Your favorite memeable murderess is back for more blood.
After slaying the box office and dancing into viral infamy, catty killer doll M3GAN is recalibrating for a sequel (in theaters Jan. 17, 2025). But first, there’s “M3GAN Unrated” (out on digital, Blu-ray and DVD), which adds more carnage and f-bombs to the PG-13 horror comedy.
“The unrated version is a lot of fun, if you have the stomach for it,” teases star and producer Allison Williams, whose character, Gemma, creates an android companion for her niece (Violet McGraw) that becomes fiercely overprotective.
Williams, 34, is best known for Jordan Peele’s “Get Out” and playing Marnie Michaels in Lena Dunham’s “Girls,” which aired from 2012 to 2017 on HBO. She talks to USA TODAY about the future of “M3GAN” and more.
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Question: M3GAN’s kills are much more gruesome in the unrated cut. Is there one that you find most squirm-inducing?
Allison Williams: Oh, my God. It should be when a child perishes, but at one point, someone’s face loses a fight with a pressure washer and it starts to peel off. Even though I know how it works behind the scenes and I watched all the tests they did with the special effects makeup, I still get sick to my stomach when I see it. It just grosses me out. I don’t do well with gore in general, so that moment is particularly gnarly to me.
Is there any desire to up the blood or profanity for the sequel?
It’s a really specific tone that (director Gerard Johnstone) found in the first movie that uses M3GAN as a source of camp and fun, but also real fear. That’ll all be in the mix again. We haven’t actually started talking about the rating, but I think the way we did it the first time wouldn’t be a bad idea. You end up with a product that can be enjoyed by a broader audience, and then for the real stans, you have (an unrated) version that’s a bit more hardcore.
The first time I watched the film, I fully expected a “Little Shop of Horrors”-style ending, where a bunch of kids get M3GAN toys and the dolls take over the world.
So is there a chance we could see an army of M3GANs in a sequel down the road?
I’m not going to tell you what we’re thinking! Although I appreciate the question. We’re in early conversations, but it’s been really fun to go back and do almost a postmortem on “M3GAN.” What are the things we feel like we delivered on? What are things we want to do better? And what makes a good sequel?
I also haven’t stopped saying “It’s insane, right?” ever since I saw the movie. Is there a M3GAN line or moment that’s found its way into your life?
People start talking to me about tech like I have Gemma’s amount of information. So with AI developments, people (assume) that I’ve already read every article about it. I do my best, but I’m not an actual roboticist or engineer. After “Get Out,” a lot of people asked me to hold their keys in photos with them, and there hasn’t been anything like that with “M3GAN.” And thank God no one is expecting me to know that dance, because these bones don’t do that. These bones can’t do a no-handed flip.
Many millennials are rewatching “Girls.” What’s it been like to see the show get the re-evaluation it deserves?
We filmed it when I was in my early 20s, and I was both living it and filming it at the same time. I had no perspective on it at all while it was happening, so for me, it’s just the greatest thing ever. I ran into Jemima (Kirke) two weekends ago and was like, “How fun is it that everyone’s watching our show again?” And Lena sent me the (New York Times) article. What could be better than people taking a second or third look at something you worked on for seven years together? Nothing could make me happier. And now, from the safety of our 30s, we can watch the flailing and it doesn’t feel quite so real.
I constantly see people on Twitter sharing Marnie’s cover of “Stronger.” How does it feel to have that as part of your legacy?
I’m very proud of that performance. That was extremely awkward to film: just getting it exactly right, finding the right level of cringe, and the moments where she’s really proud of what she’s come up with. “You can be my white Kate Moss tonight” may be the single greatest contribution I ever make to pop culture. And if that’s true, then I can retire happy.