The Wrath of Becky is coming from new creatives, but keeping the same bloody bite. Set two years after its well-received predecessor, the sequel sees the eponymous teenager finally finding a semblance of peace and a new home, only for a fascist group known as the “Noble Men” to tear it apart and kidnap her dog, putting her on a violent new path.
Lulu Wilson returns to lead the cast of The Wrath of Becky alongside Seann William Scott, Denise Burse, Jill Larson, Courtney Gains, Michael Sirow, Aaron Dalla Villa, Matt Angel, and Kate Siegel. Co-written and directed by Matt Angel and Suzanne Coote, taking over from Nick Morris and Lane & Ruckus Skye, the film is an exciting expansion of its bloody predecessor, going bigger with its action and worldbuilding.
Ahead of the film’s release, Screen Rant spoke exclusively with co-writers/directors Matt Angel and Suzanne Coote to discuss The Wrath of Becky, how they felt about taking over from other filmmakers, their plans for a third movie, and more.
Screen Rant: I am a big fan of The Wrath of Becky. I loved the first film, and I almost think this one blows the first out of the water. Was there any apprehension on both of your parts when you were approached to take over this world?
Suzanne Coote: That’s a good question, we haven’t gotten the apprehension angle, which I appreciate. I would say no, but it was important that the first thing we did was watch all sequels that we love, and see, “What did they do right?” And then sequels that aren’t so great, “What did they do wrong?” It was important, we wanted to bring a different tone to The Wrath of Becky whilst keeping things like the key [elements] of Diego, Becky’s overall attitude, we heightened it a little bit. But yeah, I don’t think there was apprehension, it was just like, “Okay, we better not f–k this up,” we need to do our research.
Matt Angel: We embraced the challenge of doing what we could to hopefully satisfy the fans of the first film, whilst simultaneously bringing in a new audience and creating a film that stands on its own two feet, two flakes.
Suzanne Coote: Like it’s two stumps.
Matt Angel: Two stumps. Don’t print that. [Laughs]
Suzanne Coote: You can print that. “Stand on your own two stumps.” [Laughs]
Matt Angel: It was very important that we wanted to invite a new audience into a world that we love, that being the world of Becky, and to meet that character. So yeah, I think respectfully, no, there wasn’t hesitation or apprehension, we were excited for the challenge.
One of the things that I love is the way that it connects the films with that comic book-style opening credit sequence explaining where she’s been the past few years. Where did the idea for that come about, and how did you go about putting that together?
Matt Angel: So, there’s a couple of layers here, the first being when you watch the first Becky, the opening, it’s not an opening title sequence, but it’s the opening title card leans into the colored pencil element, right? Everything we did in this one, we wanted to evolve, we wanted to evolve Becky as a character, it’s been three years since we’ve seen her, two years in the story. We wanted to evolve the visual tone of the film and the camera. The cinematography, we wanted to make sure we had a sleeker look to things and stay away from handheld, unless it felt like the really appropriate moments. We had the idea of we’re leaning into a comic book tone, right?
We were very inspired with this film with Kick-Ass and Edgar Wright films and Tarantino films and Guy Ritchie films, those were our big inspirations when we were writing this, and trying to approach it visually. So, we were like, “Let’s do an opening-credit sequence, and let’s lean into an evolved version of what they did in the first one, which was flashy colored pencils art.” We were like, “So, what’s this one? It’s storyboards,” and the idea of what those storyboards became in terms of telling a two-year story of Becky’s journey between the first and second movie was actually Suzanne’s idea.
We were driving one day, during a location scout, and we’re really toying with, “What is our cut into a title sequence, and what is that title sequence, and do we have enough to really earn and justify an opening credit sequence that’s going to keep an audience engaged for two minutes?” She had this idea of like, “Wait a minute, we have a period of time, what if we’re telling a story, because it’s also a visual way to give information as opposed to just dialogue, which we try and stay away from,” right? Show, don’t tell.
Suzanne Coote: We had an amazing artist, Micah Brenner, who we’d say, “This is the scenario, we want Becky stealing dog food from a pet store.
Matt Angel: Yeah, he was just phenomenal, so that was kind of the journey there with that sequence.
I love that you mentioned Kick-Ass, because my mind went to Mark Millar and all of his work. We get Lulu back, but we get her now pitted against Seann William Scott, and just blows us all away with how menacing he is. I enjoy his work even outside of comedy, what with Bloodline and Lethal Weapon, but it is the first time a lot of audiences are seeing him this way. What was it like finding the perfect person to play Darryl Jr.?
