Searching Sequel Missing Was Almost About A Serial Killer Leaving Clues Online [Exclusive]

In “Searching,” part of the struggle for John Cho’s character was not understanding the intricacies of social media, or where to start when it came to digging into his daughter’s personal life. He had to muddle through to figure out the meaning behind her messages and the various websites that could help him along the way. But with a teenager at the helm in the sequel film, she has plenty of advantages when it comes to being web savvy. Her digital sleuthing will likely be miles ahead of his — but as a teenager, her weaknesses may lie elsewhere.

While this first idea ended up being the winner, plenty of other concepts were floated during the early conversations between Aneesh Chaganty and Sev Ohanian. “There were so many ideas that were completely different,” Chaganty told /Film. “They were just thrillers on computer screens. And now if you look at it, this one’s obviously very similar to ‘Searching’ as far as its core tenets go. But we tried it up against a lot of other completely unrelated stories that didn’t necessarily even have anyone being kidnapped or taken.”

One of the abandoned ideas sheds the “kidnapped” storyline entirely for an entirely different thriller genre staple: a serial killer. Chaganty explained: “It was just simply like, ‘Okay, there’s a serial killer on the loose and they’re leaving clues on Reddit or online.'” But after mulling it over, the team ultimately came right back to where they started — and it’s not hard to see why.

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