One of 2022's biggest surprises was Ti West's X from A24. The slasher paid homage to the classics of the past like Friday the 13th and had a star-making performance(s) from star Mia Goth. The post-credits scene teased a prequel film, Pearl, which would then be released in the fall of the same year with Goth once again returning. Pearl once again followed in the footsteps of X and featured a tease for a third film titled MaXXXine. While the third film won't come out quite as soon as Pearl did after X, it's looking like it will start shooting soon and an all-star cast has been assembled.
X followed a group of hippies in the 70s who were attempting to make an adult film. Their set is a guest house on a farm owned by an old couple, Howard and Pearl. Things take a turn for the worst, and without giving away too much, the hippies are soon hunted by the elderly couple. Goth actually pulled double duty in the film as she played one of the hippies, Maxine, and she played the elderly Pearl. It was an unexpected twist when watching the film, and it was only fitting that Goth would play Pearl in the prequel.
It was a given that Goth would once again be returning in MaXXXine. As you could piece together, she'll reprise her role as Maxine. A24 has announced the rest of the ensemble: Elizabeth Debicki; Moses Sumney; Michelle Monaghan; Bobby Cannavale; Lily Collins; Halsey (she will be the second musician after Kid Cudi to appear in this franchise); Giancarlo Esposito; and Kevin Bacon will all be in the film — which is slated to begin shooting later this month in Los Angeles.
Details about what the film is about and who these actors are playing in MaXXXine are largely being kept under wraps, but The Hollywood Reporter reported that sources said the film will deal with the “dangerous world of underground filmmaking,” which does sound like the natural next step for Maxine, and that Esposito plays an agent for adult films and their actors while Debicki is a director. Monoghan and Cannavale are LAPD detectives while Bacon is a private detective.
What's amazing about each of West's films is that they each bring their own aesthetic to the table. X was very much out of the 70s slasher playbook, while Pearl took viewers back to the influenza pandemic. The teaser for MaXXXine was little more than a title drop, but it could be bringing us into the 90s as Animotion's “Obsession” plays in the background while we see a swooping shot of the Hollywood sign (except it spells out “MaXXXine”).
X grossed nearly $15 million, which, for an original horror film not tied to any franchise and distributed by A24, is pretty darn good — especially when you consider the film was made on a $1 budget. Pearl went on to gross $9.7 million on a similar reported budget. Both X and Pearl made festival debuts — X at SXSW and Pearl at Venice — so who knows, maybe MaXXXine will grace the silver screen at one of the fall's film festivals.