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Madelaine Petsch and Froy Gutierrez Headline Upcoming ‘The Strangers’ Trilogy: Everything to Know

Madelaine Petsch and Froy Gutierrez Headline The Strangers Trilogy Remake Everything to Know 282
Froy Gutierrez, Madelaine Petsch.

Fans of The Strangers franchise are in for a treat with the upcoming trilogy — and all three movies have already been filmed.

The 2024 slasher, which takes inspiration from its predecessors, stars Madelaine Petsch and Froy Gutierrez as a couple on the road who are forced to face off against masked killers. Director Renny Harlin noted that his love for the 2008 hostage film shaped his vision for his version.

“I remember the experience of seeing it,” he told Entertainment Weekly in October 2023. “I didn’t really know anything about it when I saw it and I just loved it. I thought it was fantastic and it’s stuck in my mind as one of my favorite horror films.”

Harlin continued: “When this opportunity came to me, the idea of not doing a remake or a reboot but doing a trilogy based on the original film, I thought it was an incredible opportunity.”

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According to Harlin, the search for their leads was lengthy but necessary.

“We looked long and hard for our scream queen. When I spoke with Madelaine I just knew that she was an exceptional person, exceptional actor, and that’s what it took to play this part. In the same way, after looking long and hard, we found Froy Gutierrez, who is another wonderful young actor,” he detailed. “We wanted a couple who felt natural and relaxed together. Their relationship, maybe it’s not identical to the relationship in the original film, but it’s something that feels very natural and very real, and that to me was the key to this movie and this trilogy. It’s the realism.”

Scroll on for everything to know about the upcoming series of movies:

What Is the Premise?

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According to the synopsis, Maya and Ryan are a couple who drive across the country together to start a new life. When their car breaks down, they are forced to spend the night in an isolated Airbnb home. The couple are subsequently terrorized by three murderous masked strangers.

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Who Else Stars in ‘The Strangers’ Remake?

Petsch and Gutierrez are joined by Rachel Shenton, Gabriel Basso and Ema Horvath. The film also stars Florian Clare, Rebecka Johnston, Miles Yekinni, Ben Cartwright and Janis Ahern. Ryan Bown, Brooke Lena Johnson, Ella Bruccoleri, Stevee Davies and Brian Law round out the cast.

What Did the Trailer Reveal?

In March 2024, horror fans were introduced to Petsch and Gutierrez’s character in the first official trailer. The onscreen couple’s getaway takes a sinister turn when a group of strangers try to kill them just because they were home.

Has the Entire Trilogy Been Filmed?

All three movies were filmed concurrently in Bratislava, Slovakia, which Harlin called “the challenge of a lifetime” for him.

“I also really embraced it. On a Monday morning, I could be shooting the second chapter, and Monday afternoon I could be shooting the first chapter, and Tuesday morning I could be shooting the third chapter,” he told Entertainment Weekly in October 2022. “It was incredibly demanding for the actors, for the continuity in terms of the make-up and wardrobe, and for my director of photography, because we wanted to create a visual language that develops so that the movies get bigger, more epic, as we go [on]. It just kept all of our juices pumping all the time.”

What Is ‘The Strangers’ Trilogy Based On?

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Cover Images

The original home invasion horror film was released in 2008 and starred Liv Tyler and Scott Speedman. Their characters, Kristen and James, stay at a vacation home, which is situated by three masked criminals. The screenplay was inspired by the infamous Manson family Tate murders from 1969 and a series of break-ins that occurred at director and writer Bryan Bertino’s home when he was a child.

A sequel was released in 2018 starring Bailee Madison, Lewis Pullman, Christina Hendricks, Martin Henderson, and Damian Maffei.

When Will ‘The Strangers’ Be Released?

The first movie in the Strangers franchise is coming to theaters on May 17, 2024.

In May 2024, Harlin elaborated on the rollout plan, telling Variety, that he expected Chapter 2 to be released in “September or October” 2024 while the third film would come out in “the beginning of next year [in 2025].”

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What Can Fans Expect?

In October 2023, Harlin confirmed the movies would reveal the killers’ identities and their origins. He also noted that the trilogy is neither a remake nor a reboot.

How Did Madelaine Petsch Step Up to the Filming Challenge?

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Lionsgate Movies/Youtube

“When I took this task on, it felt far too large for anybody to ever handle. Like truly, I thought, ‘I’m over my head.’ But then when I got there — all three films took place in a short amount of time. So [once I approached it like] I was doing one long movie, it all made sense to me,” the actress exclusively told Us Weekly in July 2023. “I was able to fit this puzzle together as if I was basically making one long movie or a television show or anything else. It was actually quite easy to get my brain around it once I realized the span of time it takes place over.”

What Did Madelaine Petsch Tease About the Story?

In July 2023, Petsch opened up to Us about the research she did for the project.

“I’m a very big horror fan and The Strangers is probably the first movie I ever saw that really scared me. When I got the script in my inbox, I went back and rewatched it. [I wanted to] find out what really was so scary about those films and they’re really not jump scare [movies],” she shared. “It’s really not about that. It’s just so like bone chilling would be the word that I used because it’s kind of like the original home invasion films. Yeah. Where there is no rhyme or reason to it. So we were able to take that and elevate it.

Petsch weighed in on her involvement in all three movies, telling Variety in May 2024, “Throughout every step of the next two films it’s just, ‘How is she going to get out of this terrorizing situation?’ And it’s not necessarily all only home invasion, but they continue to invade her life in any way possible. Even in ways you don’t think are possible, they’re doing something f—ked up. We really bend the rules a lot, which is fun.”

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How Were the Masks Created?

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“We felt it was central to the movie that the masks are the same,” Harlin told EW in October 2023. “The masks in The Strangers are not like the Batsuit or something that evolves over years. To us, the Strangers are the Strangers, and I, as an audience member, wanted to see them just the way they were in the original film. Is there a place where you can find these masks? No. It was a process of studying what they were like, how they were made, how they fit on the actors’ faces, how [to] create that same impression. It was one of the real challenges of the movie.”

How Is This Different From the Original?

Harlin said it was important not to leave “unanswered questions” with their trilogy.

“In the beginning of the [original] movie, you find that Liv Tyler and Scott Speedman are fighting, you never find out what they’re fighting about,” he noted in October 2023. “We can answer questions here. We spent a lot of our time fine tuning how to answer those questions for original fans, how to make sure that there are a lot of pieces of homage to the original fans and that they are excited and feel like they’re along for the same ride that they’ve loved forever while making it more modern, making it longer, and answering questions.”

In May 2024, Harlin promised that horror fans would receive answers, telling Variety, “We wanted to take the audience on a journey. The movies get more epic as we go but without losing the sense of claustrophobia, dread and the tone, which is reality. As a filmmaker, your instinct when you’re doing an action movie is that bigger is better. In this one, my job was to rein myself in and always make sure that it’s real. Many times, smaller was actually better. The most important thing is that the movies keep the sense of reality, but where we take the audience in the second and third movie is going to be very surprising.”

Harlin also hinted at a potential four-and-a-half hour director’s cut, adding, “It’s in our heads. This is definitely what we want to do. We want to cut together the full arc. We know exactly how to do it, then we’ll create a movie and see who are those diehard fans who will come to the movie theater for four and a half hours. I don’t know if we need to have an intermission so people can get some food and go to the bathroom, but I definitely want to have that event and see if people take four and a half hours of dread and fear and terror and despair.”

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