The most revolutionary movie of 2016 is arriving without much fanfare. The new action flick from director Ilya Naishuller, Hardcore Henry, takes place entirely from the protagonist's point of view. This groundbreaking technique allows the audience to experience everything the main character does from a first person camera angle, much like a video game. It's a visual style that has been largely untapped, but given the popularity of first-person shooter games, it could have massive potential on the movie scale. But first, the style has to catch on with the public, and a Hardcore Henry franchise would go a long way toward achieving that. But right now, it's unknown if Hardcore Henry will have a sequel.
It certainly could. Like most films, the decision as to whether or not Hardcore Henry earns a sequel will depend upon its performance at the box office. If the film does well and is profitable, then a sequel becomes more likely. If the movie outright bombs, then that will probably be the last fans will see of Hardcore Henry — and maybe the last they'll see of its innovative first-person perspective. But one variable in favor of a sequel is that director Naishuller is willing to return for another go-round. In fact, he already has one planned.
"I have an outline for a second one," Naishuller told James Peckham of techradar. "If there's a need and a want for it. Both Sharlto [Copley, star] and I would make a second one." The first-time director also thinks he could shave a little time off of the lengthy production for a sequel, now that he's already done it once. "[A sequel's production would] be much, much quicker. It may not be three years this time... it may be two years and six months." But Naishuller has another practical concern, and that's that too many of the film's target audience will pirate the movie online rather than pay to see it in the theater. "People are going to download or pirate it," he said. "You'll want an opinion on it, especially if you're a gamer. The question is whether people will turn up to the cinema to watch it."
Speaking of the film's intended demographic, Hardcore Henry may not be based on a video game, but it's definitely marketing to gamers. This is a new strategy, but if you look at past films that have been based on video games in recent years, several of them, like Resident Evil, Hitman, and Tombraider, have all earned sequels. Whether or not that translates into a similar result for Hardcore Henry remains to be seen, but it's definitely encouraging.
Getting into slight spoiler territory, there's also the issue of Hardcore Henry leaving several plot points open ended. In his review for Movie Web, Julian Roman theorizes that the film may have left many of its questions unanswered on purpose, with the goal of providing more information in a future sequel (or sequels). But for now, since a sequel is still up in the air, fans who are looking for more Hardcore Henry can turn to the video game world (big surprise). Sharlto Copley's character from the film, Jimmy, has been incorporated into new downloadable content for the game Payday 2 , according to Mia Galuppo of The Hollywood Reporter, so that's one way fans can get their Hardcore fix without waiting for a sequel.
The chances of a Hardcore Henry sequel will ultimately depend upon moviegoers. If a lot of people turn up to see the film, and if there is a lot of excitement for the first-person narrative, then the odds of a sequel look pretty good — which is quite fitting for a movie that literally makes its audience its protagonist.
Images: STX Entertainment, giphy.com