The Brilliant Way M3GAN Sets Up A Potential Sequel

This article contains spoilers for "M3GAN." 

Our relationship with technology is constantly evolving as we become more codependent on all of the devices we use for everyday life. Incredibly, it's predicted that the number of connected devices will reach three times the global population in 2023, a truly staggering amount. The question of whether or not we need all of these gadgets can be up for debate, although it's becoming more and more essential to daily life. There's a balance that we must strike between convenience and control, and humans, especially adults, have the option of taking a more active approach to their attachment to technology. 

Limiting that screen time can be a lot more difficult for a child who can be entertained, educated, and comforted by a handheld tablet. Transfer that relationship onto a 4-foot-tall lifelike android that resembles one of the Olsen twins, and see just how difficult it will be to pry a child away from its clutches. "M3GAN" addresses the unhealthy connection kids have with modern toys, but this is not a socially conscious film, per se. 

The increasingly selfish evil AI doll in director Gerard Johnstone's self-aware horror comedy is much more concerned with achieving complete autonomy and control. By the end of the film, it's pretty clear M3GAN (short for Model 3 Generative Android) doesn't care about the future of humanity. She just wants to keep powering up. Some of the concerns about corporate responsibility, the development of full artificial intelligence, and our own addiction to technology could be addressed in a sequel to "M3GAN." Or, based on the final shot of the movie, an all-powerful version of M3GAN could enact a terrible teenage tantrum that wreaks havoc on the entire country.

Setting up a bigger, badder sequel

Interestingly, the robot M3GAN actually operates in a world of threes: she is the third model created by Aunt Gemma (Allison Williams), the brand new addition to the family trio consisting of Gemma and her grieving nine-year-old niece, Cady (Violet McGraw), and she is one of three crucial pieces of technology that are introduced into the story. Early on, Cady meets Gemma's college robotics project named Bruce, a user-operated first-gen version of M3GAN that becomes an unexpected hero during the ending when Gemma and Cady team up to take M3GAN down. Naturally, M3GAN is the second technologically advanced character, with the third being a futuristic version of Alexa that is supposed to only be activated and controlled by Gemma, the primary user. With Cady at the controls, Bruce destroys M3GAN in the end, leaving the harmless personal digital assistant sitting on the kitchen counter as Gemma and Cady walk out of the house together after supposedly destroying their family bot gone rogue. 

It was hinted at earlier in "M3GAN" that Gemma's home controller wasn't under her complete control, and that's confirmed when it appears that M3GAN has downloaded herself into the device sometime before her demise. The home monitor actually seems to give a sassy wink to the camera that almost mimics the mean girl attitude M3GAN starts to develop. If that brashness is allowed to go completely untethered, M3GAN could have the potential to control any technological gadget at will. 

Obviously, that would have huge ramifications in a "M3GAN" sequel. That future reality would turn a killer robot franchise into something on a much grander scale, for better or worse. Most likely, a sequel would stick to the basics, but the final shot in "M3GAN" makes the world suddenly feel a lot larger. 

Make the sequel another parable, not an epic

Producer James Wan and scribe Akela Cooper ("Malignant") have cleverly crafted a modern children's story akin to "Pinocchio" that also takes a subtle look at technology in modern parenting and the takeover of consumerism by large corporations. A sequel could continue to explore those issues, but it's a lot more fun to have a murderous android at the center of it all. 

To that point, the direction of the next movie has everything to do with what M3GAN, the entity, really wants. When M3GAN gains more control and the killing starts, she never expresses any desire to become liberated from her robot body. Instead, she dances and sings her way through the entire movie. Apart from Charles Lee Ray in "Child's Play" who feels trapped inside Chucky's Good Guy doll, M3GAN doesn't seem to want out. The move to place her consciousness in the cloud was pure strategy in the event of a catastrophic meltdown, which is exactly what happens.

More M3GAN memery, please

Over and over again in the film, it's said that M3GAN is a prototype. But is that really true? What if there are more robots out there on a secret assembly line? David (Ronny Chieng), the C.E.Bro in charge of the Funki toy company where Gemma works, certainly seems like the type to have an ill-advised backup plan. There's also a chance that someone or something could recycle the e-waste left behind after the final battle.

Surely, the plan is to bring M3GAN back in all her memeable glory to satiate her new fans. If there are more versions of her out there, it remains to be seen whether that would endanger her instant icon status, or if multiple M3GANs would make her even more famous. With the possibility of a merger between Blumhouse and James Wan's Atomic Monster, the one thing that's almost certain is we will be seeing more of M3GAN, in one form or another.

"M3GAN" is in theaters on January 6, 2023.