Suzanne Coote: We had a shortlist of names when you go through the casting process, and when it comes to a star, you’re like, “God, I hope they say yes.” When we saw his name on the shortlist from our casting directors, we were like, “Huh, this is interesting.”
Matt Angel: Yeah, there was a moment of like, “Ooh, yeah, that could be interesting.”
Suzanne Coote: I hadn’t seen Lethal Weapon, once we started working with him, I started watching Goon and stuff like that. It makes me sound like a genius, because he’s so good, but I’m not. All it was was like, “Oh,” I call it a director’s Spidey sense. We’re like, “There’s gonna be something here,” and then we talked to him, and before he signed on, he had such amazing ideas for the character to really ground him, and give him this military background.
Matt Angel: Visually, what he would wear, how clean cut he wanted to present himself, because he used to be in the military, and he made his bed every morning, that strict kind of lifestyle he lived. He would live in a nicer house, we didn’t want to lean into this kind of cliche —
Suzanne Coote: Like beer can signs on the wall.
Matt Angel: He came to the table with such incredible ideas and elevated what was on the page to a whole other level. He had scene ideas, he had dialogue pitches, he had things like that, and as directors who love to collaborate with our different departments — Sidney Lumet says actors are the heads of their department, and it’s very true. A lot of people don’t think about that with actors, so to have an actor who, like any other head of a department, is coming to you with ideas in terms of how they want to present their art form, it was like, “Yes!”
Suzanne Coote: It was a dream. Even down to darkening his beard, because he’s pretty blonde, and we’re like, “That’s so great.”
Matt Angel: Having a beard.
Suzanne Coote: Having a beard. [Chuckles] And he’s so soft spoken, which to me is so much creepier than someone yelling at you.
Matt Angel: Yeah, we were very much fans of the intellectual, calculated, quiet threat to this character, as opposed to what could have been could have been larger and a little too caricaturish.
That monologue, in particular, was really quite a powerful sequence to watch. What was it like collaborating with him on the day to really get in the mood for that sequence?
Matt Angel: I’m really glad you’re asking that, it’s such a lovely feeling, because I feel like we put a lot of time into that and you get the things that we really worked hard on. So, in our first meeting with Seann William Scott, what was there was probably a third of a page monologue. He said, “Given the backstory I’m pitching, what if it’s this story he tells that starts one way, and ultimately leads to this incredible threat he’s making, while simultaneously exposing just how dangerous he is.” We were like, “Oh, my God, that’s brilliant.”
[Our original] was such a half-assed version of that, and I’m dissing myself there in the original pages in the first draft. [Chuckles] So, when he came to us with the backstory for the character, and then pitched that, we really built upon this moment. We were so giddy about it, I went off and I wrote this two-page monologue, and we sent it to him, and he was like, “F–k. Yes.” He was so excited about it. I think that’s the moment he really just went to a whole different level of investment. Not that he wasn’t from the first meeting, but like, we joke with him, “Was that a test? Were you waiting to see if we could pull that off and do it before you officially said yes?”
From that moment on, it really felt like we had done our job of defining who this guy is. He showed up on his first day on set, and that was his first thing. To get to be in that scene with him was also just such a pleasure, because it was so fun to be the person sitting opposite him in that moment. To try and stay in the moment as a character, while simultaneously being in [my] director’s head like, “This is so f—-ng great.”
Suzanne Coote: A little funny story, the whiskey he’s drinking is obviously apple juice, and someone knocked it over onto his pants. He’s the nicest guy ever, he’s like, “These pants are so dry wick, don’t worry about it, guys!” Meanwhile, Lulu was under the couch drenched in apple juice, and we all forgot she was under there, and she’s like, “The f–k, guys! I’m here!” [Laughs]
Matt Angel: Covered in sticky apple juice.
Suzanne Coote: And everyone was like, “But, Seann!” No, I’m just kidding. [Laughs]
Matt Angel: A lot of work went into that moment, and so we’re happy it turned out the way it did.
As much as I love those quieter moments, I also love the action the movie delivers, and I love how practical it all feels. Obviously, on a smaller budget, you want to stay practical over CGI, but some of the bigger effects, like the head explosion, were crazy to watch. What was it like getting down and gritty with all of this action?
