The original Insidious released in 2011, and can be considered the big breakout moment for director James Wan, writer Leigh Whannell, and cast members Patrick Wilson and Rose Byrne. Over the years, the franchise has gradually moved away from the Lambert family (played by Wilson, Byrne, Ty Simpkins, and Andrew Astor) to focus on other characters. Insidious: The Red Door marks the full return for the first film’s cast, and the way executive producer Jason Blum tells it, this is largely thanks to Wilson’s efforts.
Red Door picks up a decade after the events of Insidious 2, with the now older Lamberts not as done with supernatural hauntings as they originally believed. In an interview with IGN, executive producer Jason Blum credited Wilson (who, in addition to playing Josh Lambert, is directing the film) with bringing back the original cast—not just Byrne, Simpkins, and Astor, but also Lin Shaye’s Elise Rainier—back on board. Blum admitted that he tried to get everyone back together for 2015’s Insidious 3 and 2018’s Insidious: The Last Key, but “failed terribly. It was [Patrick’s] idea to bring the original cast back for The Red Door. […] Rose would say no to me, but she would say yes to Patrick.”
Not every long-running movie series has a key actor come in to direct a film, which makes The Red Door a little unique. Wilson’s career spans different genres, but his continued horror presence has allowed him to stick around in people’s memories in a way that makes sense for his directorial debut to be a horror movie. What also helped, at least in Blum’s eyes, was Wilson’s continued work with Wan over the years—over at Warner Bros. the actor headlined Wan’s Conjuring franchise (and featured in some of its spinoffs) and is playing Ocean Master in the Aquaman movies. As such (and seemingly by coincidence), he’s ended up becoming another important creative figure for the Insidious series.
“James and Patrick obviously have an incredibly special relationship,” Blum noted. “Patrick is like James’s muse. […] He was really able to understand better than anyone else except James and Leigh [Whannell] what the audience expects of the movies, what to put in the movies.” That kind of partnership is always notable in this industry, and it’ll be interesting to see what Wilson’s take on horror looks like when Insidious: The Red Door hits theaters on July 7.
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