netflix will green light a sequel to Project Power. While many productions are starting up again, you simply can't guess what the state of the world to be a year, a month, or even a week from now.
The film, an original concept not based on any existing properties, is shaping up to be a hit for the streaming service so a sequel announcement is maybe only a matter of time. Too bad there's no Power we can take to predict the future.
Project Power is streaming now on Netflix.