Here’s a piece of news that will delight fans of the terrifically well-made and frantically frightening [REC];  there’s not one but TWO more sequels on the way. [REC] 2 has already been made and released in its native Spain, but has yet to hit theaters in U.S. But evidently, the franchise has a lot more fuel left in the tank.

Variety reports the news that Filmax Entertainment has officially greenlit third and fourth [REC] movies. The first two were co-directed by Paco Plaza and Juame Balaguero, but the next two will be solo films for each director.

[REC] Genesis, the third movie, will be directed by Plaza who has co-written the script with Luis Berdejo (who co-wrote the first [REC]). It will focus on the origin of the virus that plagued the first two movies. The movie is aiming to be completed by Fall 2011.

[REC] Apocalypse, the ending to the franchise, will be directed by Balaguero (after he finishes the “sociopathic doorman thriller” Sleep Tight) and is aimed to be ready for Fall 2012. Both movies are eyeing festival runs in their respective years, same as the first two [REC] movies did when they were released. There’s currently no word if the in-camera/shaky-cam technique will be used for the two sequels.

We already heard word of more [REC] installments last December when Plaza and Balageuro talked about [REC] 3 and in which direction the plot would go. At the time they said the third movie would take things out of the apartment complex we’ve been enclosed in for two movies but we knew nothing more than that. The fact that they’re breaking away from the first and second movie’s formula is a good idea, since I couldn’t really see them being able to carry the “trapped in a building with zombies” premise longer than two movies.

I really like the idea of going back to the origin of the virus, which was only hinted at in the first film and apparently gets mention in the second (I’ve yet to see [REC] 2). We only saw what becomes of people if they’re infected, which certainly provided for plenty of heart-pounding terror, but it’ll be very cool to see how and where it all began.

As far as the fourth movie goes, I can only assume we’ll have some sort of closing off of the franchise, i.e. a cure for the virus is found or at least it’s contained and destroyed (unless the world is). They already left things on a cliffhanger in the first movie, and presumably will do the same in the second and third, so I think we need a definitive ending in the fourth movie.

Even if the first [REC] had all the attributes of a potential horror franchise, I honestly never expected them to even make one sequel, much less three. I would have been worried if the sequels had gotten passed on to completely new people, but since the original filmmakers are in it for the whole ride I’m very curious to see what becomes of the franchise.

But let’s get [REC] 2 in theaters first, eh?…

What do you think of them making [REC] 3 and [REC] 4? Is that two too many or is the series deserving of so many installments?

[REC] 2 hits U.S. theaters sometime this July (the rumored date is July 9th). UK audiences can catch it on May 28th.

Source: Variety (via Shock Till You Drop)