The Guest writer Simon Barrett has confirmed that a sequel is happening, but it will not be what fans of the first movie expect. While teasing a few vague details about the project, Barrett assured fans that it will come from the same creatively unique place as The Guest, and hence will be very different to what they have in mind.
“I can give you a very concrete answer to that question, which is, we are doing something related to The Guest. And it is concretely happening, but it is not a feature film or a comic book, because I think that’s what people would expect us to do. And I think that’s the thing that no one actually wants us to do, because I think if we actually made a feature film version of The Guest 2, or realistically, the graphic novel version would just be a cheaper version of trying to achieve kind of the same thing narratively. I think that could only disappoint people at this juncture, because people have to remember that the same weird, quasi-original artistic sensibility that caused me to write The Guest in the first place would continue to guide me with a Guest sequel.”
The Guest finds Dan Stevens as a mysterious man who comes to visit the grieving family of an old army buddy. The family welcomes Stevens’ “David” into their home as they adapt to life without their son. The more time David spends with the family, the more he charms them and their community, but after a string of mysterious deaths, hints about his past begin to emerge and tease a horrible secret he’s been keeping from everyone.
Barrett has now even hinted at his thinking behind The Guest 2, revealing that it would reunite audiences with Dan Stevens’ title character, but in a way that would show growth rather than simply aping the same ideas from the first movie.
“So I would likely do something perverse, and just have Dan’s character be the successful owner of a local hardware store and the entire story is just about him dealing with a difficult supplier, but in a totally legal and healthy way, because he’s totally grown as a person.”
While this direction may seem quite startling, even disappointing at first, it could actually be a very interesting, and potentially hilarious way to continue the story of Steven’s amoral soldier, David Collins. Regardless of whether Barrett opts for this specific idea or not, don’t expect The Guest 2 to reignite David’s story with the same shoot-outs and explosions as the first time around, as Barrett sounds adamant that the sequel will not follow in the footsteps of The Guest, but will instead walk its own path.
“So, we’re never going to do just like, The Guest 2. Because I just don’t think… The Guest was just never meant to have a sequel like that. However, at this point, enough people have asked us about it, that of course, inevitably Adam and I have had enough conversations about what we would hypothetically do, that we’ve now developed a bunch of ideas that we’ve become very attached to, because we think they’re actually good.”
Though Barrett does not reveal exactly what this sequel project that’s concretely happening is exactly, he does offer some insight into what audiences can expect saying, “There’s definitely going to be one thing that tells you what the further adventures of Dan Stevens’ character and Maika Monroe’s character and Brendan Meyer’s character, what those could have been. And then, we’ll see if it leads into anything more concrete, but we’re not going to exploit any of our fans and we’re not going to ruin anything.”
He continued, referring to the first movie initially being called a failure before garnering a passionate cult following which has led to calls for a sequel. “Because I think that’s the easiest thing for filmmakers to do, especially when you have a film like The Guest, which initially we felt like was a failure. And then later, we were gradually convinced was a success,” he said. “I think it’s very easy, especially in that situation, to want to double down on that success. Or because it’s so gratifying, especially when it feels a bit after the fact, and you’re so excited that you were right, that your story was good and you do want to do more of it.”
The flip flop from failure to success is one of the major reasons why Barrett is approaching The Guest sequel so carefully. He has now had the experience of both extremes and is very aware that the latter could go to his head creatively, as he believes it often does with others, which would be disrespectful to the fanbase that has been there supporting the movie from the beginning.
“I think that’s an easy mistake for filmmakers to fall into, is this notion of like, ‘Oh, I did this thing and people liked it. So I should do more of that, in a direct way.’ I think you really have to be careful of the fact that that fandom that you have, especially with a film like The Guest, it’s a precious thing. And people like The Guest, I think partially, because there isn’t a The Guest 2, and we didn’t ruin it. And it is this unique film that stands on its own and doesn’t really feel like it should exist, because it doesn’t make any financial sense for it to exist. And that’s true, which is also a hard thing about making a sequel. Is, The Guest didn’t make any money.”
Franchise filmmaking can indeed sometimes be a curse if not approached correctly, and Barrett is determined not to fall into that trap.
“I think you have to really careful. I think it’s really easy to say, ‘Oh, the fans want The Guest 2, let’s give it to them,” but that can be a really self-indulgent thing to do, as an artist,” Barrett said. “I think the better thing to do is be like, ‘Okay, the fandom’s claim — there are a couple of people who claim to be fans of The Guest and that want the sequel. What’s a way to respect that and give them something, but not disappoint them and not let them down?’ And that’s a real challenge, and I think we have a cool answer, but we’ll see. People might be really pissed off.”
Here’s hoping that, whatever Barrett has in mind for The Guest 2, it ends up being the unique, creative, respectful project he wants it to be…even if it pisses people off. This comes to us from Comicbook.com.