When Cinematical did an in-depth interview with Joe Carnahan back in early April, we discussed some ways that a potential sequel to Smokin' Aces might work, if he was inclined to go there. If you haven't seen the movie yet, I'm not going to spoil anything, but the ending does leave some wiggle room for a potential continuance of the original story. Then again, a sequel can create entirely new characters, or go the prequel-route, so there's actually a lot of wiggle room for a Smokin 2. And now a prequel is in fact moving forward, though not in the way you might expect -- it's going straight-to-DVD with Carnahan's good wishes, though apparently not his deep involvement. The director noted on his personal blog yesterday that "Universal wants to move ahead with a direct-to-video prequel of 'Smokin' and asked me if I wanted to Godfather the thing and make sure we did a really cool story."

Carnahan noted in his statement that the DVD numbers for Smokin' were "astounding" and encouraged the studio to go down this road, and to do the prequel in style. "Whatever reluctance I have is alleviated by the fact that we can really do this balls out, hardcore prequel and not be constrained by ratings or any other puritanical MPAA bullshit," he wrote. Of course, the biggest thing on Carnahan's plate right now is White Jazz, which is furiously prepping for a fall start. Last time we spoke with him, Carnahan was eyeballing Charlize Theron to star alongside George Clooney, but there's been nothing but silence on that front since then. There was also some talk of getting Ray Liotta into the mix, which is a move I fully support. Here's hoping that when he's ready to drop some more news on the Jazz ramp-up (or the Pablo Escobar biopic, or any of his other projects that are swirling around) Smokin' Joe will drop me an email.