As Bloody Disgusting recently told you, The Strangers franchise is coming back to life with a brand new trilogy of movies, and the official press release just went out this afternoon.
Lionsgate announced today it has begun production on The Strangers remake, set to be a trilogy of films being produced in Bratislava, Slovakia. Based on the original 2008 cult horror franchise of the same name, the project features rising star Madelaine Petsch (“Riverdale,” “Jane”), who drives cross-country with her longtime boyfriend (Froy Gutierrez, “Cruel Summer,” Hocus Pocus 2, “Teen Wolf”) to begin a new life in the Pacific Northwest. When their car breaks down in Venus, Oregon, they’re forced to spend the night in a secluded Airbnb, where they are terrorized from dusk till dawn by three masked strangers.
From there, the filmmakers are expanding the story in new and unexpected ways over three films. Additional cast includes Gabe Basso (Hillbilly Elegy). Renny Harlin (Cliffhanger, Deep Blue Sea, Die Hard 2) is directing from a script by Alan R. Cohen and Alan Freedland (The Freak Brothers, Due Date). Lionsgate will distribute worldwide.
“When setting out to remake The Strangers, we felt there was a bigger story to be told, which could be as powerful, chilling, and terrifying as the original and could really expand that world,” explained producer Courtney Solomon. “Shooting this story as a trilogy allows us to create a hyperreal and terrifying character study. We’re fortunate to be joining forces with Madelaine Petsch, an amazing talent whose character is the driving force of this story.”
The Strangers remake trilogy is produced by Solomon (“Cake,” “After” film franchise), Mark Canton (“Power” Universe, “300”), Christopher Milburn (The Protégé, Unhinged), Gary Raskin (“Midway”), Charlie Dombeck (“The War with Grandpa”), Alastair Birlingham (“Moonfall”) and Executive Producers Andrei Boncea, Dorothy Canton, and Roy Lee, along with co-producer Rafaella Biscayn and Slovakia-based Frame Film SK. Johanna Harlin, Juan Garcia Peredo and Alberto Burgueno also co-produce the film.
Said Mark Canton, “When you’ve got two horror aficionados like Courtney Solomon and Renny Harlin coming together, you’ve got all you need to create some incredibly smart, lean-forward-in-your-seat, addictively thrilling entertainment. Fans of the original film will be blown away; new audiences will discover the intensely unnerving world of The Strangers.”
Eda Kowan, Lionsgate’s EVP of Acquisitions & Co-Productions, added, “The Strangers taps into such primal fears that it will always be relevant – but what truly sets this project apart is the way the filmmakers have expanded the story and given these characters a new life.”
Renny Harlin said, “My mother instilled the love of movies in me through the world of Hitchcock and other masters of suspense and horror. My breakthrough to Hollywood happened with the success of A Nightmare on Elm Street 4. It is only fitting that I get to return to my favorite genre with the incredibly well written trilogy of The Strangers. The characters and the storyline are all grounded in reality and offer me an endless tapestry of haunting visuals in bringing these movies alive.”
Renny Harlin has a long history in the horror genre, most notably directing A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master in 1988. Harlin’s horror credits also include Prison (1987), Deep Blue Sea (1999), Exorcist: The Beginning (2004), The Covenant (2006), and Devil’s Pass (2013).
Outside the horror genre, Renny Harlin has directed notable films including Die Hard 2 (1990), Cliffhanger (1993), The Long Kiss Goodnight (1996), and The Legend of Hercules (2014).
The Strangers began in 2008 with Bryan Bertino’s original home invasion horror movie, a terrifying film that introduced three masked killers who returned 10 years later with The Strangers: Prey at Night in 2018. The first film took place in a remote house in the woods while the sequel brought the murderous Man in the Mask, Dollface and Pinup Girl into a trailer park.