Upgrade is getting a sequel, but it is going to happen on the small screen. Blumhouse Productions has announced that they are turning director Leigh Whannell’s critically-acclaimed 2018 sci-fi/thriller into a TV show. The series will pick up after the events of the movie, with Whannell returning to direct. Whannell co-created the series and is also set to serve as an executive producer alongside Blumhouse head Jason Blum and Brian Kavanaugh-Jones.
Tim Walsh (Treadstone, Shooter), co-created the show with Leigh Whannell and is set to serve as showrunner. Walsh will also be an executive producer. The Upgrade TV show picks up a few years after the events of the movie. The show seeks to broaden the universe with an evolved version of STEM, the advanced computer chip technology we saw in the movie, and a new host, imaging a world in which the government repurposes STEM to help stop criminal activity. Blumhouse Productions is partnering with UCP on the show. No network or streaming service is attached at this time.
A writer’s room has been started to write and adapt the first season of the series. Krystal Ziv Houghton and James Roland have joined Leigh Whannell and Tim Walsh. Houghton and Roland previously worked on The Purge season 2. Blumhouse and UCP previously worked on The Purge together, which aired on USA Network. The show, which was based on the movie franchise of the same name, was recently canceled. The companies have also partnered on The Wilderness of Error, which is in the works at FX.
Upgrade was written and directed by Leigh Whannel. It starred Logan Marshall-Green, Betty Gabriel and Harrison Gilbertson. The movie centers on Grey Trace who, after his wife is killed during a violent mugging that also leaves him paralyzed, is approached by a billionaire inventor with an experimental cure in the form of a computer chip implant called STEM. The implant gives its host heightened physical abilities, which aids Grey in his quest for revenge against those responsible for his wife’s death. It was produced for a modest $5 million and took in $16 million at the box office.
Whannell, earlier this year, expressed interest in doing a sequel, but with a bigger budget. At the time, Jason Blum said they had no immediate plans for a follow-up. It seems that changed rather quickly.
Leigh Whannell most recently directed The Invisible Man remake. Released earlier this year, it stars Elisabeth Moss and became one of the few legitimate box office hits of 2020. Against rave reviews from critics, it grossed $122 million globally. Whannel was also behind the first three Saw movies as a writer, co-creating one of the most successful franchises in modern horror along with James Wan. Following the success of The Invisible Man, Whannell signed a first-look deal with Blumhouse that covers both movies and television. The Upgrade series is the first project to be developed under the deal. We’ll be sure to keep you posted as further details are made available. This news comes to us directly from Blumhouse.