Christopher Landon is no stranger to horror or supernatural worlds. Having written Paranormal Activity 2, 3, 4 and Happy Death Day. He returns to write and direct Tree in his follow up, Happy Death Day 2U. He and producer Jason Blum (Blumhouse Productions) took a moment to talk to us about death counts and what new elements they wanted to introduce in order to evolve the second story and reinvent itself.
Screen Rant: First of all, I love this franchise. This is a great follow up because I thought to myself, how are they going to follow up the first one and then you do it. And I love it. It's great. But the first question I have is the first movie has horror, blends comedy and a bit of sci-fi. It's more about destiny and this one has more sci-fi elements in it and still the comedy why the direction to move towards the sci-fi in this one.
Christopher Landon: I did not want to make the same movie twice. And that was sort of goal number one. I was very inspired by Back to the Future. In fact if people pay close attention, there is a giant Back to the Future poster in Carter's dorm room right behind the bed she wakes up in every single time and it was in the first movie, too. So that Easter egg was always kind of planted. I just thought it was a cool way to answer the question of, you know, why this was happening to her, but it also allowed, it was a device that allowed me to really expand on her character and explore some new stuff. And also it's a really crazy movie because we get Tobe in the same exact day for a very specific reason and yet have a completely different experience. And it was something that I thought felt really fresh and it’s sort of the ultimate companion piece to the first movie.
Screen Rant: It really is. Tree dies 11 times in the first film. How many times does she die in this one? What's the total death count and what's your favorite death?
Christopher Landon: God, I don't even know if I did a death count in my head on this one. I know she's got. Well, I'm not that morbid now. Well, we've got one, two, three, four, five, six. I think there she dies eight times. I'm just guessing off the top of my head right now. I had written many, many more. I did, I know I had some ideas to make another one. I had a couple that I wrote and turned them in and people came back and said, no, you can't do that yet.
Screen Rant: What ones are your favorite?
Christopher Landon: I love, and it's in the trailer, I love her falling off the building because it's unexpected and it's accidental. So there was a certain kind of humor to it. I also think that it's one of the best falls I think that we've seen in a movie in a long time. It was done completely practically. Our stunt crew was amazing and so I thought it just looks badass. So that's probably my favorite. But there's a few other ones that were pretty funny.
Screen Rant: What about yours, Jason?
Jason Blum: I definitely liked where the branches of the whichever, whichever ones.
Screen Rant: The whichever one is great. So I have a question, I don't want to spoil anything, but a Tree is faced with a tough decision whether to stay in an alternate reality or go back to her own. What would you guys do in that situation if you were in her shoes?
Jason Blum: That’s a good question. What would you do?
Christopher Landon: I would stay. I mean that's the lesson, that's the whole theme of the movie, which is even if there are things in your life that you regret or things that have hurt you, like it's still your life, like you have to take ownership of it. And so you can't live in a fantasy version of your life because it's not you.
Screen Rant: I was going to say I would stay in that alternate reality.
Jason Blum: I go to the fantasy version. If I can take my family I would to go to the fantasy version. You know try something new for awhile.
Screen Rant: I do agree and that is pretty heart wrenching. Like when he tells her, you know, a great film, guys. And hopefully we get a third one.
Christopher Landon and Jason Blum: We hope so. I hope so. We hope so.
Christopher Landon: People have to go see this one.
Jason Blum: Go see it, we'll make another one.
Screen Rant: Well, I'm going to tell everybody about it, thank you guys so much.
- Happy Death Day 2U (2019) release date: Feb 14, 2019