I have a confession. I like Katie Holmes. In fact, I’ve always liked Katie Holmes, ever since I first saw her as Joey Potter on Dawson’s Creek. Since then, she’s had a bit of a rollercoaster career, and at one point during her marriage to Tom Cruise, she threatened to become more of a celebrity than an actress. But every few years, Holmes delivers a performance that reminds you why she’s a star in the first place. So the fact that she has just signed on to star in the horror sequel The Boy 2 represents an upgrade, to me, over the first film’s leading lady Lauren Cohan.
Sure, Holmes has a mixed track record with genre films, stumbling early in her career with Disturbing Behavior and Teaching Mrs. Tingle, but Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark was decent, and she was actually pretty good in that film. I didn’t care much for 2016’s The Boy, but Holmes’ casting is a step in the right direction for the sequel, which will follow another family that moves into Heelshire Mansion, where their young son makes an unsettling new friend — an eerily life-like doll he calls Brahms.
William Brent Bell is returning to direct the STXfilms sequel, which once again will be written by Stacey Menear. Lakeshore Entertainment’s Tom Rosenberg, Gary Lucchesi and Eric Reid will produce alongside Matt Berenson, Jim Wedaa and Roy Lee. Production will start on January 14th in Victoria, British Columbia. The first film grossed $68 million worldwide on a production budget of less than $15 million, proving to be a modest hit for STX.
“Following the success of The Boy, we are thrilled to be working on the next chapter of this chilling Brahms story with Stacey and William. We are also delighted to be continuing our relationship with STX, on this, our third partnership,” said Rosenberg, whose Lakeshore recently teamed with STX on the Jennifer Garner action-thriller Peppermint and the Shailene Woodley survival drama Adrift.
Holmes was quite good on Showtime’s Ray Donovan a few years back, and her feature credits include Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins, Jason Reitman‘s Thank You for Smoking and Steven Soderbergh‘s Logan Lucky. She’ll next be seen alongside Patrick Stewart in the musical drama Coda.
Brent Bell previously directed The Devil Inside and is currently developing several projects, including the Blumhouse TV series Posthumans. He also just signed on to direct the divorce-themed horror film Separation starring Rupert Friend (Homeland). That film is described as a cross between Kramer vs. Kramer and The Sixth Sense, and frankly, sounds much more interesting than The Boy 2. Fortunately, production starts next month, so the director will be able to slip it in before heading to work on STX’s sequel. He’s represented by ICM Partners, which also reps Holmes along with Untitled Entertainment.