Marcus Dunstan and Patrick Melton have set the record straight on The Collected (aka The Collector 3), revealing that the anticipated horror sequel has gotten stuck in development hell. Previously, there have been reports of The Collector and The Collection getting another installment of the franchise with director Dunstan and co-writer Melton back on board. Randy Havens, Dot-marie Jones, and Navi Rawat were reportedly part of the cast with images from the set hitting the internet earlier this year.
Unfortunately for horror fans imagining that all of this meant that The Collector 3 would be coming out soon, Dunstan and Melton now say that this is not at all the case. Speaking about the status of the sequel on Sean Clark's The Thing With Two Heads podcast, Dunstan explains that the team had only shot for just over a week before the production was shut down. Worse yet, the filmmaker also says that the producer has since stopped answering phone calls and emails leaving it unclear if the movie will ever in fact get finished.
"Well, we shot for eight days, and then it was shut down. I invested in this thing, I'd like to know what's happening. We stopped hearing from anybody with the production. I know most of the props I brought there have been stolen. I would think that anybody else who invested in this movie that thinks that it's happening, wouldn't they like to know what's happening? .. All calls and emails have gone unanswered .. When you can't get anyone on the phone and you don't hear anything, at this point, I'm really p*ssed off."
Melton backed up his co-writer, revealing that The Collector 3 hasn't even shot any new footage in two years.
"We actually stopped shooting in 2019. That was two years ago, and we only shot eight days, so [there's only been] very, very little shot. Anything that's been released has been from that time period, and there's no plans to start shooting it. We haven't talked to anyone who was in the production... we'd love to finish it, but, I don't know. We're not the producers, so we don't know."
Dunstan also reveals how there is a teaser that has "been done for a long time" using the eight days' worth of footage they shot in 2019. The director also clarifies that it still needs color timing, music rights, and some VFX before the teaser can be released. Finishing the teaser will require the producer giving the project the greenlight to resume, so that footage will remain on the shelf for now as well. Because the producer owns the rights, Dunstan and Melton cannot move on with the sequel without the his involvement.
Even with the teaser footage that the duo was able to produce from their eight-day shoot, Melton laments how picking the shoot back up now would mean starting back from square one, given that the sets are gone along with the stolen props. Dunstan also addresses how the situation should have been handled completely differently, feeling especially disappointed to see the project putter out after all of the work that's been put into it.
"It was all avoidable, completely avoidable, that's what drives me nuts. I didn't invest ten years getting this opportunity, facilitating it, getting it together, pre-writing three different versions of this thing, just to be ignored. That wasn't my goal. And I'm assuming that people who invested capital in this thing are probably wondering, 'Hey, where's our movie?' Unfortunately, we gotta wait 'til Thor's honesty hammer comes down and smacks them right."
As of now, it would appear that The Collector 3 is dead in the water, so it's best not to count on the sequel ever seeing the light of day. Check out Sean Clark, VFX artist Christopher Nelson and the latest episode of their The Thing With Two Heads podcast on YouTube, which also dives into Dunstan and Melton talking about their involvement in the Saw franchise and what happened with their planned Halloween sequel that never got made.