Suspiria director Luca Guadagnino reveals prequel idea, Dakota Johnson's double role

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Oct 25, 2018, 11:59 AM EDT

If the open secret that Tilda Swinton was playing an old man in director Luca Guadagnino’s Suspiria remake wasn’t enough for you, the film’s helmer has a few more surprises up his sleeve as the film — based on Dario Argento's 1977 classic — nears its wide release. After polarizing critics, Suspiria’s future depends on its reception at the box office. Depending on whether it hits or fizzles, we may be getting even more freaky, female-fronted Argento riffs — possibly heading backward.

In an interview with The Playlist, Guadagnino explained that he’s already had ideas for the next step in the Suspiria story, which would focus on Helena Markos (Swinton), the film’s witchy leader.

“I have this image in my mind,” Guadagnino said, “of Helena Markos in solitude in the year 1212 in Scotland or in Spain. [Wandering] through a village and trying to find a way on how she can manipulate the women of the village. I have this image. I know she was there, I know it was six to seven hundred years before the actual storyline of this film.”

While that’s not a definite plan for a prequel, if fans eat up Suspiria, it’s likely they’ll also be into Swinton in a period drama where she’s witching up the place. That it’d go so far back is due to the nature of the film’s themes. The director cited "layers of time" when discussing the project and possible companion pieces, saying that the story doesn't just involve the "arrow that [points] the future.”

Some of that could also come into play with Dakota Johnson’s second role in the film. In an interview with Vulture, the director revealed that “she plays two roles, but the second role is not in the movie that is coming out.” Wait, really? We thought Swinton was the chameleon. So who was it?

“She was playing Naomi, the twin sister of Susie, back in Ohio,” Guadagnino said, clarifying that audiences can spot her briefly “in the main titles at the beginning: her sister looming there.” Whether that sister could come up in other pieces accompanying this one, barring its success, is up in the air — but with so much witchy possibility, it’s impossible to say no.

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