One of the cooler movies of 2018 was the sci-fi action flick Upgrade. Sort of a new-age Robocop, it follows a husband and wife who are ambushed while heading home one night. The wife dies, but her husband survives and is paralyzed from the neck down.
Seemingly without hope or a will to live, a mysterious man offers him an experimental paralysis cure in the form of a computer chip. Called STEM, the chip’s inserted into his spinal cord and allows him to not only walk again, but have enhanced abilities along with a voice in his head that talks to him. Now, he has a new outlook on life, which is to hunt down those responsible for his wife’s death.
While promoting his new film The Invisible Man, director Leigh Whannell was asked about the possibility of an Upgrade sequel and said:
“We’ll see. A sequel is a champagne problem created by the success of a movie,” Whannell revealed to Fandom when asked about a sequel. “So Hollywood economics dictates whether there’s going to be a sequel, and Upgrade … I wouldn’t exactly call it a monster hit. I’d call it a cult hit, and cult hits, when they look at the books of cult hits, they’re like ‘Nyah, sequel’. So we’ll see. I loved making that film, so I’d love to do it with a bit more money.”
The grungy, low-budget nature of the movie is what made it unique. But I get what he means by wanting more money. After all, the film cost a minuscule $3 million to make and you can see every penny on the screen. It went on to earn $16 million at the box office and while that’s not much, it’s still more than five times the budget. So, even if he was given, say $10 million for a sequel, it would still maintain its indie vibe. And because it’s a sequel, turning a profit on a $10 million movie wouldn’t take much.
Jason Blum of Blumhouse Productions was a producer on the film and based on his track record, a decent marketing campaign should be more than enough to make an Upgrade sequel profitable. If he’s willing to make another crappy Truth Or Dare, then why not this?
Perhaps we’ll know after The Invisible Man hits theaters. It’s getting good buzz ahead of its release on Friday and its success will probably dictate whether or not we might see another Upgrade. If we do, though, we might have to wait a while, as Whannell is also working on an Escape From New York remake.