New and returning cast members, more murder, higher stakes and time-loop science explained: here’s what to expect for the Happy Death Day sequel, Happy Death Day 2U.
Blumhouse Productions (Paranormal Activity, Split, Get Out) gave us the sci-fi horror cross comedy flick Happy Death Day in 2017. The film became popular with audiences due to its genre-mashing premise, its ability to be meta and its youthful attitude and sense of humour.
The film gained a 71% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes as well as exceeding its production budget of $4.8 million by grossing $122 million worldwide.
The sorority slasher film followed Theresa “Tree” Gelbman (played by Jessica Rothe) as she went through hell to uncover her killer’s identity in hopes that she would stop reliving the last day of her life (her birthday) over and over again.
While the film’s premise was familiar – it even compared itself to the original time-loop genre film and cultural icon Groundhog Day (1993) – the fun comedic horror did not take itself too seriously. According to the trailer for Happy Death Day 2U, the sequel will be no exception.
Firstly, we are very happy that Rothe will once again star as the spirited Tree Gelbman. Other returning cast members include Israel Broussard as the adorkable Carter Davis, Phi Vu as Carter’s roommate, Ryan Phan, and Rachel Matthews as Tree’s frenemy and sorority sister Danielle Bouseman. Surprisingly, Ruby Modine will also reprise her role as Tree’s former roommate and villain Lori Spengler. We can’t wait to see how the film will tackle this character’s return. Perhaps there will be a version of Lori from an alternate timeline? *GASP*
Deadline reported in 2018 that the new cast members will include Suraj Sharma (Homeland, Life of Pi) as Samar Ghosh, and Sarah Yarkin (Gunpowder, American Horror Story) as Dre Morgan, the science geeks who will presumably explain the much-wanted answers behind the time-loop we originally saw in Happy Death Day.
As far as the story goes, this time around Tree is not the only target on the hit-list; everyone close to her at Bayfield University is. Things that caught our eye from the trailer include alternate timelines (Tree being sent back in time to the date of her previous birthday from the first film), a high-tech gadget that may fix the time-loop somehow, the apparent murder of Tree’s previous roommate Lori (who, as we mentioned earlier, is somehow alive again), two identical versions of Ryan staring at each other, Danielle’s mention of a “death curse” and the new killer starting to take off their baby mask to reveal their identity. This new information opens up possibilities for even more theories!
Jason Blum returned to produce this sequel, while Christopher Landon was the director once again, as well as the writer. Landon worked on the original script for Happy Death Day over ten years ago, when it was known as Half to Death.
In a 2017 interview with Business Insider, Landon said he had plans for Happy Death Day’s sequel even before the film’s release, and he guaranteed that the film would reveal the answer to why Tree is trapped in a time-loop.
Happy Death Day 2U appears to be just as meta and self-aware as its predecessor with Tree’s snide comment, “I’m literally dying to figure this out,” and the film’s premise and lead actress Rothe hinting towards other popular sci-fi movies like Back to the Future.
Happy Death Day 2U opens in Australia on February 14