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The Session 9 Prequel You'll Never Get To See

20 years ago, USA Films released "Session 9," a bone-chiller of a horror movie that has gone on to achieve cult-hit status in the two decades following its release. Directed by Brad Anderson and co-written by Anderson and Stephen Gevedon, "Session 9" assembled a small but mighty cast, including Peter Mullan ("Westworld"), David Caruso ("CSI: Miami"), Josh Lucas ("Sweet Home Alabama"), and Brendan Sexton III ("Russian Doll"). The 2001 movie follows an asbestos cleanup crew who are forced to clean out an abandoned asylum after the team leader, Gordon (Mullan), secures the job by saying his crew can get it done in two weeks. Already under duress, the team's well-being begins to deteriorate after Gordon discovers a box of recordings from sessions conducted with a former patient, Mary Hobbes.

At the time of its release, "Session 9" was a small-scale horror movie both in budget and at the box office. Per the movie's IMDb page, "Session 9" was made on a $1.5 million budget. At the domestic box office, "Session 9" earned less than half a million dollars (via Rotten Tomatoes), signaling the likelihood it would not be widely remembered. And yet "Session 9" remains a cult hit with horror buffs. With a passionate fanbase intact and a story that leaves the door open to potential further installments, could a "Session 9" sequel or prequel happen? 

The Session 9 prequel would take us back to where it all began with Mary Hobbes

For Brad Anderson and Stephen Gevedon, a prequel to "Session 9" was actually a possibility at one point. The pair opened up about the prequel they penned while in conversation with Fangoria about "Session 9" and its legacy 20 years later. At one point, Anderson revealed the basic idea he and Gevedon had for a prequel that they ultimately fleshed out into a script treatment. Anderson shared that the movie would be "about Mary Hobbes, the character in the original movie who's on the tapes and who has these alternate personalities and who would ultimately realize she killed her family on Christmas Day. Here we'd learn the entire Mary Hobbes story — how she went from being a fairly normal 12-year-old girl in 1959 and '58 to slaughtering her whole family, and why."

From there, Anderson detailed how the prequel, titled "Session 1," would bring in other characters heard on the session tapes in the first movie. Ultimately, the movie would be a "kind of a portrait of madness through the eyes and the lens of that little girl in the late '50s, early '60s."

When the time came to pitch "Session 1" to Focus Features, which now owns the rights to "Session 9" due to a merger involving USA Films, Anderson and Gevedon ran into trouble. According to Anderson, the studio rebuffed the pair, saying they don't make sequels or prequels to their movies. To this, Anderson had to actually remind Focus that he made "Session 9" and thus had a foot in the door. Anderson said that for legal reasons, "[Focus] just decided they didn't want to move forward with it," which meant any hope of a "Session 9" prequel stopped there.