M3GAN star Allison Williams hopes sequel can 'recreate that same magic'

As the killer doll movie arrives on digital, we speak to its human star

·5-min read
M3GAN in M3GAN directed by Gerard Johnstone. (Universal)
M3GAN in M3GAN directed by Gerard Johnstone. (Universal)

M3GAN 2.0 – the sequel to this year’s breakout horror which is available on digital now – may be almost two years away, but already, Allison Williams and director Gerard Johnstone are developing the follow-up’s story.

“It's so fun,” Williams, who portrays M3GAN’s creator Gemma in the franchise and serves as a producer on the sequel, tells Yahoo UK.

“This is what makes a sequel so hard: a movie is always some kind of alchemy and magic when it comes together and it works. Obviously, a lot of people work really, really hard to achieve that magic, but you can't expect a particular outcome.

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"So then [for a sequel] you try to recreate that same magic with a little bit of extra something so that you're advancing and progressing the story.”

The conversations with Johnstone have only just begun with regards plot specifics, and Williams won’t rise to our questions about whether we can expect the sequel to feature more than one version of the killer doll.

(from left) Cady (Violet McGraw), M3GAN and Gemma (Allison Williams) in M3GAN, directed by Gerard Johnstone. (Universal)
Cady (Violet McGraw), M3GAN and Gemma (Allison Williams) in M3GAN, directed by Gerard Johnstone. (Universal)

In fact, she says they haven’t even discussed whether M3GAN 2.0 will have a PG-13 rating, appropriate for a younger audience, or a bloodier, gorier R rating.

The decision may not come quickly – after all, the original M3GAN was filmed with the intention of having an R rating, yet, after reshoots and editing, the final product was brought down to a PG-13 for theatrical release.

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“We actually haven't discussed that for the sequel,” Williams says. “The one thing that I really did love, just on a meta level about a PG-13, is that the original opened itself up to a broader audience, meaning that younger people could watch it.

“I was at lunch just two days ago, and this woman came up to me and said, ‘My 12-year-old is obsessed with M3GAN, she's having a slumber party next week, they're all going to watch M3GAN and they're so excited.’

"And obviously they are under the PG-13 rating.

(from left) M3GAN and Cady (Violet McGraw) in M3GAN, directed by Gerard Johnstone. (Universal)
M3GAN and Cady (Violet McGraw) in M3GAN, directed by Gerard Johnstone. (Universal)

"Her parents watched it first and they decided it was on a level of something that she had handled before. But at its core, this movie is asking us to think about our reliance and relationship with technology, and so the idea that kids would be introduced to that idea, perhaps almost subliminally at that age, but introduced nonetheless, is an idea that we're interested in, even if it means that they are maybe a little bit scared of anything M3GAN adjacent.”

Could that be a clue as to the sequel’s story? Again, Williams won’t budge. “I'm not going to tell you anything about what we're thinking about, but I can tell you that we are hard at work and we're so, so excited about the stuff that we're kicking around,” she continues.

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“And it's so weird to have a release date already. That's so exciting and so strange. I've never had that experience in my career where I basically feel like we're back in college and we have a due date: January 17, 2025. It seems like a lot of time, but then as we start looking at our calendars, it's going to go by really quickly.”

US actress Allison Williams arrives for the premiere of Universal Pictures
Allison Williams arrives for the premiere of Universal Pictures M3GAN (AFP via Getty Images)

While we await M3GAN 2.0, there’s more M3GAN to enjoy. The original, unrated version of M3GAN – with its gruesome kills intact – is being released, giving us a chance to see the eponymous, murderous toy at full tilt.

So violent is her killing spree in the ‘Unseen Version’ that Williams can’t watch one of the more terrifying scenes, in which a poor neighbour has her face power-washed off.

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“I'm not great at watching anything like that,” Williams says. “Even though I was there when they filmed it – I watched all the tests of how it was going to be achieved and I’m not coming into it with fresh eyes – I still can't, I find it too gory.”

The question is, with two versions of M3GAN now available to watch, which is the definite version?

Allison Williams as Gemma in M3GAN, directed by Gerard Johnstone. (Universal)
Allison Williams as Gemma in M3GAN, directed by Gerard Johnstone. (Universal)

“I think both of them are honestly wonderful,” Williams says.

“I have come to really love the PG-13 version just because that's the one I experienced in theatres full of people.

"But I think it's also really fun, once you have seen it, to also see the unrated version and to see that some of those kills were a little bit more brutal.

"The horror fan community is unbelievably loyal to their products, and they want to see things as they may have been initially conceived of, even if they're harder to watch. Who are we to deny that request?”

The ‘Unseen Edition’ of M3GAN comes home, available on digital download now and Blu-Ray and DVD from 17 April, 2023.