A24 has announced that a sequel to its hit horror movie Talk to Me is in the works from directors Danny and Michael Philippou.
There was a buzz in the theater ahead of the Australian movie’s midnight premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in January. My pal Justin Kroll was sitting next to me, and that was the first sign that something was afoot. See, Justin’s not usually a midnight movie guy, but this was a hot horror film that was guaranteed to sell after the screening, and its directors were being targeted by every major agency. If Justin was staying up late for Talk to Me, it was a good sign, as it meant that agents were talking about it. There was a kind of cinematic electricity in the room, but only time would tell if the movie had the goods to back up the hype.
95 minutes later, we had our answer. Talk to Me is a very effective horror movie and a hell of a directorial calling card for the Philippou brothers, who started out making short films on YouTube, where they worked under the moniker of RackaRacka. I’ll stop short of calling the movie “great” because I’m not sure it quite sticks the emotional landing it’s going for, but it’s a solid entry in A24’s horror milieu.
After opening to $10 million just one week after the pop culture phenomenon known as Barbenheimer took over theaters, Talk to Me has grossed more than $26 million worldwide on a reported production budget of $4.5 million. It represented A24’s second-biggest opening ever behind Hereditary’s $13.6 million. Given how easily the film lends itself to a sequel, it makes total sense that the indie studio would move forward with a sequel, which will be titled Talk 2 Me, naturally. Danny Philippou will co-write the script with Bill Hinzman.
Sophie Wilde led the young ensemble of the first film, which co-stars Joe Bird, Zoe Terakes, Alexandra Jensen, Otis Dhanji, and Miranda Otto. The story follows a group of friends who unleash a deadly supernatural force while performing a seance in an attempt to communicate with the dead. The film was produced by Talk to Me is produced by Samantha Jennings and Kristina Ceyton of Causeway Films.
The Philippous believe that the world of Talk to Me has a rich mythology, and they’ve already shot scenes for a potential prequel exploring Duckett, a character seen in the first scene of Talk to Me. “It’s told entirely through the perspective of mobile phones and social media, so maybe down the line we can release that,” Danny Philippou told the Hollywood Reporter.
A24 made a strong offer for Talk to Me precisely because the studio felt that the film had franchise potential. After the back-to-back success of X and Pearl, A24 pressed forward with Ti West‘s MaXXXine, which will have a bigger cast, and thus budget, than its predecessors.
Meanwhile, horror continues to thrive at the box office, which got a boost last year from surprise hits such as Barbarian and Smile, as well as M3GAN earlier this year. The next couple of months bring Saw X, Five Nights at Freddy’s, and The Exorcist: Believer. Stay tuned…
Summoning a sequel 🤝 pic.twitter.com/LMaMBeIgFa
— A24 (@A24) August 8, 2023