Pearl is the prequel to Ti West’s throwback horror flick X, and a recent announcement from A24 implies that it is meant to drop in September just six months after X was released. The raunchy sequel will follow the story of the titular Pearl, played by Mia Goth, who also plays the porn actress Maxine in X. Ti West made a deliberate choice as the director to film these movies back to back and release them close together – and one which has shocked a large portion of moviegoers.
X follows a group of young filmmakers who intend to direct an adult feature in rural Texas. They are harassed and eventually violently pursued by the elderly couple, Pearl and Howard, whose farm they are filming their pornography on. According to Ti West, Pearl is reportedly going to emulate the visuals of a 1930-1940s technicolor film and will take place in 1919. The film’s poster is reminiscent of 1970s horror features, however, and most reflective of the stark colors and vibe of posters for films like Suspiria (which Mia Goth incidentally starred in the remake of). Footage revealed at SXSW shows the return of the haunting farm from X, and Pearl is seen frolicking in the fields there before dumping a man into a lake to be eaten by alligators in the first Pearl trailer.
The theatrical release for Ti West’s X was on March 18, 2022, and its prequel Pearl is slated for a September 16, 2022 debut. The unveiled content and story of Pearl are purposefully just as mysterious as X’s were before the Texas Chainsaw Massacre homage’s release, so much so that the existence of its prequel has been incredibly shocking and thought-provoking. The biggest mystery surrounding the upcoming film Pearl is the question of why the film is being released so soon after X and how it is possible. The answer is that director Ti West began writing the script for Pearl while X was being filmed, and because Mia Goth agreed to start shooting as soon as production for X wrapped up. It was a secret decision made by West, likely so the shock from a surprise release only six months following could serve as a major selling point for the prequel.
Ti West Secretly Shot X & Pearl Back-To-Back
Ti West had not directed a film for seven years prior to X’s release, but now he will have released two movies in the same year. Pearl is shot on the same set that X used, which would explain why the iconic farm returns in such detail here. X director Ti West has stated that he was inspired to use the set for another film because most workers were still in quarantine and had access to a safe studio, and also because A24 backed his idea, stating: “The miracle of A24 was that they thought this was actually a good idea” (via IndieWire). West went on to tell IndieWire that he also has potential plans for a third installment, which would make X and Pearl part of a gore-filled trilogy. The production of Pearl likely would never have happened had Mia Goth not been willing to jump on board to shoot both films back to back – so she must be given immense kudos in this regard.
The production of Pearl has been shrouded in secrecy, but the upcoming movie is gaining a lot of traction due to its nostalgic horror style. There has been pushback from horror moviegoers who disagree that a prequel to X revolving around the backstory of its killer should exist, though West remains dedicated to his distinct vision. Due to Ti West taking full advantage of his resources, Pearl will be released in September 2022, only six months after X was released.