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Mama was a surprise hit for Universal earlier this year, capitalizing on a recognizable leading lady (in Jessica Chastain), a respected prodicer (in Guillermo del Toro) and a chilling story executed by director Andres Muschietti. Once the film banked $68 million in the States (with an additional $20M overseas), you had to know that the studio would start to explore franchise opportunities, and that’s what appears to be happening.
Universal’s president of international distribution, David Kosse, opened up to ScreenDaily about the film’s successes and said that sequels are a strong possibility:
“We think there’s potential for a Mama franchise. We’d like to do another one. But those conversations are in the early stages. Mama is the first of this type of model that we’ve had enormous success with so there are more opportunities for this kind of film.”
Because that’s what horror films do. They franchise. You aren’t really a legitimate horror movie until you’ve spawned two sequels. And there is potential in the story of Mama, and the power that this lonely spirit had over her two “daughters,” really just orphans in the woods.
But before you go writing fan fiction for a Mama sequel, know that director Muschietti has heard the pitch, and he ain’t interested. He spoke to ScreenCrush about possibly continuing his story, which started out as a short film, and didn’t sound nearly as enthused as Kosse.
We sort of wore out the subject matter…I never thought this could continue. Sequels are always tricky. I know how studios think but I don’t see Mama as something you can exploit because you’re screwing with the original. I’m really hoping to jump into some other movies right now.”
As you know, studios don’t care what a director thinks so long as they see potential revenue streams. So do I think there will be a Mama 2 with or without Muschietti’s blessings? Absolutely. But I also think that would be a shame.