'Bird Box 2': Josh Malerman Plans to "Scare the Sh*t Out of You in October"

'Malorie' is going to be all about Malorie.

Bird Box was a massive hit in December. Netflix took the rare step of sharing viewership numbers, and it was revealed that 80 million subscribers watched the Sandra Bullock apocalypse movie. That means a lot of people were left wondering what happened after Malorie arrived at the school for the blind. Thankfully, we have some good news.

Josh Malerman, who wrote the 2014 novel Bird Box off which the movie is based, is working on a sequel.

“At the end of the movie, I turned to my girl Allison and said, ‘I want to know what happens next!’” Malerman told Esquire this week. “She’s like, ‘Well, you know, you could make that happen!” So it really was this warm feeling.”

Malerman was seemingly moved to write a sequel after seeing the movie, and it will remain focused on Bullock’s Malorie. Hence the title, Malorie.

“I’ve been asked a ton of times: people want to know what happened with Boy and Girl,” Malerman said. “But as much as I care about Boy and Girl, this isn’t their story. The Bird Box world is Malorie’s story, and I wanted to know more about her.”

The book cover illustration for 'Malorie', shared by Malerman.
The book cover illustration for 'Malorie', shared by Malerman.

Bullock delivers a complex performance, portraying a conflicted woman who goes to great lengths to survive against impossible odds. So on one hand, the sequel focusing on her is a no-brainer. But thematically, the two children sort of represent Adam and Eve figures at the end of Bird Box. Malorie christens Boy and Girl with actual names (they become Tom and Olympia), and the ending implies they’ll be the ones building some kind of bright new future amidst all the horror outside their safe haven. This is common in apocalyptic fiction and totally predictable, which might be why the sequel opts to go in a different direction.

In the interview, Malerman confirms that Malorie and her two children leave the sanctuary they found at the end of Bird Box. He also dodged questions about where the story’s monsters come from, but it does sound like the sequel will have to address their origins. “I will say this: we get to know both Malorie and the creatures better,” he said.

In the book and movie, some survivors speculate that they’re some kind of demons or spirits unearthed during archaeological digs, but we never learn what they look like, where they come from, or even what they do.

“I approached this thing with complete respect for the first book, but then again, who wants to read a book written out of complete respect?” Malerman commented recently on his Twitter account.

Malerman wrote the original story, but it was Danish filmmaker Susanne Bier’s direction that turned this apocalypse story into a cultural sensation, even spawning dangerous meme challenges.

When asked about a sequel movie in January, Bier didn’t rule out the possibility, saying this: “We only just finished it! It’s funny, I’m kind of reading people asking for a sequel, and I’m like, ‘Hey, hey, hey, we really just finished!’ So let’s just enjoy it for now.”

Now that we’ve all had several months to “enjoy it” and there’s another book on the way, maybe it could happen? There’s no official word from Netflix yet. The book comes out this fall.

“Hope this scares the shit out of you in October,” Malerman tweeted this week.

Malorie will be released on October 1, 2019.

Media via Malorie, Netflix Film, Netflix, Netflix / Penguin / Random House