This time last year, indie darling Searching became a critically-acclaimed breakout hit for new director, Aneesh Chaganty. The thriller made an impressive $75.5 million worldwide during the summer movie season when Crazy Rich Asians and The Meg were dominating numbers. It’s now been announced that another original tech-driven movie from the creative team behind Searching is in the works.
As Deadline reports, it’s rare for a movie picked up from Sundance Film Festival to become a franchise. Sony Stage 6 Films is working on the sequel with Aneesh Chaganty and the other filmmakers behind the film that had John Cho’s father character being seen through computer screens on Facetime, iMessages and other technology while in search of his lost teen daughter.
The director followed up the original report on Twitter with a clarification. His upcoming project will allow him and his team to tell another fresh story using elements of technology as Searching famously did. It will not feature the characters or same plot of Searching. So don’t expect to see John Cho, Debra Messing or another movie centering on a father’s search for his lost daughter.
Making Searching was a particularly strange production for the actors since they didn’t have the chance to work face-to-face. They were looking into blank screens and hearing their performances in their ears as they filmed scenes of them over Facetime sequences. There's no word on who Aneesh Chaganty will be casting for this new original film pulling from Searching’s success, but it’s an exciting bit of news.
Searching was Aneesh Chaganty's feature film debut after making waves with his 2-minute short Seeds, which racked up over one million views in 24 hours and scored him a job at Google Creative Lab, where he created Google commercials. Chaganty quit his New York Google job to making Searching, which Sony’s Stage 6 Films and Screen Gems nabbed up at 2018’s Sundance Film Festival for $5 million and received some impressive returns with its box office earnings.
The movie’s unique use of technology and social media had been previously explored before in 2014’s Open Windows (starring Elijah Wood) and the Unfriended films made in 2014 and 2018, respectively. While those entries used the format to bring jump scares to their horror plots, Searching is more of a gripping mystery drama, that packing in the emotion of David Kim’s recent disconnection from his daughter following the death of his wife.
Seeing an original movie get a sequel of sorts is great to hear in the light of so many reboots and remakes happening in Hollywood. How will Aneesh Chaganty follow Searching? Will he be able to duplicate or multiply his success after the sleeper hit gained attention for its success?
Are you excited to see the Searching sequel? Let us know in the comments below!