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Ring! Ring! 4 Directions Universal and Blumhouse Could Take The Black Phone Sequel

Ask not for whom The Black Phone sequel rings... it rings for thee.

By Josh Weiss
Vance Hopper (Brady Hepner) and Finney Shaw (Mason Thames) in The Black Phone (2022)

Last week, Universal Pictures and Blumhouse made the announcement that they were teaming up for a sequel to director Scott Derrickson's The Black Phone (now streaming on Peacock), which is set to be the dawn of "a sinister new franchise."

While the operator won't connect the film to theaters until summer 2025, we do know that Derrickson and his regular writing/producing partner, C. Robert Cargill, are both involved, with the latter teasing a fresh story idea from author Joe Hill — upon whose short story the movie was based. Beyond those scant details, nothing else has been confirmed.

RELATED: The Black Phone 2: Blumhouse Horror Hit Ringing Up Sequel From Universal

Will The Black Phone 2 be a traditional sequel or an anthological offshoot centered around the eponymous rotary device that allows one to commune with the dead? If it's the latter, Universal and Blumhouse may be hoping to emulate the box office success of the Cloverfield and Conjuring universes. Your guesses are as good as ours at the moment. Just to be safe, though, SYFY WIRE has decided to prepare for both scenarios with a litany of directions the next movie could take.

Possible Story Ideas for The Black Phone sequel

How Finney Shaw dealt with his terrible ordeal

The Black Phone (2021)

Being held captive by a sociopathic killer of children — and then being forced to kill said killer of children — couldn't have been easy on the already-traumatized psyche of 13-year-old Finney Shaw (Mason Thames). Despite the fact that the first movie ends on an optimistic note, with Finney becoming more confident in himself and gaining the status of a local legend amongst his peers, something tells us he never fully escaped that drab basement dungeon. Perhaps he still revisits the place in his nightmares and as such, it would be interesting to see how he coped with the harrowing experience in the years that followed. What if we get a Doctor Sleep-style sequel with Finney as an adult? After all, Joe Hill is the son of Stephen King.

A backstory for The Grabber and his connection to the phone

The Black Phone YT

This one is pretty unlikely, given that Derrickson declined a studio request to give the killer (played by a memorably unsettling Ethan Hawke) a proper origin story. "The fact that they want to know more about him is where you want them," the filmmaker explained to Empire. "The mystery and the unknowability of the these kinds of sociopaths is a lot of where their terror comes from."

RELATED: Did You Catch It? The Black Phone Co-Writer Explains Horror Film's Comic Book Easter Eggs

With that said, The Black Phone 2 might actually turn out to be a stealth prequel exploring The Grabber's formative years as well as his connection to the supernatural phone. Unless Derrickson, Cargill, and Hill plan on a mystical, Jason Voorhees-inspired resurrection, however, a story set before the events of the first movie is about the only way to bring the late Grabber (and his little brother) back into the fold.

A brand-new killer (or a new story altogether)

Ethan Hawke as The Grabber in The Black Phone.

The introduction of a fresh maniac seems the most likely outcome. But who could possibly top Hawke's mercurial murderer? In the original short story, The Grabber is described as a corpulent, John Wayne Gacy-type who claims to be "a part-time clown" (the character was changed to a powerfully-built magician for the movie). Returning to the source material might be the way to go here, especially since Hill's father created the most iconic killer clown of all time: Pennywise.

Still, a major question remains: does this new butcher of youngsters live in The Grabber's house or are we shifting over to a new setting with all new characters? Will the black phone even play a role, or is it simply part of the title for brand recognition? Again, we can only speculate at this early point.

Further exploration of Gwen's psychic abilities

(from left) Terrence Shaw (Jeremy Davies) sits and talks to Gwen Shaw (Madeleine McGraw) who is crying in The Black Phone (2022).

If there's one thing the King family loves writing about, it's young people with psychic abilities. Maybe the sequel will place the narrative emphasis on Finney's little sister, Gwen (Madeleine McGraw), whose inexplicable, somnial visions lead her straight to the killer's house. According to Mr. Shaw (Jeremy Davies), Gwen and Finney's mother also saw and heard things that weren't technically real. There's a possibility The Black Phone 2 takes a deep dive into the lore surrounding the paranormal gift Gwen seemingly inherited from her mom.

The Black Phone is now streaming on Peacock.