Suspiria was Luca Guadagnino‘s unhinged horror masterpiece, a Cold War allegory that went off the rails in the most glorious and debauched fashion. And it would have only been the beginning. Guadagnino revealed that he originally intended Suspiria to be the first part of a story, with a planned sequel that would have been even more off the walls than the film were Dakota Johnson rips open her chest and summons a demonic incarnation of Death. But sadly, it’s a Suspiria sequel we’ll never see, due to the first film’s poor box office performance.
In an interview with The Film Stage, Guadagnino revealed that Suspiria was originally titled “Suspiria: Part 1 in the script and in the slate. That’s true,” the Call Me By Your Name filmmaker said, following the wrap-up of his new HBO series We Are Who We Are.
But when asked if we would ever get to see Part 2, Guadagnino replied, “How? How, my dear? The movie made absolutely nothing. It was a disaster at the box office. I know that people are liking it more and more now. I loved making that movie. It’s very dear to me. But writer David Kajganich and I had really conceived it as the first half of a bigger story.”
So what would the Suspiria sequel have been about? Guadagnino revealed his plans, which sounds like it would have carried on with the tone of his 2018 film’s lurid and insane second half:
“But with Suspiria, I can tell you that in part two the storyline was layered in five different time zones and spaces. One of these was Helena Markos being a charlatan woman in the year 1200 in Scotland and how she got the secret of longevity.”
Guadagnino telling a story of satanic witches in 1200s Scotland? With Tilda Swinton reprising her role as Helena Markos in an origin story that would have allowed the ethereal actress to vamp and chew the scenery even more in a film that bends space and time? That would have been a delicious follow-up to the 1977-set Suspiria, and sounds like it would have been like Guadagnino’s take on Robert Eggers’ chilly paranoid horror film The Witch, with a dash of the cosmic.
It’s truly a loss that we’ll never get to see it after Suspiria disappointed at the box office, grossing $7.6 million worldwide. But to be fair, Amazon Studios gave it an extremely limited release, opening the film only in New York and Los Angeles, and expanding to roughly 300 theaters at most. But Guadagnino is at least not lacking for work, recently boarding BBC’s new adaptation of Brideshead Revisited with quite a killer cast.
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