Sony is on the lookout for a new franchise with legs, and Searching might very well be it. 2018’s John Cho-starring laptop thriller only cost about $880K million to make, and raked in $75 million globally, so why not, eh? It also had really positive reviews for the most part, which never hurts a smaller scale film festival acquisition – Searching was originally picked up at Sundance for just $5 million.
Deadline confirms that Sony’s Stage 6 Films is now developing a Searching sequel with a brand new plot and cast, but one that will almost certainly bring back the original creative team of Timur Bekmambetov, Sev Ohanian, Adam Sidman, and Natalie Qasabian for a potential feature anthology series.
Searching followed in the footsteps of the more horror-leaning Unfriended films by using the ‘entire movie takes place on a laptop screen’ gimmick to ensure maximum tension, and it did so very well. Aneesh Chaganty directed Star Trek‘s Cho as a father whose daughter goes missing, and the actor spent most of the film’s running time proving once again that he’s an excellent leading man, carrying the project for 102 minutes in a unique capacity – popping up via FaceTime and iMessage and communicating with his daughter’s friends using email, with the occasional help of local cop Debra Messing.
Cho may not be coming back for Searching 2, but he almost didn’t appear in the first film, as he told us last year:
“I watched Unfriended before I said yes to our movie, and I still turned Aneesh down initially. I looked at Unfriended and while I thought it was good and I liked it and I thought it worked I said I don’t want to do that performance. The rules are very different, and it’s quite static. If I had one complaint about the movie, as an experience it didn’t feel cinematic. I told Aneesh that it didn’t feel like a movie as I know it, and that he should move on to someone else. He did not take no for an answer.”
With a box office hit on their hands, the team might have less trouble convincing a new star to sign on the dotted line for the sequel.
More on this as we get it.