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What to expect in Bird Box 2 if Netflix does a sequel

Contains spoilers for Bird Box

A couple of years back, streaming giant Netflix made one of its biggest gambles to date, betting big on a blockbuster apocalyptic creeper called Bird Box. That gamble paid off in spades as the high-concept thriller went on to become one of Netflix's biggest hits, currently ranking as the streamer's second-most-viewed original film in history.

Set over two distinct time periods, Bird Box casts Sandra Bullock as a mother-to-be named Malorie who's a touch wary of her rapidly approaching transition to motherhood. After a routine doctor's visit with her doting sister in tow (the great Sarah Paulson), all hell breaks loose on the planet. Seemingly invisible entities start driving any human who lays eyes on them to hideous acts of murder and suicide, and Malorie's sis is one of the earliest victims. Luckily, Malorie finds refuge in a nearby house, where she rides out the tense early days of the apocalypse with a ragtag band of strangers.

Five years later, Malorie is living her life in a peaceful refuge with Tom (Trevonte Hynes) and the two children they're raising. Their idyllic haven is overrun by crazed humans who've somehow survived the fray despite their refusal to shield their eyes. With no place to run, Malorie sets out on a perilous, blindfolded journey downriver in hopes of finding safety.

Yes, Bird Box is every bit as thrilling and terrifying as it sounds — so much so that the moment the credits rolled on the thriller, fans were already clamoring for a sequel. Netflix has remained quiet about a potential second chapter, but that may have initially been because the company was waiting for the author to produce another book. That book has finally arrived, and now that it's here, we've got a better idea of what to expect if Netflix does make Bird Box 2.  

Bird Box 2 will be a direct sequel that features more action than the original

First and foremost, the sequel may not be entitled Bird Box 2; Josh Malerman's followup novel has a new name: Malorie. If you've seen the original film, or read Malerman's novel, you know that Malorie and the kids did make it down river with their lives. They also found refuge in the confines of a cozy School for the Blind hidden deep inside a protected forest. According to an early review of Malorie from the folks at Polygon, Malerman's sequel novel is more than fit for a cinematic treatment, largely because the new book takes a more action-forward approach to narrative than the original.

Per PolygonMalorie picks up not long after the group's arrival at the hidden compound, and finds Malorie and the kids (who she's fittingly and finally named Tom and Olympia) quickly back on the run after their safe haven falls apart. What ensues is apparently a thrilling sort of road movie-psychological thriller that finds Malorie and the kids more or less perpetually on the move in search of a new home. While this new, action-centric approach is sure to sate the appetite of the movie's fanbase, it may prove a fateful stylistic departure for fans of the original film's contemplative pace.

Whatever the case, Malorie should make for pulse-pounding cinema if and when Netflix finally hits go.       

The Bird Box sequel will feature a significant time jump

Part of the original film's overall effectiveness is the story's handling of its distinctly different timelines — either through flashback or clever intercutting. According to PolygonMalorie takes a decidedly more straightforward approach than its predecessor. The new book will reportedly still feature two distinctly different timelines, but this results from one ten-year time jump right after the breathless opening scene.

That jump will, of course, put some serious years on the characters, most importantly Tom and Olympia, who spend the bulk of Malorie experiencing some seriously rebellious teenage feels that have obviously been amplified by their dire circumstances. We experience this angst from multiple perspectives as the POV shifts between Malorie, Tom, and — to a lesser extent — Olympia. 

Per the same Polygon review, the roving POV infuses some much-needed energy and insight into the story. Should Netflix decide to give Malorie the cinematic treatment, it'll no doubt be fascinating to see how they handle these multiple perspectives, particularly with a star of Sandra Bullock's stature in the lead role (assuming, of course, she does return for a sequel). 

It should also be interesting to see if Netflix hires familiar faces to portray the grown-up versions of Tom and Olympia in Bird Box 2, since they seem well positioned for expanded roles in the plot.

Bird Box 2 will likely not be the end of the story

While the ending of the original Bird Box book and film doesn't entirely invite a sequel, it also doesn't preclude one. After all, while Malorie and the kids did find sanctuary in those final moments, the dangers of the world remain. Now that Malorie has officially hit bookshelves, it's likely only a matter of time until Netflix heads into production on their own Bird Box sequel. 

As luck would have it, after expanding the world of Bird Box in Malorie, Malerman has once again left the narrative door ajar — this time for a potential three-quel. If Polygon is to be believed, Malerman wraps up his second book in compelling (if apparently abrupt) fashion, offering some intriguingly abstract insights into the nature of the beasts who continue to drive humanity to the brink of bloody destruction. He even "offers the series a huge potential step forward ... [which] could be seen either as a resolution, or as an opening to further sequels."

Only time will tell if Malerman chooses to indulge his Bird Box itch in future stories. We lay even odds that if Malorie breaks the best-seller list, and if Netflix delivers another hit film of its own, we'll be seeing a third entry in Malerman's apocalyptic series in the very near future.