TRUTH OR DARE Almost Got a Wes Craven-Inspired Meta Sequel

Tyler Posey and Lucy Hale would have starred in the follow-up to Blumhouse’s 2018 horror hit.

By Ryan Scott · @RyanScottWrites · February 22, 2024, 6:31 PM EST
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Image courtesy of Universal Pictures

Blumhouse is better than just about any studio in Hollywood at turning its one-off hits into franchises. So, it should come as no surprise to learn that 2018’s Truth or Dare, a movie that made $95 million worldwide against a $3.5 million budget, nearly got a sequel. Why nearly? What prevented it from happening? In short, the pandemic got in the way. That’s a shame too as it sounds like director Jeff Wadlow and the cast were going to do something wildly different. Namely, they were going to go meta with it in a Wes Craven sort of way.

Wadlow recently spoke with Variety in anticipation of his new movie Imaginary (which you can watch the trailer for right here). The filmmaker revealed that the film’s stars, including Tyler Posey, Lucy Hale, Violett Beane, Landon Liboiron and Sam Lerner, all bonded offscreen while making the first one. The idea of doing a straightforward sequel didn’t interest Wadlow, but the cast had an idea he did love.

“They had become great friends and were going on trips together, hanging out in Big Bear. They had this idea: ‘Wouldn’t it be funny if Truth or Dare happened to us while we were on vacation together, the actors?’ The joke became that the sequel should be called Truth or Big Bear. I thought that was kind of a brilliant idea.”

The first movie focuses on a seemingly harmless game of Truth or Dare among friends that turns deadly when something begins to punish those who tell a lie or refuse the dare. A simple enough idea, and one that could lend itself to a simple sequel. Instead, they were going to walk a similar path to Wes Craven’s New Nightmare, by bringing the action into the real world.

“We wrote this script — Truth or Dare IRL — and it begins with Markie and Olivia, Lucy and Violett’s characters. They’re in this scene, and it feels like our Final Destination kind-of Truth or Dare scene, and Markie starts laughing in the middle of it. You hear, ‘Cut!’ and the director walks on the set, and we do the New Nightmare treatment where we reveal that Lucy and Violett are still friends. They’re going to go on this trip with the other actors from Truth or Dare, with Tyler, Landon and Sam. Everyone who was in the first film, they’re all buddies, and we find out what happened is the writers of the first film had researched a real demon. Just as Calux can haunt a game in the film, he’s now decided to haunt a movie in the real world. It was scary and surreal and funny and played a lot with subjectivity.”

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There is a lot more to the story, including Posey’s contributions to the script. But now for the big question: Why didn’t the sequel end up happening? It got very close and Blumhouse head Jason Blum was on board. Unfortunately, the costs incurred by the pandemic would have been too much for the production to handle.

“I got a call from Jason. ‘Would you be willing to move into the hotel on the Universal lot with all the actors from Truth or Dare and the crew, and quarantine with everyone and make a movie during the height of the pandemic?’ I was in, and we started prepping it. There’s this one cabin on the Universal lot where they’ve shot a million things — we were going to take over that cabin. But I think they started to realize that the health and safety risks involved at that moment, and also the cost implications of basically not letting people leave, would mean everyone was on overtime for the entire shoot, and they pulled the plug on it.”

Wadlow says the “ship has sailed,” so don’t expect to see this one happening now. That’s a real shame as this sounds like it could have truly turned this franchise on its head. Here’s hoping that Posey and Wadlow get the chance to work on another script together in the future.

Imaginary is set to hit theaters on March 8.