The new year is here, which means the very first premiere Friday of 2023 is upon us with the arrival of Blumhouse Productions and Atomic Monster’s M3GAN. From the first trailer drop – nay, the first mention of producer James Wan’s involvement – fans have been anxiously anticipating the new AI horror’s debut. Whether M3GAN will be a new genre icon is still yet to be determined, but the camp is undeniable, and according to Wan, she may already be looking at her very own sequel.
From the same writer of 2021’s runaway success Malignant, Akela Cooper, M3GAN is a sci-fi horror that stars Allison Williams as Gemma, a roboticist responsible for the design of a brand-new AI doll intended to be a child’s companion. When Gemma’s sister and brother-in-law are killed in a tragic accident, her niece Cady (Violet McGraw) is put in the engineer’s care. Busy with work, and hoping to alleviate some of Cady’s grief, Gemma gifts her niece with a prototype M3GAN (Amie Donald/Jenna Davis), which stands for Model 3 Generative Android, tasked with protecting Cady. Unfortunately, M3GAN takes this directive to the extreme, willing to kill if she deems it necessary.
Ahead of the movie’s release, Collider’s Alyse Wax was able to speak to cast and crew members of M3GAN, including director Gerard Johnstone (Housebound) and Wan. During her interview with Johnstone, when asked what might be his next project, the filmmaker said, “Oh, well, there’s talk of a sequel, but we’ll have to wait and see.” Later, though the producer wouldn’t outright confirm this exciting bite, Wan explained how many of his projects are able to grow into franchises, saying:
“What I will say to that is, in any of my movies, whether it’s The Conjuring Universe, or Saw, or Malignant, or M3GAN here, we like to think of a bigger world. For me, it’s about creating the world, and knowing who the characters are, where the story could potentially go, and then building this bigger world, and then going into that and going, “Okay, I’m telling this particular story, but I know other stuff that’s going on.” So if we’re fortunate enough to have sequels, then we have an idea of where we want to go.”
How Likely Is It We’ll Be Seeing M3GAN 2?
His foresight for world-building may be why Wan is the man responsible for a shift in horror since the early 2000s. His brainchild, Saw (2004), ushered in a mainstream era of gore that gave way to a franchise still cranking out torture flicks to this day. Before he established himself as a genre mainstay with his haunted-house masterpiece, Insidious, however, Wan‘s visual style in 2007’s Dead Silence paved the way for striking franchises like The Conjuring. Between Wan‘s tendency to plan ahead, and Blumhouse Production‘s fairly low-budget filmmaking with an impressive turnaround, a M3GAN sequel is a pretty safe bet if the movie plays well this weekend. As fans, the best we can do is fill seats and continue to let the creators know how much we appreciate their movies.
M3GAN pirouettes into theaters on January 6, 2023.