Smile 2' In the Works at Paramount Pictures
Smile was a massive hit movie for Paramount Pictures last year, and now the studio is reportedly in development on a sequel. According to THR, Smile writer-director Parker Finn has inked a first-look deal with Paramount two write and director more new horror films. Smile 2 is said to be one of the top priority projects.
In a statement on Finn's new deal, Paramount president and CEO Brian Robbins said, "Smile's breakthrough success is a testament to Parker's unique and fresh filmmaking." He continued, "We are thrilled that he will make Paramount his home." Paramount's motion picture group co-presidents Michael Ireland and Daria Cercek added in a joint statement, "Parker knows how to keep people on the edge of their seat and we're happy that we get to keep scaring audiences together."
You can’t escape the smile; it’s coming to you. #SmileMovie is available now on Digital and streaming on @paramountplus. https://t.co/80suUSAh64 pic.twitter.com/7idcnLG9Qc— Smile Movie (@SmileMovie) November 15, 2022
"After witnessing a bizarre, traumatic incident involving a patient, Dr. Rose Cotter (Sosie Bacon) starts experiencing frightening occurrences that she can't explain," reads a synopsis of Smile. "As an overwhelming terror begins taking over her life, Rose must confront her troubling past in order to survive and escape her horrifying new reality." In addition to Bacon, the film also stars Jessie T. Usher, Kyle Gallner, Kal Penn, and Rob Morgan.
Notably, Smile had originally been produced with the intention that it would be a Paramount+ exclusive, but an early test screening of the film was so successful that the studio decided to release it in theaters. The risk ended up paying off, as Smile earned more than $217 million on a budget of $17 million. It also became the first original horror movie since 2016 to maintain the number one position at the domestic box office for two weeks.
Finn previously spoke with THR about the infamous test screening, recalling, "They always warn you ahead of time that horror routinely scores lower than other genres, and horror films that have the mean tone that Smile has score even lower than that, so they were prepared to look at it through that lens."
He continued, "It was a 270-person, sold-out screening in Burbank, and when the movie started playing, you could feel the electricity in the air. The audience was screaming at the screen, so it was very clear that the communal environment and nature of it was incredible. And to Paramount's credit, they recognized that, and they got behind the film in such an amazing way."
There is no word on when Smile 2 may begin production, or if Finn has even begun the scripting phase. Smile is currently available to stream on Paramount+. Those interested in trying out a free trial of Paramount+ can do so by clicking here.