Author Joe Hill's "The Black Phone" short story is only a few dozen pages, but it went on to inspire the feature film directed by Scott Derrickson that has become one of the best-reviewed horror movies of the year. Based on both the critical and financial response to the project, Derrickson himself has confirmed that Hill has shared details about what a possible sequel could focus on, and while sequel talks are in early enough stages as to not want to reveal plot details, Hill recently recalled how much storytelling potential comes from the mask worn by Ethan Hawke's villainous "Grabber" character. The Black Phone is out now on Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital HD.
"There have been some really, really good conversations about a sequel. And the thing is, as soon as I saw the mask, which was designed by Tom Savini and Jason Baker, as soon as I saw the mask I thought, 'If this film is a hit, there'll be a sequel,' because the mask is so iconic," Hill admitted to ComicBook.com. "It is like Freddy Krueger's glove, it is like Michael Myers' mask, it is this thing where it's the imagery, iconic imagery, that haunts people's sleep. And, look, in horror, guys like Jason Voorhees and Freddy Krueger, and Frankenstein, and Dracula, none of these guys stay buried. They all claw their way out of the grave for a sequel and then a threequel."
He continued, "There have been talks about how to do a sequel that wouldn't suck. How to do a sequel that doesn't cheapen the film that came before, that's still scary, that's still intense, that feels organic. And those conversations have been pretty good. But if I were to provide any details, Scott and [writer C. Robert] Cargill would lock me in the basement in the film, and that's it. And the phone doesn't work. As you know, the phone doesn't work. I can't call anyone to get out. So I would decline to offer any real granular details about the possible sequel."
Given that the film features more grounded horror elements like a kidnapping serial killer and supernatural elements like phone calls from another realm, Hill specified that it was the mask itself that felt so iconic, with a future film potentially focusing more on that than on the individual who wears it. Interestingly, the original short story doesn't feature the mask, with it being possible that this adaptation and the creation of the disguise ignited a number of creative ideas within the author.
In the film, Finney (Mason Thames), a shy but clever 13-year-old boy, is abducted by a sadistic killer (Hawke) and trapped in a soundproof basement where screaming is of little use. When a disconnected phone on the wall begins to ring, Finney discovers that he can hear the voices of the killer's previous victims. And they are dead set on making sure that what happened to them doesn't happen to Finney. The film is produced by Derrickson & Cargill's Crooked Highway and presented by Universal and Blumhouse.
Stay tuned for a possible update on a The Black Phone sequel. The Black Phone is out now on Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital HD.
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