Smile sequel may be part of Parker Finn’s new Paramount deal

Writer/director Parker Finn’s horror film Smile (read our review HERE, watch the movie HERE) was originally intended to be released through the Paramount Plus streaming service, but it scored so highly at a test screening that the decision was made to give it a theatrical release. That decision really paid off, as the film earned over $200 million at the global box office. Of course, Paramount is hoping for a Smile sequel now – and they might get one soon, as Finn has just signed a multiyear first-look deal with the studio.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, as part of this deal Finn is expected to write, produce and direct features in the horror genre. The studio would love a Smile sequel but it’s not clear what Finn’s next movie will be.

Paramount president and CEO Brian Robbins provided the following statement: “Smilebreakthrough success is a testament to Parker’s unique and fresh filmmaking, and we are thrilled that he will make Paramount his home.

Paramount’s motion picture group co-presidents Michael Ireland and Daria Cercek added: “Parker knows how to keep people on the edge of their seat and we’re happy that we get to keep scaring audiences together.

Smile is based on Finn’s short film Laura Hasn’t Slept (watch it HERE), which won the Special Jury Recognition Prize in SXSW’s Midnight Short category. Caitlin Stasey (Neighbours) played the title character in that short, and reprises the role in Smile, making it a follow-up of sorts. Smile has the following synopsis: After witnessing a bizarre, traumatic incident involving a patient, Dr. Rose Cotter (Sosie Bacon) starts experiencing frightening occurrences that she can’t explain. As an overwhelming terror begins taking over her life, Rose must confront her troubling past in order to survive and escape her horrifying new reality.

Stasey is joined in the cast by Sosie Bacon (Charlie Says), Kal Penn (the Harold & Kumar movies), Kyle Gallner (Red State), Jessie T. Usher (The Boys), Rob Morgan (Mudbound), Judy Reyes (Scrubs), and Gillian Zinser (90210).

Smile was produced by Temple Hill, with Nathan Samdahl and Natalia Maymi overseeing the project for Paramount Players.

Finn has previously said that he feels there’s a lot of interesting stuff left to explore in the world of Smile. If he were to make a Smile sequel, “I would never want to just repeat myself or retread the same ground. I’d want to make sure that there’s a new, exciting, fresh way into it that the audience isn’t anticipating. I also want to find some new ways to scare them and unnerve them. But as far as how it may connect to the first one, if we were to do it, I’d want that to be surprising as well.

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