Happy Death Day sort of flew under the radar in 2017, despite the fact that it was massively profitable for Blumhouse—$122 million in worldwide grosses on a budget of less than $5 million. The time-looping horror fusion of Groundhog Day and Scream imagined a college student (Jessica Rothe) who gets caught in a cycle of repeatedly being bumped off by a mysterious masked assailant. In order to break the loop, she’ll eventually have to uncover the mystery of who is trying to kill her. Its success was just one element among many in the banner year that horror films were treated to in 2017, surpassing $1 billion at the box office for the first time ever on the strength of It, Get Out, Split and Happy Death Day, among others.
Now, it seems that in a rare move for “time loop” movies (potential Edge of Tomorrow sequel notwithstanding), we’ll actually be seeing a sequel to Happy Death Day. Rothe recently commented on the film’s success, saying that a sequel would pick up directly where the original left off.
“The sequel, the way he described it to me, elevates the movie from being a horror movie – and I wouldn’t even say it’s just a horror movie because it’s a horror, comedy, rom-com drama – into a Back to the Future type of genre film where the sequel joins us right from where we left off, it explains a lot of things in the first one that didn’t get explained, and it elevates everything,” the actress said. “I was really pleased to know that we weren’t just gonna be pushing all the buttons that people loved the first time, over and over again, ‘cause I think that gets old. I’m really excited to see if it comes to fruition and, if it does, what the final product looks like. I hope we get to do it! I had a ball!”
The film has yet to get an official announcement, but Geek Vibes Nation reported that it will begin filming in May, under the working title of Foe Paw. A curious name—does it suggest the presence of a fabled “monkey’s paw” in the sequel? Or perhaps our protagonist will follow up her time-looping ordeal by body-switching into an animal of some kind? It could be a series where the same protagonist is continuously dragged into classic horror and sci-fi movie cliches! We’ll just have to wait and see.
The good news is that pretty much everyone behind the original Happy Death Day will be back on board, including Rothe as star and Christopher Landon as writer-director. Jason Blum, of Blumhouse, will produce. Let’s hope that the repeat performance is as charming as the first go-round.