The coronavirus pandemic and subsequent quarantining protocols took a major toll on the entire entertainment industry, but in the case of A24 Films' upcoming horror outing X, a surprising development was that writer/director Ti West secretly also shot a prequel to the slasher. Filming the project in New Zealand, West realized he had time to shoot the prequel Pearl by utilizing the same crew for the origin story, which stars X actor Mia Goth as the titular character. Goth co-wrote the script with West, marking her first co-writing credit. Pearl doesn't yet have a release date, with X hitting theaters on March 18th.
X is described, "In 1979, a group of young filmmakers set out to make an adult film in rural Texas, but when their reclusive, elderly hosts catch them in the act, the cast find themselves fighting for their lives."
"It was really just betting on, 'Well, if we write a good script, why would they say no?'" West shared with the L.A. Times. "We joked that the most A24 thing we could do with this movie is make two of them. For a studio that is consistently making challenging, progressively interesting, filmmaker-driven [projects], making two movies at the same time fell into the umbrella of what's so cool about what they're doing."
Goth admitted that, even if the studio opted to not move forward with the prequel, it still would have been a worthwhile experiment.
"We didn't know what was going to happen," Goth pointed out. "We thought at the very least, if nothing comes of it, we'll write the script and it can serve as a great backstory for Pearl and my grasp on my character."
West even hinted that X could be just the first entry in a trilogy that pays its respects to various eras in cinema.
"As much as X is this love letter to cinema, in a way so is Pearl -- it's just a very different kind of cinema. Which also sets up an idea for the third movie, which has a different vibe altogether," the filmmaker teased. "I always felt like if you're going to make a slasher movie, you have to make a bunch of sequels."
X hits theaters on March 18th.
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