According to Andrew Lazar, the plan is to split the source material in two, to be filmed as a pair of separate films. “It’s a really challenging project,” the producer told Collider. “We’re doing mangas one through three as the first movie, and then mangas four through six hopefully, if we’re lucky enough to do a second one.”
Presumably they’re planning with a second movie in mind, as it wouldn’t be so much of a sequel as the second half of the first movie’s story. Although perhaps Lazar is just exercising a little caution, in case Warner Brothers find themselves with another Golden Compass on their hands. Meanwhile, Albert Hughes seems similarly reticent over the idea of a second film.
“The first movie is going to be a two-part movie anyway,” said the director, “(but) I’m not into sequels, so I don't even know if I'm going to be around for the sequel. I'm going to focus on the first movie and get that right and they can talk about (that) later... I don't know if I would do (it) though.”
It seems a strange way of approaching things to us, but perhaps Hughes knows something we don’t, and has been told the second one will only happen if the first one is a hit. Still, it makes a change from the usual director spiel about how they can’t wait to build a franchise…if Hughes is genuinely focusing on getting the first one right, that can only be a good thing.