Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston are close to completing deals that will see them return for a Murder Mystery sequel at Netflix. The film has already brought Jeremy Garelick on board to direct. He previously wrote Aniston’s 2006 anti-romcom The Break Up, and will polish a script originally penned by James Vanderbilt.
The 2019 film saw Sandler and Aniston playing a married couple framed for murder while on vacation. More than 30 million people watched at least two minutes of Murder Mystery during its first weekend on Netflix, leading to a four-week estimate of 73 million (of people watching at least two minutes).
Still, those numbers are encouraging enough for Netflix to commission a sequel. Sandler has always been a box office draw, and remains a major player for Netflix ever since signing a $250 million deal with the streaming giant half a decade ago, which was recently extended by four movies.
The film is reportedly being fast-tracked, and will shoot in Paris and the Caribbean. With Netflix’s recent purchase of both Knives Out sequels, perhaps their analytics and algorithm are telling them that the mystery genre is drawing in lots of subscribers.
Sandler’s latest Netflix film was last year’s Hubie Halloween. He’s got sports drama Hustle and sci-fi drama Spaceman in development, but neither of those are at Netflix.
It seems they only want his comedies. Aniston actually hasn’t appeared in a film since Murder Mystery, although she does star in the AppleTV+ series The Morning Show, whose second season arrives next month.
Garelick has been building his production company American High, which he co-founded with Mickey Liddell‘s LD Entertainment. They acquired an abandoned high school in Syracuse, and have used it to make reasonably priced teen comedies in the vein of John Hughes.
So far, American High productions have included the Vince Vaughn-directed The Binge and the superb Pete Davidson comedy drama Big Time Adolescence.
They recently wrapped on comedy Sex Appeal, and will soon go into production on an untitled comedy starring Rowan Blanchard and Auli’i Cravalho. All of these projects are being developed for Hulu.
It sounds like the Murder Mystery sequel might be a way for Garelick to pay the bills and keep American High running, but that doesn’t mean he can’t bring an interesting angle to the film. The first movie suffered from a lack of a compelling central mystery, so fingers crossed that can be improved on.