This summer has brought us a string of what are being called "threequels:" Spider-Man 3, Shrek the Third, Pirates of the Caribbean: Is This Movie Seriously Still Going On? One would expect those big special effect-laden movies to spawn franchises, but now a highly unlikely candidate may be headed for trilogy status -- Elizabeth. Director Shekhar Kapur tells Entertainment Weekly in this week's issue that he always envisioned the series as a threesome. Kapur and his Queen, Cate Blanchett, have already completed work on Part 2 -- Elizabeth: The Golden Age -- and it will be in theaters on October 12th. The new film (which Monika told you is already being blasted for its historical accuracy) will focus on the Queen and her adviser (played by Geoffrey Rush) during the time leading up to the Spanish Armada. Clive Owen will play Walter Raleigh, Samantha Morton plays Mary, Queen of Scots, and up-and-comer Abbie Cornish plays Elizabeth Throckmorton.

Blanchett apparently needed a bit of coaxing to return to her Oscar-nominated role for The Golden Age. Kapur says, "It's sometimes difficult for an actor when you're so appreciated for a part, you're just afraid that you may not find the same passion the second time. But as I assured Cate: I've never seen her do anything without passion." Will he have to twist her arm for the third chapter? Depends on if it happens. The Golden Age is being released by Working Title Films, and the studio won't greenlight a third installment until they find out how Age performs at the box office. "Talk to me in November," says Working Title co-chair Tim Bevan. The original Elizabeth grossed a very respectable $30 million, and was a critical smash, nominated for seven Academy Awards including Best Picture (It won only one, for Best Makeup). Kapur feels confident he'll get his chance to bring his saga to a close. In fact, he's already hammering out the story. Says Kapur, "I want to make a film about the absolute loneliness of power. She (Elizabeth) was left with no one at the end. She outlasted everybody." Sounds pretty interesting, but if he really wants to make some cash, he should have Venom and The Sandman swing by 16th century England.