In our sequel- and prequel-heavy, reboot, redo, remake modern version of Hollywood, most of those sequels fall under the umbrella of big franchises or spin-offs of said blockbusters hoping to make bank with a slightly different demographic.
But sometimes Hollywood gets it right. Sometimes, Hollywood greenlights a project, a (hopefully) smart sequel to what was a smart indie movie that absolutely deserves a chance to capture the imagination of a wider audience.
Monsters: Dark Continent is just such one of those times, with shooting for the sequel to ' low-budget Monsters currently underway. The original Monsters, released in 2010, turned a modest profit of $5 million worldwide (and more via home box office), which doesn't seem like much until you remember it was shot on a shoestring budget. In Hollywood, that equals an unqualified success. Plus, that directorial effort eventually led Edwards to landing the coveted role of director for upcoming tentpole Godzilla. As studios are generally wary of handing the reins of multi-million dollar blockbusters over to unproven directors, it shows that Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures really saw something to love in Edwards and have a lot of faith in his talent.
In the original film, a NASA probe crash-lands in Central America after being sent to collect what are possibly samples of alien matter. Soon after the crash, a new and dangerous life form starts to appear and half of Mexico is quarantined off as an infected zone. Six years later, the American and Mexican militaries struggle to contain the creatures, as a cynical, American journalist reluctantly agrees to escort a skittish tourist through the infected zone in Mexico to the safety of the U.S. border.
Dark Continent is set a few years after the original, where, despite the best efforts of the military containment, the quarantined zones have spread throughout the world. While we've seen this plot recycled a few times before (28 Weeks Later, Aliens), the original film was a well-made, if low-budget film that was a pleasant surprise and we can only hope the sequel will be more of the same.
While a new director in Tom Green is taking over the helm, Edwards will remain as an executive producer on the film. The movie also has a fairly promising cast on board with (Welcome to the Punch, Snow White and the Huntsman) set to star along with talented, up and coming stars Sam Keeley (What Richard Did) and (Game of Thrones).
Producer Allan Niblo has this to say about the upcoming film:
Monsters: Dark Continent is a sci-fi action film that remains true to the artistry and intelligence of its prequel Monsters as well as providing the excitement, thrills and set pieces of a genre film. We're very excited to see Tom Green's vision unfold.
That makes two of us.