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21 Feb, 2020 18:44

Hollywood thanks… Kushner? Director says memes of Trump’s son-in-law inspired Katie Holmes horror movie

Hollywood thanks… Kushner? Director says memes of Trump’s son-in-law inspired Katie Holmes horror movie

Movie director William Brent Bell claims his newly released horror film ‘Brahms: The Boy II’ was greenlit thanks to people using the first film to troll Ivanka Trump’s husband – and adviser to her father Donald – Jared Kushner.

The 2016 feature, ‘The Boy’ wasn’t a film begging for a sequel. The $10 million horror film came and went in January that year with little fanfare, managing a modestly successful $35.8 million at the domestic box office – but receiving mostly bad reviews from critics and fans alike.

It is four years later, and ‘Brahms: The Boy II’ is dropping into theaters with a new cast – led by Katie Holmes – and a storyline that suggests more of a soft reboot. The sequel follows a family moving into a new home, only to find their young son making friends with a strange lifelike doll. 

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If you’re wondering why such a sequel exists, you’re not the only one. In an interview with the Hollywood Reporter, Bell explained that the movie did not have a traditional path to being greenlit – and actually owes its very existence to social media trolls and their obsession with Kushner.

Bell says memes being shared online comparing Kushner to the well-groomed (but evil) doll Brahms in the first movie convinced the studio the film was ‘relevant’.

"That's when Lakeshore called me and said, 'this is really taking on a life of its own now in the zeitgeist of pop culture. You want to think about an idea for a sequel?'" Bell recalled. 

It was after this conversation that Bell, who directed the first film, began developing ideas for a sequel with returning screenwriter Stacey Menear. 

Whether or not developing an entire movie based on memes shared between digital activists is a good idea remains to be seen, but box office predictions are already underwhelming for ‘The Boy II’. While the first film opened to over $10 million, the sequel is expected to open in the single digits, with Thursday night previews not scaring up a whole lot of interest. The sequel has also so far managed to generate even worse reviews than the first film did.

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