Robin Weigert as Dr. Madeline Northcott in Smile
(Paramount Pictures)

The Smile Curse Torments a Celebrity in ‘Smile 2’s First Trailer

Paramount has released the first official teaser trailer for Smile 2, the sequel to the hit 2022 small-budget horror movie Smile.

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Smile premiered on September 30, 2022, and grossed $100 million at the box office against a budget of just $17 million. The film follows Dr. Rose Cotter (Sosie Bacon), a psychiatrist who witnesses a traumatic death and subsequently finds herself terrorized by hallucinations of people smiling unnaturally and grotesquely at her. When she realizes that this phenomenon has tormented others to the point of death, Rose races to find out what’s truly at play here, uncovering an ancient entity that feeds off of trauma.

In addition to cleverly marketing itself with unsettling and eye-catching smiles, the intense thriller garnered attention for its intriguing exploration of trauma and mental illness. Its storyline and shocking ending also left the door invitingly open for sequels. Now, Smile director and writer Parker Finn is capitalizing on the opportunity and returning to bring audiences Smile 2. The sequel was first confirmed to be in development at CinemaCon back in April 2023 and is now fast approaching its release date.

Paramount drops the terrifying first trailer for Smile 2

Smile 2 is set to premiere in theaters on October 18, 2024, and is also expected to be released for streaming on Paramount+ at an undisclosed date. As its theatrical release date draws closer, Paramount dropped the first official teaser trailer for the movie.

The trailer reveals the next victim of the smiling entity is Naomi Scott’s Skye. Skye is a pop star who attracts the curse after witnessing Lukas Gage’s character take his own life. Viewers get a few glimpses of the entity’s torment of Skye as she begins seeing the eerie smiles everywhere and becomes increasingly desperate to stop them. At one point, it appears that her entire group of background dancers are crawling down a hallway after her, with smiles plastered on their faces. Although the story bears similarities to the first movie, it is interesting that this time, the protagonist is a public figure, and her deterioration will likely be witnessed by a large audience. Additionally, between her stage crew and concertgoers, there’s truly no limit to the number of smiling figures and hallucinations for the entity to work with.

So far, the only Smile cast member confirmed to be returning for the sequel is Kyle Gallner as Joel. In the first movie, Joel is a police officer who tries to help Rose Cotter (Sosie Bacon) get to the bottom of the curse. However, Rose eventually succumbs to the entity, passing on the curse to Joel. The Smile 2 trailer gives viewers a split-second shot of Joel around the 1:40 mark. He is seen running out onto a road holding his arm, but it’s heavily implied he’s hit by a truck. As a result, it’s likely he will perish in the film and transfer the curse to the new cast members.

As mentioned above, Scott leads the cast as popstar Skye Riley, while Gage portrays Lewis, the man who passes the curse to her. Rounding out the cast are Rosemarie DeWitt, Dylan Gelula, Peter Jacobson, Raúl Castillo, and Miles Gutierrez-Riley in undisclosed roles.

The official synopsis for Smile 2 reads:

About to embark on a new world tour, global pop sensation Skye Riley (Naomi Scott) begins experiencing increasingly terrifying and inexplicable events. Overwhelmed by the escalating horrors and the pressures of fame, Skye is forced to face her dark past to regain control of her life before it spirals out of control.

While viewers now have an idea of the basic premise for the sequel, it still remains to be seen how it might differ from the original and what new details it might reveal about the entity. Director Finn has dropped a few hints about what the film might entail. He told Den of Geek:

There are a lot of exciting things that could be done with Smile, and like I said, there are elements of the film that I left purposely unexplored. [But] the last thing I ever want to do is just directly repeat myself or retread ground that I’ve already gone over. I want it to feel very unexpected and exciting and fresh in a way that might catch audiences off guard, and make sure that the film has a brand-new bag of tricks up its sleeve.

Although the trailer suggests a story that is a bit close to the original, Finn’s statement raises hope that Smile 2 is hiding some extra surprises and twists for viewers.

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Rachel Ulatowski
Rachel Ulatowski is a Staff Writer for The Mary Sue, who frequently covers DC, Marvel, Star Wars, literature, and celebrity news. She has over three years of experience in the digital media and entertainment industry, and her works can also be found on Screen Rant, JustWatch, and Tell-Tale TV. She enjoys running, reading, snarking on YouTube personalities, and working on her future novel when she's not writing professionally. You can find more of her writing on Twitter at @RachelUlatowski.