- The confirmation of The Black Phone 2 is exciting news, especially considering writer-director Scott Derrickson’s promise for a sequel based on Joe Hill’s short story.
- The original film blends a story about a serial child abductor with supernatural elements, and its thought-provoking details add depth beyond jump scares.
- Ethan Hawke’s return to the franchise is crucial, as indicated by Scott Derrickson’s firm stipulation, and it’s likely that the sequel will explore the supernatural elements further, potentially bringing The Grabber back to the screen.
The Black Phone 2‘s confirmation is even more exciting following writer-director Scott Derrickson’s sequel promise. Released in 2021, the original film is an adaptation of Joe Hill’s short story of the same name. Much like Hill’s source material, The Black Phone infuses the story of a serial child abductor, The Grabber (Ethan Hawke), with supernatural elements. Set in 1978, the film centers on siblings Finney (Mason Thames) and Gwen (Madeleine McGraw), the latter of whom has psychic visions about the children kidnapped by The Grabber. After a string of abductions hits close to home, The Grabber eventually takes Finney, who wakes up in a soundproofed basement.
One of the few items at his disposal is a black rotary phone; even though its cord is cut, the phone rings occasionally, allowing Finney to speak with The Grabber’s other victims. These ghostly former abductees not only reveal ways for Finney to escape the basement dungeon, but they give him the strength to fight back even when things seem hopeless. Eerie and sparse, The Black Phone‘s thought-provoking details reinforce its dark themes, allowing the film to dial into something deeper than genre-prescribed jump scares. All of these elements add up to perfect sequel material, making everything we know about The Black Phone 2 all-the-more exciting.
A few weeks before the sequel’s official announcement, The Black Phone 2 director revealed his one make-it-or-break-it condition: Ethan Hawke needed to return to the franchise too. With Scott Derrickson being so firm about this stipulation, it seems like Hawke must be involved in the supernatural horror sequel. In the past, Derrickson has also mentioned that Hill is protective of The Black Phone story, indicating that the source material’s author might not be interested in spinning the narrative into a multi-movie franchise. Unlike Derrickson, however, Hill didn’t outline any specific sequel prerequisites.
Like the Black Phone director, it seems Hill’s perspective may have shifted in the wake of the first film’s dual box office and critical successes. In an interview, Derrickson shared that Hill had pitched a “wonderful idea” for a sequel that was inspired by the “iconic imagery” of The Grabber’s masks (via ComicBook.com). While Jason Blum, the CEO of leading horror production company Blumhouse, teased plans for a Black Phone sequel at CinemaCon 2023, it took Universal Pictures a few more months to confirm that a second film was greenlit. Of course, the confirmation of a Black Phone sequel raises some compelling in-universe questions.
How Ethan Hawke’s The Grabber Can Return After His Black Phone Death
After Finney seemingly snaps The Grabber’s neck with the titular object’s cord during The Black Phone‘s ending, it appears that Ethan Hawke’s murderous villain is truly dead. That said, the sequel might lean into the franchise’s more supernatural elements in order to bring the character (and Hawke) back to the screen. The titular device is a symbol of The Grabber’s guilt, while his masks are linked to his deep-seated shame. It’s possible that those feelings linger and return to haunt Finney — or a new protagonist — in a surreal way. Of course, The Black Phone 2 might as easily be a prequel film centered on The Grabber’s origins.