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Searching Sequel Missing Moves Up Release Date

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Missing, the sequel to Sony’s 2018 surprise hit film Searching, is getting released in theaters sooner than expected. On Wednesday, Sony released an updated release schedule, revealing that Missing will debut in theaters on January 20, 2023, as opposed to its previously-held date of February 24, 2023. This moves the film out of competition with Universal’s Cocaine Bear and Lionsgate’s Jesus Revolution, both of which have the February 24th date. Missing is being billed “the next installment in the Searching franchise”, playing off of the previous film’s trope of exclusively telling its story through screens. The film will star Storm Reid (The Suicide Squad, Euphoria) and Nia Long (The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, The Best Man).

“With such restrictive visual parameters, a movie like [Missing] requires a fresh visual style to separate it from the original,” Aneesh Chaganty said in a statement when the film was first announced. “I’ve contributed what I can to this growing sub-genre. But if there’s anyone on the planet with the potential to take it even further, it’s Nick and Will, who were there from the beginning.”

Searching is so far the most successful movie shot in the Screenlife format and the sequel is set to become a new milestone,” producer Timur Bekmambetov added. “What seemed like an experimental technique a few years ago has been given a momentum now with more and more industry professionals turning to this digital filmmaking technique.”

What is Missing about?

While plot details are scarce, Missing is confirmed to feature a new set of characters and an evolved Screenlife thriller format where the story plays out on the screens of the characters’ devices. Will Merrick and Nick Johnson direct off a screenplay they wrote off a story by Sev Ohanian & Aneesh Chaganty. Natalie Qasabian, Sev Ohanian and Aneesh Chaganty are producers. EPs are Timur Bekmambetov, Adam Sidman and Jo Henriquez.

“It was always a matter of taking something that is cold or mundane — devices that we use on a personal basis — and turn them into something that is cinematic,” Searching director Aneesh Chaganty said in a 2018 interview with Polygon. “The way we do that is by putting emotion underneath it. It was less about “what do these buttons and windows do?” and more about what meanings can we put behind what they do. We started off not looking at this as a screen movie but looking at this as a movie movie. We structured it very classically and traditionally. Let’s add characters in here with very simple motivations — a dad looking for his daughter — and have this emotionality underneath it. And then let’s adapt it on screen. Let’s study every button on a computer screen — every window closing, every website, every application, every function — and understand where in the story each could have the most emotional effect. It was always a matter of putting the story and characters first, and [having] these apps and websites really be in service of them as opposed to the other way around.”

Are you excited for Missing? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!

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