Playing and slaying, pirouetting and slaughtering — the Model 3 Generative Android, or M3GAN, can do it all!
But can M3GAN, Blumhouse Productions’ latest effed up output, kill at the box office this Friday?
Producer James Wan, known best for co-creating the Saw and Insidious franchises and creating the Conjuring universe, is confident in M3GAN’s potential to become a series. The deranged AI doll companion will first have to perform well in theaters before it gets greenlit for a sequel— and the film’s producing partners Blumhouse, Wan’s banner Atomic Monsters, and Divide/Conquer have faith that it will.
M3GAN, a cartwheeling campy horror, is set in a world much like ours where toymakers are leading scientific innovation at companies like the fictional Funki. After Cady (Haunting of Hill House’s Violet McGraw) is left an orphan after a horrific car crash, her aunt Gemma (Get Out’s Allison Williams), a Funki roboticist, comes up with a solution: M3GAN. M3GAN is a one-of-a-kind, artificially intelligent “toy” that can stand in as a parent, a grief counselor, a friend, and a data collector. M3GAN’s production is fast-tracked to relieve Gemma of a job she feels unequipped for and to get her boss off her back.
But perhaps Gemma should have taken some time to work out M3GAN’s kinks — and give her an attitude adjustment. Soon everyone learns the hard (and sometimes comical way) that there’s something wrong with Cady’s new robot BFF.
In an interview with Collider, Wan, who reunited with Malignant screenwriter Akela Cooper to pen the story for M3GAN, noted that he’d like M3GAN to grow beyond its inaugural installment:
“What I will say to that is, in any of my movies, whether it's The Conjuring Universe, or Saw, or Malignant, or M3GAN here, we like to think of a bigger world. For me, it's about creating the world, and knowing who the characters are, where the story could potentially go, and then building this bigger world, and then going into that and going, ‘Okay, I'm telling this particular story, but I know other stuff that's going on.’ So if we're fortunate enough to have sequels, then we have an idea of where we want to go.”
Wan isn’t the only person in M3GAN’s camp anticipating a second romp with the destructive doll. Last November, The New York Times reported that Universal was gearing up to greenlight M3GAN 2. And though box office performance of M3GAN will certainly help the budding franchise’s survivability, its relatively low budget is a boon for its sequel chances. (And/or perhaps its likelihood to make it to the small screen as a TV show, à la M3GAN’s spiritual cousin, Chucky.)
Early critic reviews for M3GAN, mostly positive thus far, are pointing to a future with more murderous dance breaks on-screen.
M3GAN opens in theaters on January 6, 2023.