Suzanne Coote: We had the best special effects guys and Brian Spears was our makeup artist, if you look him up, he does like everything —
Matt Angel: All the Marvel shows in New York.
Suzanne Coote: He loves blood and guts. He comes with his kit of s–t, bodies. No one’s making any money on this movie, we all just want to blow some s–t up and see guts everywhere.
Matt Angel: We were kind of, like, figuring out, “Okay, he’s bringing everything he’s got in his house.” You should see his house.
Suzanne Coote: Yeah, if we couldn’t afford a new mold of a head, he’s bringing in an old head.
Matt Angel: And we’re just piecing things together. It was like the doll in Toy Story, Sid’s creature. And then figuring out how you can pull off the things that you have on the page, it was stressful as hell, because you’re doing this low-budget, very ambitious movie, and trying to make these kills, which are what the audience, especially fans of the first one, are coming for. It was also a blast, the moment that Twig is killed, our jaws were on the ground. We never would have imagined Lulu would have gone to the lengths she went to in that moment, watching these people off camera just splashing her with blood and watching her go to that point.
Suzanne Coote: Also, we don’t have time — I say this often, it was like shooting a play, because we don’t have, time especially with blood, to go, “Okay, we gotta do a second take, but Lulu has to go get all that blood off of her so we can do it again.” We had one option for that scene, so everyone has to bring their A-game. We have to hope that the blood sprays in the right way, which is crazy, and you can always count on Lulu Wilson to bring her A-game. Seriously, we had one squib, she did most of her stunts, she has to roll in the right way, nailed it.
Matt Angel: It’s unbelievable, and it was very important to us to do everything we could to do practicable. If we needed VFX to touch things up, or add some spray that didn’t land or whatever, we would do it, but we approachedtThis with practical in mind.
Suzanne Coote: But then when we did have VFX, we had the best VFX. He did Terrifier 2, Josh Petrino. So, we wer very lucky across the board with our crew, a lot of passion.
My final questions are a bit spoilery. We don’t have to say who she plays, but Kate Siegel shows up at the end. You’ve worked with her before on Hypnotic, and as a Mike Flanagan fanatic, it’s always great seeing her. Did you write this character with her in mind because you had worked with her before, or was that a luck of the draw?
Suzanne Coote: Yeah, it’s why it’s Kate Montana.
Matt Angel: We called her when we pitched the idea to the team, and we were like, “This is where we want to end this film, and this is why, and this is where we’re headed in this dreamscape. We want to see if Kate will come to play.” And we picked up the phone and called her and she said, “Whatever you want, whatever you need, I’m there, just tell me where to be and when to be there.”
Suzanne Coote: And it ended up being a pickup day, we’re shooting in Valencia, there was like four of us, she was like the first one there, did her own hair and makeup. You can’t beat Kate Siegel.
Matt Angel: It was great, it was fun to be on another set with her, because of Hypnotic, she’s one of our closest friends. How we shot that scene with just this tinysSplinter crew that had nothing to do with the New Jersey leg, really, other than Julia Swain, our incredible DP, I just love how that scene turned out. It was everything we wanted it to be, it was everything we imagined, and it’s just such a fun button.
It is, and it sets up something that could be very exciting in the future. When I talked to Lulu, she said there were hopeful talks for more, but what is the future is looking like on a possible Becky 3?
Matt Angel: We officially said at a Collider screening that, yes, Becky will be back.
Suzanne Coote: Becky will be back. Only because the producers were in the audience, and we were like, “What do we say? Just tell us what to do, man” and they were like, “Okay, f–k it! Just say yes!” We were like, “Okay, it’s on you!”
Matt Angel: As far as we know, Becky will return, and everything we did throughout the second film was very intentional for where we wanted to take the story, and take Becky’s character, and continue an evolution. Good sequels build upon their predecessor, we wanted to do that with Wrath of Becky, and our vision for the third one, ideally, builds upon Wrath of Becky, and continues to evolve, in terms of cinematography design, location, kills, all of that. So, we have a lot of fun ideas, but there are some very specific hints in The Wrath of Becky that tell you where things are headed if you are paying attention.
Two years after she escaped a violent attack on her family, Becky attempts to rebuild her life in the care of an older woman – a kindred spirit named Elena. But when a group known as the “Noble Men” break into their home, attack them, and take her beloved dog, Diego, Becky must return to her old ways to protect herself and her loved ones.
Check out our other interviews for The Wrath of Becky here:
The Wrath of Becky hits theaters on May 26,