- Director Todd Strauss-Schulson reveals that The Final Girls never got a sequel due to not making enough money.
- Screenwriters M.A. Fortin and Joshua John Miller had an interesting idea for a sequel, however, bringing in Max’s father as the actor who played the villain in the original movie.
- Max’s father would then have to square off with the killer Billy Murphy in the real world.
The director of The Final Girls has shared details of the slasher comedy’s unmade sequel. The 2015 movie starred Taissa Farmiga as Max Cartwright, whose late mother (Malin Åkerman) was the star of a popular 1980s slasher movie about the summer camp killer Billy Murphy. When she and her friends get trapped inside the movie, Max bonds with the character played by her mom and is tempted to find a way to bring her back to the real world. The movie’s ending leaves the door open for a sequel, though none has materialized in the eight years since its release.
Per Collider, director Todd Strauss-Schulson spoke at a recent revival screening of The Final Girls. During his conversation with Perri Nemiroff, the director explained that the movie never got a sequel because it “didn’t make enough money to warrant one.” However, he revealed that screenwriters M.A. Fortin and Joshua John Miller had an idea for the sequel where Max’s father is “the actor who played Billy Murphy” and he’d have to square off against Billy himself once the killer escapes from the movie world. Read Strauss-Schulson’s full quote below:
Believe it or not, the movie didn’t make enough money to warrant one. Though it somehow has this life of its own and every year it screened in houses like this. We had a good idea. They tried to do it as a TV show once. We had a good idea for a sequel, all the actors would love to do it, but ‘What’s Final Girls?’ The vague idea that Josh and Mark had was that they would be out in the real world, and Billy, the actor who played Billy Murphy, was the dad. And so it would be about her and her dad in the real world, and all the other actors are now old and sh–ty, but real Billy’s in the real world, so real Billy and actor Billy have to duke it out in the real world, and all this f——ng stuff.
Why The Final Girls 2 Will Probably Never Happen
As Strauss-Schulson points out, the lack of financial success for The Final Girls has been one major impediment to a continuation in any medium. The movie’s box office was negligible because it was given a brief limited release at the same time as its video-on-demand debut, and according to the director’s assessment, the profits from that digital release weren’t enough to offset the movie’s $4.5 million budget. However, the movie maintains a place in the pop culture conversation, especially thanks to recent comparisons to Prime Video’s new time travel slasher Totally Killer.
Totally Killer stars Kiernan Shipka as a girl who travels back in time and meets her mother as a teenager.
Despite its cult status, the biggest impediment on top of the financial disincentive would be the availability of the movie’s ensemble cast, despite their willingness to return. A great many characters were left alive at the end of the movie, and the majority of the actors playing them have had their careers grow to even bigger projects in the eight years since The Final Girls. In addition to Farmiga and Åkerman, that cast also includes Adam DeVine, Thomas Middleditch, Alia Shawkat, Alexander Ludwig, and The Vampire Diaries‘ Nina Dobrev.
Wrangling all these actors would most likely be a challenge even if Farmiga wasn’t the star of one of 2023’s biggest horror movie hits, The Nun II. However, there are also reasons that producers might be willing to take the plunge on a potential sequel. One of the most enticing would probably be the fact that The Final Girls‘ 1980s setting is hotter than ever thanks to the enduring popularity of other retro titles that have cropped up in the meantime, including the Netflix hit Stranger Things.