It looks like a sequel to 2022’s biggest horror hit is happening. More than that though, the man behind that hit has signed a much larger deal with Paramount Pictures that should see him bringing plenty of genre goods our way over the next few years. Per The Hollywood Reporter, Smile director Parker Finn has signed a multi-year, first-look deal with the studio. And, while it appears to be very early, a Smile sequel is apparently in the works.
According to the report, a follow-up to the smash hit film is “one of the top priorities.” Unfortunately, there are precisely zero details aside from that. It’s not clear if Finn is already working on a script, if any of the original stars, such as Sosie Bacon, will return, or anything at all, really. But it is happening. That much is certain. And frankly, that’s not remotely a surprise for reasons we’ll get into in a moment. Paramount president and CEO Brian Robbins had this to say about it:
“Smile’s breakthrough success is a testament to Parker’s unique and fresh filmmaking, and we are thrilled that he will make Paramount his home.”
“Parker knows how to keep people on the edge of their seat and we’re happy that we get to keep scaring audiences together,” Paramount motion picture group co-presidents Michael Ireland and Daria Cercek added. As for what else Finn might find himself doing under the terms of this new deal? He is expected to write, direct and produce films in the horror genre for Paramount. Most likely, he’ll be working directly with Walter Hamada, of The Conjuring universe fame, who was recently installed to head up the studio’s horror output.
Finn broke onto the scene like a cannonball last year as Smile served as his feature directorial debut. It was originally intended to go directly to Paramount+, but it secured a theatrical release following very positive test screenings. That proved to be a hugely wise decision, as the film earned more than $217 million at the global box office, ranking as one of the biggest original hits of any kind in 2022. All of this to say, it’s not surprising that a sequel is in the works, nor is it surprising that Paramount is locking Finn down for the foreseeable future.
The Smile sequel does not have a release date, but it doesn’t sound like the studio will take long to nail that down. Stay tuned.