The sequel to John Cho’s hit 2018 thriller Searching gets a new pair of directors, who aim to tell an entirely new Screenlife story.
The currently in-development Searching 2, which just found a new pair of directors, will tell an entirely new story. Thrillers where the action takes place entirely on the screens of laptops and smartphones aren’t anything new these days, but Aneesh Changanty’s Searching is undoubtedly one of the very best. Released in 2018, Searching starred John Cho as a widowed father who scours his daughter’s online life after she goes missing. The mystery flick also starred Debra Messing and, upon its release, earned rave reviews from critics. It earned $75.5 million worldwide on a budget that clocked in at under $1 million.
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As Searching‘s story was perfectly wrapped up by the end of the film, no one expected a sequel. However, news broke in August 2019 that a Searching 2 was put into development. At the time of the announcement, Changanty was slated to return as director, and Sev Ohanian would return as the screenwriter. Since then, updates have been very slow to come, save for Searching 2‘s intention to tell a different story.
Now, some major behind the scenes details have been filled in about Searching 2. According to Deadline, Will Merrick and Nick Johnson will make their directorial debuts with Searching 2. Both served as the editorial team on the first film. Meanwhile, Changanty will stay on board as a producer, along with Ohanian. Both Changanty and Ohanian came up with the story, though Merrick and Johnson will write the script. Plot details are still being kept under wraps, but Searching 2 will feature entirely new characters and an “evolved Screenlife thriller format where the story plays out on the screens of the characters’ devices.” Changanty said in a statement:
“With such restrictive visual parameters, a movie like Searching 2 requires a fresh visual style to separate it from the original. I’ve contributed what I can to this growing sub-genre. But if there’s anyone on the planet with the potential to take it even further, it’s Nick and Will, who were there from the beginning.”
Additionally, it’s said Searching 2 aims to begin production in the spring. Though film and television productions are struggling to operate amid the COVID-19 pandemic, there’s a chance that Searching 2‘s smaller scale could allow for a smoother process. Should the film kick off in the spring, Searching 2 could be headed for a mid-late 2022 release. A four year gap between franchise installments might normally seem strange, but as the second Searching won’t have ties to the original, this shouldn’t be an issue.
The real question is: What will Searching 2 be about? As it aims to tell an entirely different story than the first, one can assume it won’t center on a disappearance (though it might need a new title if that’s the case). However, it does seem likely that it will feature a mystery of some kind. Perhaps catfishing, which played a part in the original, could come to the forefront of Searching 2? Or, if that is too similar, maybe the sequel will take a look at social media’s impact on current events. That could give it a timely spin that might draw in audiences once again. It might be some time before the story is revealed, but at least audiences can speculate about what’s in store.
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