While it seems unlikely that Greta Gerwig or anyone from Team ‘Barbie’ will be rushing to make a sequel (though its enormous box office surely has studio backers Warners ready to drive dump trucks of money up to the door of anyone who agrees), one of the other success stories of the summer is going the follow-up route.
A24 Films has announced that it has ordered a sequel to creepy, stylish horror thriller ‘Talk to Me’.
The movie, which the company acquired out of Sundance, was directed by Australian sibling duo Danny and Michael Philippou, who cut their teeth in the world of YouTube. And the original concept came from, of all people, Daley Pearson, who played Daryl in Taika Waititi’s ‘Thor’ shorts and is also one of the creative minds of kids’ series ‘Bluey’.
Now A24 has the Philippous back to direct a sequel, with Danny also set to co-write the script once again with Bill Hinzman.
What was the story of ‘Talk to Me’?
The movie stars Sophia Wilde as teenager Mia who, on the anniversary of her mother’s death, gathers for a seance with her friends. They’ve learned of a strange, spooky ceramic-encased hand which, according to videos going viral on social media, allows people to channel the dead.
Things take a dark turn as the boundaries between worlds collapses and Mia is haunted by supernatural visions.
‘Talk to Me’ also stars Miranda Otto, Alexandra Jensen, Joe Bird, Otis Dhanji and Zoe Terakes, and has been praised for its clever visuals but also the grounded, human story of grief and terror at its core. Made for $4.5 million, it has so far taken more than $23 million at the domestic box office.
What will the ‘Talk to Me’ sequel be about?
No plot details have yet been released, but Danny Philippou did say this about coming up with ideas:
“While writing the first film, you can’t help but write scenes for a second film. So, there’s so many scenes. The mythology was so thick, and if A24 gave us the opportunity, we wouldn’t be able to resist. I feel like we’d jump at it.”
And now, they have.
What else can we expect from ‘Talk to Me’?
While the sequel will no doubt have to wait –– since even the spirits of the dead can’t convince studios to pay a fair wage to writers and actors, so strikes by both continue to pause both development and production (though A24, as an independent, could secure a waiver to keep working on the new movie) –– there is already a prequel in existence, which the directors made based on the cold open of the film.
As you’ll know if you’ve seen ‘Talk to Me’, it features Cole (Ari McCarthy) and Duckett (Sunny Johnson), as Cole is desperately trying to track down his brother at a house party. It’s quickly realized that Duckett is possessed by something, and so the scene becomes disturbingly violent, as spectators either stare in horror or scatter with their camera phones in hand.
Here’s Danny talking to The Hollywood Reporter about the prequel:
“We actually shot an entire Duckett prequel already. It’s told entirely through the perspective of mobile phones and social media, so maybe down the line we can release that.”