How The Underwater Ending Sets Up A Potential Sequel

Underwater Kristen Stewart looks back

Warning: we’re about to dive into spoilers for Underwater. If you haven’t seen the film yet and want to remain spoiler free, resurface and come back down once you’ve experienced it for yourself.

As one of the first new movies of 2020, Underwater is looking to scare up some box office thrills, with Kristen Stewart and her co-stars facing off against a creature so mysterious, it simply couldn’t die off in just one film’s events. Which means that the ending to director William Eubank’s film has to build the bridge to a potential sequel, provided the film delivers in this season of surprises.

Sure enough, the finale to this potential sci-fi blockbuster does have an easy point to build a franchise of Underwater adventures off of, or at the very least, set the stage for a potential Underwater 2. And with audiences always looking for new IP to rally around, we might just see that happen.

Last call for avoiding spoilers, as we’re about to recap Underwater’s deep finale, and see what could come up to the surface in its wake.

Underwater Norah bathed in a blue-green glow

How Underwater Ended

After slogging from Underwater’s starting point of Kepler Station, three underwater crew members make it to the endpoint of the film’s perilous journey: Norah Price (Kristen Stewart,) Liam Smith (John Gallagher Jr.,) and Emily Haversham (Jessica Henwick.)

Safely in Roebuck Station, the three intrepid survivors don’t have long to escape to the surface, as the parasitic creatures that have been plaguing our Underwater characters are surrounding the base. And to make matters worse, their host organism, a gigantic creature of Lovecraftian proportions, is ready to crush the entire place at will.

A race against time ensues for Norah, Liam, and Emily to find the escape pods on Roebuck Station, and jettison themselves to the surface. Of course, with three people, three escape pods are needed; and this is where Underwater lands a cruel twist.

Underwater Jessica Henwick and Kristen Stewart

Who Survived Underwater's Fateful Climax?

Out of three escape pods available at Underwater’s Roebuck Station, only two are functioning and ready to save the day. Taking it upon herself to be the sacrificial hero, Kristen Stewart’s Norah helps her friend Emily load her boyfriend Liam into the first pod, sending him off safely.

When it comes time to package Emily for her ascent to the surface, Norah has to fight to get her into the pod. She even punches Emily to try and knock her out, or at least stun her long enough to get her into the pod. Locked and secured, Emily and Liam’s pods make their way to the surface.

However, the smaller symbotic creatures of Underwater make chase after those pods, which leaves Norah to make the ultimate sacrifice. Overloading the power core to Roebuck Station, Norah destroys the gigantic creature and its smaller friends, allowing Liam and Emily to survive.

Underwater John Gallagher Jr and Jessica Henwick in their suits, minus helmets

What Clues Did Underwater Leave To A Potential Follow-up?

Being the creature feature that it is, Underwater borrows another page from the Alien playbook of events, and leaves some clues as to how the series could proceed. While Kristen Stewart’s Norah is dead, gone, and unlikely to return for a sequel, the focus now turns to the company that was paying for this whole thing in the first place: Tian Industries.

In a totally corporate move, Underwater’s corporate overseer rescues Emily and Liam, but makes sure that their testimony is classified. All details pertaining to this incident are sealed, and the press aren’t allowed to interview our two remaining characters.

And, in a final coup de grace of a decision that almost ensures an outline for Underwater 2: Sink Harder should be drafted, Tian Industries announces that they’ll resume drilling operations. Just as soon as they’ve rebuilt their infrastructure for such operations.

Underwater crew member walking towards a giant set of teeth

Should There Be A Sequel To Underwater?

Whether or not a sequel to Underwater is going to happen is ultimately up to two vested parties: the fans that enjoyed this film enough to be left wanting more, and the studio executives that want to see a new franchise to be mined for exciting content.

Putting those concerned persons aside, a sequel to Underwater could be an interesting extension of the bestiary we got a quick glimpse of at the bottom of the ocean. As Tian Industries will be resuming their operations, despite conventional wisdom warning against such a prospect, we might get to see exciting beasties of all shapes and sizes upon returning to the bottom of the ocean.

Also, With Jessica Henwick's Emily and John Gallagher Jr’s Liam surviving the first adventure, we’d have two potential experts that are drafted to ensure that things run smoothly. Much as the James Cameron sequel Aliens had Ripley coming back to help Weyland-Yutani try to save their interests on LV-426, Emily and Liam would be the people to go to in order to explore those Underwater depths once again.

Finally, for people invested in how the relationship between our remaining cast members has developed since the end of Underwater, that sort of story would be a perfect emotional core to build the terrifying action around. Though, as with any return to a universe such as Underwater would require, the stakes will need to be raised; and with that notion, our heroes might not survive another round as easily as they had this first time out.

It’s not easy to pull together a movie like Underwater, but that’s the sort of risk any original film runs with being brought into existence. So should this creature feature see itself renewed for further adventures where most humans fear to tread, one could say the hard part is over.

The general universe is built and ready to be resurrected, and even with Kristen Stewart not returning to the fold, there’s a rich backstory for a new installment to pick up after. Whether it continues or not is perhaps the greatest unknown quantity, as the box office performance of Underwater’s overall theatrical release will be the defining factor in that matter.

Should you want to return to its murky waters and collect even more clues as to where a potential series could go, or if you want to show your friends and family the magic and terror that is Underwater, it’s in theaters now for those willing to take the dive.

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Mike Reyes
Senior Movies Contributor

CinemaBlend's James Bond (expert). Also versed in Large Scale Aggressors, time travel, and Guillermo del Toro. He fights for The User.