It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that “Happy Death Day” director Chris Landon is working on ideas for a sequel.
The original movie ended up being a surprisingly big hit, considering the film’s meager budget, and the fact that it had to compete, as a horror comedy, with the “IT” juggernaut that swept up the majority of ticket sales in the third quarter of last year.
Apparently, horror is in fashion in a big way at the moment, and nobody is averse to seeing a “Groundhog Day” copycat with a grizzly murder and a college setting.
Jessica Rothe, who plays the lead character in “Happy Death Day”, has been eager to talk about the possibility of a sequel, and what plans the film’s first director may have in the works.
“Chris has done this incredible thing where the sequel, the way he described it to me, elevates the movie from being a horror movie – and I wouldn’t even say it’s just a horror movie because it’s a horror, comedy, rom-com drama – into a Back to the Future type of genre film where the sequel joins us right from where we left off, it explains a lot of things in the first one that didn’t get explained, and it elevates everything.”
Okay, sounds good – sounds, in point of fact, a lot like Doug Liman’s description of where his “Groundhog Day” rip-off, “Edge of Tomorrow”, will go in the sequel.
The original “Groundhog Day” never felt the need to slow down and explain why Bill Murray was trapped in an endless time loop, but from the sounds of it, “Happy Death Day 2” will give us something concrete to work with in terms of lore and worldbuilding.
We can also assume that the next movie in this series will be, as with “Back to the Future Part 2”, a complete departure in terms of story and even genre, as Tree (yes, the main character’s name is Tree) attempts to figure out what caught her in a time loop, and what implications this has for the future.
Of course, it’s easy to throw around the names of popular movies like “Back to the Future” in describing an upcoming project. It’s a lot harder to make good on this promise, and we’ll have to wait and see whether “Happy Death Day 2” lives up to the unexpected hype that’s been thrust upon the movie.
If Chris Landon can successfully pull off this oddball mix of humor and horror once, though, it’s worth assuming that he’ll be able to make lightning strike twice.
Just as long as it doesn’t strike the Hill Valley clock tower!