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On April Fools' Day earlier this year, director Adam Wingard, writer Simon Barrett, and composer Steve Moore put out a soundtrack album to a movie that doesn't exist. The Guest II, featuring music by Moore and Wingard as well as artists like Ogre, Ghost Cop, and Xander Harris, arrived as a fully realized soundtrack for a film that fans have been asking for since 2014, but never received.
It was an interesting way to celebrate a holiday that's usually reserved for elaborate hoaxes that offer nothing tangible, and now that The Guest II is out there in audio form, it seems the actual film might one day follow.
The Guest, Wingard and Barrett's follow-up to their acclaimed home invasion horror film You're Next, remains a celebrated thriller notable for proving the versatility of the filmmakers and the range of its star, Dan Stevens, who was best known for Downton Abbey when he slipped into the role of a haunted, and haunting, super soldier with some deadly programming. The film follows Stevens' David as he visits the home of a deceased military buddy to spend some time with them, then explores what happens when his need to eliminate everyone who learns the truth about his identity spirals out of control. It's a creepy, funny, thrilling ride of a movie, with a killer score, but while fans have been curious about the film's sequel setup for nearly a decade, Wingard and Barrett have been busy with other projects.
According to Wingard, who appears in the latest issue of Empire Magazine to talk about the soundtrack, that changed during the pandemic lockdown, when he got the idea to start formulating music based around a sequel concept, even if the sequel itself wasn't yet out in the world.
"It occurred to me that The Guest soundtrack had such a strong vibe to it, that if you released music based around it, it would be easily identifiable," Wingard said.
According to Wingard, Barrett "already had this bizarre formulated plot" in place for the sequel, which you can see clues for in the sequel soundtrack's album art. From there, it was a matter of working with Moore to bring together a group of musicians to create an atmospheric soundtrack for a plot that doesn't yet have a film attached to it.
"It was like, 'Maybe one day we'll do a Guest sequel,'" Wingard recalled. 'But for now, let's do the fun part.' Which is, put the music together and see what inspirations come."
Of course, the moment the soundtrack arrived, fans of the original film once again started clamoring for a real follow-up. This time, it might actually happen, because the process of putting the soundtrack together got Wingard and Barrett back into story mode.
“It’s really pushed me and Simon into a creative headspace," Wingard told Empire. "We’re talking about developed a potential sequel as a real project."
According to Wingard, Stevens "would love" to rejoin them for a Guest sequel, and the filmmakers are even exploring the possibility of developing the follow-up as something like a limited series, expanding David's story the second time around. Of course, as Barrett noted on Twitter earlier this week, fans are still going to have to be patient.
"I’ll admit the response to the soundtrack surprised me," Barrett said. "I think we’ve finally landed on an idea that excites us and wouldn’t disappoint everyone, but it won’t be soon. Lots to work on first."
If only all April Fools' Day pranks gave us something this promising.
In the meantime, you can check out other horror treats like Chucky, Firestarter and Halloween II now streaming on Peacock. Looking ahead, some upcoming horror films include Firestarter in theaters and streaming on Peacock on May 13, The Black Phone in theaters on June 24 and Jordan Peele's Nope in theaters July 22.