One of the bigger genre hits of 2018 was Leigh Whannell's Upgrade, which introduced audiences to a captivating mythology that audiences have been hoping to see more of, with Blumhouse Productions having announced that it will be moving forward with a TV series continuation of the universe. This is only the latest exciting adventure for Whannell, who earned critical acclaim earlier this year with his The Invisible Man reboot, leading to him scoring a first-look deal with Blumhouse. Given the evolving nature of the TV landscape, delivering audiences a long-form narrative will surely allow Whannell to explore the story in exciting and unexpected ways.
The series, which Whannell co-created and will executive produce along with showrunner Tim Walsh (Treadstone, Chicago P.D., Shooter), picks up a few years after the events of the film and broadens the universe with an evolved version of STEM and a new host - imagining a world in which the government repurposes STEM to help curb criminal activity.
The film, which Whannell wrote and directed, starred Logan Marshall-Green, Betty Gabriel, and Harrison Gilbertson. In the film, after his wife is killed during a brutal mugging that also leaves him paralyzed, Grey Trace (Marshall-Green) is approached by a billionaire inventor with an experimental cure in the form of a computer chip implant called STEM. The implant provides its host with heightened physical abilities, allowing Grey to exact revenge on those responsible for his wife’s death. The film was produced for $5 million and grossed more than $16 million at the global box office. It was also the recipient of the 2018 SXSW Audience Award.
Earlier this year, Whannell teased his excitement at returning to the world of the franchise, expressing his interest in exploring a narrative on a larger scale.
"A sequel is a champagne problem created by the success of a movie," Whannell revealed to Fandom when asked about a sequel. "So Hollywood economics dictates whether there's going to be a sequel, and Upgrade ... I wouldn't exactly call it a monster hit. I'd call it a cult hit, and cult hits, when they look at the books of cult hits, they're like 'Nyah, sequel'. So we'll see. I loved making that film, so I'd love to do it with a bit more money."
Stay tuned for details on the Upgrade TV series.
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