Mandy was supposed to be a cult one-off that debuted on VOD as it slowly made its way to a few select theaters. But a funny thing happened on the way to the cinemaplex. Those who saw the movie became obsessed, and they quickly spread word that the genre world was getting something unique and unmissable. RLJ Entertainment noticed the interest from a lot of potential audience members hungry for this type of old school drive-in gut punch. They put it on more screens, and it quickly became a small phenomenon. Now, those fans who’ve seen it multiple times already are wondering if there will ever be more Red Miller and the Cheddar Goblin. The good news is that director Panos Cosmatos already has an idea for a follow-up, which would be more of a spin-off featuring Nicolas Cage as Red. The bad news, though it sounds incredibly fun and absolutely insane, we’ll probably never see it.
Panos Cosmatos first made waves with his cult thriller Beyond the Black Rainbow. He knew there would be an audience for Mandy, but he never imagined it would be so big. He loves all the enthusiasm, but it’s unexpected. He says this about the surprise reception this latest Nicolas Cage movie has garnered.
“This is very surprising to me. I suspected the movie would find an audience, but that it would be a lot smaller. I hoped when I made the movie that it was speaking to an audience that wasn’t being spoken to, and I wonder if that’s what’s happened here.”
Cosmatos only has two feature films under his belt at this point, and he’s not really looking to repeat what he’s already done. But apparently that might be a problem, because fans want more Red Miller. The director has considered a spin-off that takes place in the same universe. He goes onto reveal that he actually has a pretty cool idea for a sequel, should that come to pass. Though, it probably won’t.
“People have asked me about [a sequel]. I don’t know if I’m a sequels kind of person. I prefer each film to have its own unique identity. When I was writing the film, to amuse myself, I imagined a sequel that took place with Red Miller fighting Nazi punks in a bombed-out city. I don’t know if that would ever happen, but it’s a fun thought.”
The main thing keeping Panos away from doing a sequel is that he hasn’t been too thrilled with the follow-ups coming out of Hollywood. They all look and feel the same, and he’s worried about falling into that trap. He goes onto explain.
“The thing I do miss about the way some sequels were in the past was that each film felt like its own unique, complete tone,. Now, sequels are tonal facsimiles of the ones before them, like a television series, whereas back in the past sequels would often be radically different from the ones before.”
Nicolas Cage, who is experiencing a bit of resurgence and gaining new found fans because of Mandy, wants Cosmatos to direct a new Superman reboot for DC, with eyes on playing Lex Luthor. The filmmaker isn’t sure he wants that, and is trying to manage expectations following Mandy. After watching other indie directors take on big tent pole projects early in their career, he’s not sure he wants that for himself. He says this.
“I wanted to avoid the situation that a lot of directors are herded into these days, where you have to give up a lot of control. The only way I’d want to be involved with something like that is if it’s a chance to dramatically reinvent something, not something that’s already established. But at the same time, where my heart lies is with serving these things are self-generated. My gut feeling is that’s where I’ll continue to work, on a lot smaller scale.”
So, will we ever see a follow-up to Mandy. It sure would be great to see Nicolas Cage back in that 44 jersey slaying Nazi punks with his homemade sword while guzzling buckets of Cheddar Goblin Mac & Cheese. But we don’t really need it. Mandy is a near perfect example of pure entertainment and artistry. Maybe Panos Cosmatos doesn’t need to taint it with a sequel that couldn’t possibly be as good as the original. These quotes from the director come from IndieWire.