In 2018, Bird Box became the talk of the winter months, hitting Netflix before Christmas and capturing a conversational moment in the movie-verse. After sitting in some development hell for years, Netflix picked up the rights and signed on a big star in Sandra Bullock to lead the film. It was nothing short of a massive hit. Bird Box 2 had to happen.
In terms of Netflix originals, Bird Box ranks second overall in streams over the first four weeks of a release trailing only Extraction. And it’s easy to forget now, but Bird Box’’s limited budget (around $20 million) compared to its resounding popularity marked a massive win for the streaming platform after a big loss with the Will Smith-led Bright which premiered the year before. Though not a perfect movie (sitting at *only* 63% on Rotten Tomatoes), Bird Box did solidify the idea that Netflix could power its service with original, star-led movies. That made the idea of Bird Box 2 pretty hard to resist for the streaming giant. Bird Box 2 is happening.
The Premise That Started It All
The premise of the original Netflix movie is simple: aliens attack the world but can only really affect you if you “see” them. At that point whatever you catch glimpse of turns you momentarily insane with most folks opting for suicide. It doesn’t have that effect on everyone, but that’s the typical outcome.
Sandra Bullock plays Malorie, a survivor of this scourge who is in the care of two children conveniently named Boy and Girl. Though the movie ties itself off relatively well this is “Hollywood” we’re talking about and immense popularity typically begets additional stories.
The Plot Of Bird Box 2
It appears we’ll get an additional story with a forthcoming Bird Box 2. Josh Malerman penned the book (of the same name) on which the movie is based. In a recent interview, Malerman says he’s completed a follow-up novel titled Malorie. This is massive news and Malerman gives quite a few details about the continued story. The book is due out July 21st and already available for pre-order on Amazon with generally positive reviews.
According to Malerman, the sequel book Malorie picks up right where Bird Box left off with Bullock safe (for now) at the school for the blind where she and the kids found refuge. But the story of Bird Box 2 will also skip ahead to the future, years later, and give an idea of what Malorie and the outside world have become.
We’ll learn much after the book release with the assumption that a developed sequel would fit closely to Malerman’s story. It’s safe to assume the book was also written with a Bird Box 2 movie in mind as well, something the original didn’t necessarily have, and a conversion to the “big screen” will be a low bar to clear.
Making Bird Box 2
Regarding Bird Box 2, Malerman did give a rather definitive statement saying, “…it is in development.” In terms of official details surrounding a sequel that’s pretty much it in terms of definitive news.
But considering the movie is in development and the book is titled after the main character, it feels fairly safe to assume Sandra Bullock would be making a return as her character in the titular role. She’s currently filming an untitled film with director Nora Fingscheidt but has no other official commitments beyond that movie.
Director Susanne Bier is currently working on a television series, The Undoing which is in post-production. It’s unclear if she’d return for the sequel, but director consistency isn’t a mainstay in all sequels or franchises, so that’s far from a deal-breaker if she couldn’t return.
With a Rotten Tomatoes audience rating of only 57%, there’s some reason to think Bird Box the movie gained more popularity around a gimmicky premise than it did as a solid film. Could that be compromised with a sequel in which the antagonist (an unseen alien species) is already known or will we see further world-building around those folks who’ve embraced the starry-eyed crazy life?
It stands to reason, following the official release of Malorie to bookshelves we will start hearing more concrete news about a Netflix sequel. It would undoubtedly be an incredibly popular release considering the original streamed, according to Netflix, in 89 million households over its first four weeks on the platform. What will be interesting to see is if Bird Box 2 can capture something similar in the zeitgeist.
Casting The Netflix Sequel
In terms of casting, Bird Box 2 wouldn’t need to guarantee much in way of casting beyond Bullock. Considering the nature of the ending, with Malorie and the kids transplanted to a brand new place with a whole new set of folks, consistency in casting would have many fewer hurdles than almost any other movie “franchise”.