Sony's Stage 6 Films is developing a second installment of Searching. Searching 2 will be another tech-driven thriller, but it will include a set of new characters to keep things fresh. The original movie starred John Cho and Debra Messing and is about a father's desperate attempt to locate his missing daughter through the use of technology. Ultimately, the theme of the movie is about how internet technology was able to bring people together, but has also gotten to the point where it sees people starting to drift apart.
Searching director Aneesh Chaganty and his co-writer Sev Ohanian are on board to return for the sequel. Like the first installment, it will be told through computer screens and smartphones, but it will be a different story this time around. Chaganty confirmed the news and had this to say about the sequel.
"It's true. But note: the story will not follow the same characters or plot line as the first. Most importantly, we see this as an opportunity to tell another original, tech-driven thriller. If we can do that AND help bring new faces/voices to the industry, bonus points."
A release date for Searching 2 has not been revealed at this time and the same can be said about a production start date. Aneesh Chaganty is looking for a new cast to tell a different kind of story revolving around technology. It will be interesting to see how the sequel will do when compared to the first installment when all is said and done. The director was reluctant to tell the technological story in the first movie and only agreed to do it if he could get it figured out on his own terms. Chaganty obviously succeeded as Searching became a sleeper hit.
Searching was made for only $1 million, which is very cheap by today's standards. With that being said, a sequel was inevitable considering how much money it was able to bring in at the box office. Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions bought the rights for $5 million after the Sundance premiere and then saw it earn over $75 million globally, so the studio did very well with their investment and would like to duplicate its success. The Searching 2 idea had been thrown around at the time of the original release, but Aneesh Chaganty wasn't able to find the right story until recently.
It is unclear if John Cho or Debra Messing will be returning for Searching 2. Aneesh Chaganty does not want the movies to end up like the Taken franchise, though he was quick to add he wasn't throwing shade. It seems like they have the right idea to move forward and get a proper sequel made that will continue the originality of the first. However, whether a sequel will succeed involving new characters remains to be seen. Deadline was the first to report about Searching 2.