James Wan has been in the horror game for years, but it was the combined efforts of 2010's Insidious and 2013's The Conjuring that served as huge boons to his career. The financial success of those films transformed them both into consistent franchises, and allowed Wan to direct non-horror crowd pleasers like Furious 7 and more recently Aquaman. But even when he’s not directing horror, he’s still got one foot in the genre, as next week’s M3GAN will attest.
With so many franchises under Wan’s belt, you’d be right in thinking that M3GAN may be the start of another series. (Not a bad time to put out a horror franchise based on a murderous toy!) But in a recent interview with the Hollywood Reporter, the filmmaker said that he was “superstitious,” and was currently keeping his focus solely on this first film. “I don’t like to talk about sequels before the first film is even out,” he said. “But like any of the movies I make, I always think of a bigger world. [...] So if we’re fortunate enough to tell any other stories, we can pull from the bigger world.”
M3GAN comes from a story he made with Akela Cooper, his co-collaborator on 2021's Malignant. Of their recent teamups, Wan called Cooper “brave” and a writer with a similar talent as him for being “not afraid to just go out there, lean into the absurd and make it work. [...] She can take an idea that’s really outside of the box and bring a human element to it.” That was the mission statement for M3GAN, he added, and it seems like the two will be working together for a good while, as Cooper’s written next year’s sequel to The Nun (conceived from a story written by the pair), and may get tagged in for a potential Malignant follow-up down the line.
Through his Atomic Monster label, Wan is producing M3GAN with Blumhouse’s Jason Blum, and it appears that partnership may be leading to a merger between the two, where they continue to exist as separate labels. When asked about it by the Hollywood Reporter, Blum did admit that “advanced talks” were in the works, and though he’s hopeful it’ll happen, nothing has been written in ink quite yet. Should it go through, though, it may end up leading to a sequel for Blumhouse’s 2020 Invisible Man reboot. Blum was hopeful that Wan could get that off the ground, and the latter added that he’d be “more than happy” to get that going.
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