The Collected, the third film of The Collector trilogy, might not be happening after all, as filmmakers Marcus Dunstan and Patrick Melton claim they are being ignored by producers. Dustan and Melton talked about their very own development hell in The Thing With Two Heads podcast (via Movieweb), and the duo is clearly disappointed their trilogy might not get a conclusion.
The Collected started filming in 2019, long before the pandemic turned Hollywood upside down. After only eight days of shooting, the production was suspended for unknown reasons and remained dormant until December 2020, when producers announced filming would resume between January and February of 2021 in Vancouver, Canada. That didn’t happen, and Dustan and Melton – who wrote the three movies together – don’t know why filming didn’t resume. Dustan was set to return as the director of The Collected, but according to him, his emails and phone calls go unanswered about what is going on with the film.
Dustan is understandably not happy about the whole situation. In his words on the aforementioned podcast:
“I invested in this thing, I’d like to know what’s happening. We stopped hearing from anybody with the production. I know most of the props I brought there [Vancouver’s set] have been stolen. I would think that anybody else who invested in this movie that thinks that it [The Collection] is happening, wouldn’t they like to know what’s happening? All calls and emails have gone unanswered. When you can’t get anyone on the phone and you don’t hear anything, at this point, I’m really pissed off.”
The future of the franchise is uncertain, since Dustan and Melton don’t have the rights over the property, and couldn’t even try to finish the movie with other producers. Without a clear position from producers, Melton is not sure the movie could even be finished anymore. As he says, “there are no plans to start shooting it”, adding that “we [Dustan and Melton] would love to finish it, but, I don’t know. We’re not the producers, so we don’t know.”
The Collector follows a serial killer that uses deadly traps to torture its victims. This premise led Dustan and Melton to try to sell the script as a prequel to Saw, the hit franchise that’ll soon be revived when Spiral: From the Book of Saw comes to theaters on May 14. Producers didn’t approve the pitch, and The Collector became a franchise of its own. The second film, The Collection, ends with the franchise’s hero Arkin (Josh Stewart) capturing the title serial killer, a cliffhanger that would be resolved in the final chapter of the trilogy.
If The Collected is ever finished, it will bring back Emma Fitzpatrick and Navi Rawat, in addition to Randy Havens (Stranger Things, Godzilla: King of the Monsters), Dot-Marie Jones (American Horror Story, 3 From Hell), and horror legend Tom Atkins (Night of the Creeps, Halloween III, My Bloody Valentine 3D).