Aneesh Chaganty‘s 2018 thriller Searching was one of the most successful low-budget thrillers in years, grossing over $75 million on just a $1 million budget and marking a huge step forward in what many are calling the “desktop thriller” genre. We’ve known for a while that some sort of sequel was being developed, but now we have more information.
As expected, the follow-up will indeed focus on a new set of characters but use a similar format. But Chaganty himself will not direct the sequel. Instead he’s handing the duties off to Will Merrick and Nick Johnson, who edited the original film and Chaganty’s recent follow-up, Run (which is also great).
The original film starred John Cho as a father who tries to track down his missing teenage daughter using her laptop while a local detective investigates her disappearance. The thriller unfolded on various screens, thanks to the Screenlife format popularised by the Unfriended movies that Timur Bekmambetov produced.
Merrick and Johnson are currently writing the script based on an idea by Chaganty and his Search Party partner Sev Ohanian. Keeping the original creative team intact but just altering the roles is a pretty good idea, and should allow the sequel to recreate the same thrills of the first film, while hopefully expanding on its ideas within a new story.
Chaganty 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”.
As mentioned, the script is currently being written, so production is a ways off yet. Hopefully when it does begin though, it should be a pretty quick shoot and should be easy enough to adhere to COVID-19 protocols as most of the filming will be a single person at their computer. Expect to see more films in the desktop thriller genre as they are extremely safe to make compared to other movies right now.