Even before Amazon Studios released Luca Guadagnino’s “Suspiria” reimagining in theaters, the director spoke openly about his plans for a potential sequel. Guadagnino revealed ahead of the movie’s world premiere at the 2018 Venice Film Festival that the film’s original title was “Suspiria: Part One,” and a planned “Suspiria: Part Two” would dig into the origins of Madame Blanc and Helena Markos (both played by Tilda Swinton) and the future of Suzy Bannion (Dakota Johnson). When asked recently by The Film Stage if he was still kicking around his sequel plan for “Suspiria,” inspired by Dario Argento’s 1977 classic, Guadagnino got blunt about the first film’s reception.
“How? How, my dear? The movie made absolutely nothing. It was a disaster at the box office,” Guadagnino said. “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.”
Guadagnino continued, “Sequels are an attitude of the soul. You want to do things because you want to spend time with people that you love, the actors you love, the writers you love….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.”
While “Suspiria” got off to a strong start in limited release, grossing $89,903 from two theaters over its opening weekend to land the biggest per-theater average of 2018 at the time, the film struggled to expand and only grossed just over $2 million at the U.S. box office. The “Suspiria” global returns total tapped out at $7 million. Considering “Suspiria” carried a production budget in the $20-million range, its box office results were “a disaster” indeed.
Guadagnino’s “Suspiria” starred Swinton and Johnson opposite Chloë Grace Moretz, Mia Goth, and original “Suspiria” star Jessica Harper. The film also featured the first original film score by Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke. The musician’s original song for the film, “Suspirium,” earned a Grammy nomination for Best Song Written for Visual Media.
Head over to The Film Stage’s website to read more from Guadagnino’s latest interview.