Don’t Breathe was one of the surprise hits of 2016, starring Stephen Lang as a blind badass battling a trio of thieves, and the actor has now opened up on what we can expect from his return in Don’t Breathe 2.
Directed by Fede Álvarez, who also helmed the 2013 remake of Evil Dead, the first movie’s plot centers on a group of young housebreakers who hear of a blind Gulf War veteran with a fortune hidden in his home, reasoning that a man who can’t see will be an easy mark. Too late, however, they realize the uncompromising force they’ve pitted themselves against and have to remain as quiet as possible if they hope to escape from the darkened building that their pursuer is far more adept at moving around in.
Although the first film ended with a hook for a potential continuation, this sequel tells a new story, seeing the Blind Man having taken in a young orphan who’s abducted by criminals, forcing him to hunt them down to get her back, and will potentially rework him as a more heroic character than was suggested by the moral ambiguity that the original brought about by an unpleasant revelation of his intent.
When appearing on The Boo Crew podcast from Bloody Disgusting, Lang had this to say of reprising the role for the follow-up:
“The first time out, you just plunge in, cause what do I know? I went at it the best way I could. I figured out a way to go at it, and I’ve been able to expand on that in the second one. This time, I really felt I had the proper time to really prepare. I really only had just a little over a month [to prepare for the first one]. I just did it. And it worked. It worked out good.
“Doing the sequel, I felt a real obligation to really, really work more specifically on the blindness, ‘cause I had the time to do it. And so I hooked up with this amazing organization, The Northeastern Association for the Blind, which is located in Albany. And I began working with their director of orientation and movement. The second script was… it’s a different deal. And so I just needed to do that preparation there. When you’re working on the mechanics of a role, it’s tangible. I really, really enjoyed preparing for this role.”
The Blind Man’s lack of sight wasn’t just a spin on what would have otherwise been a fairly generic home invasion thriller, but was an integral aspect of his character, making his enemies underestimate him and providing him with an advantage against them. The scope of Don’t Breathe 2 will likely be expanded from the claustrophobic confines of the original and require Lang to convincingly act blind in a much larger setting, so it’s encouraging to hear that he ensured his performance would do the condition justice.