The Unofficial Se7en Sequel Is Now Streaming On Hulu

Did you know there was a sequel to "Se7en"? And that sequel is now streaming on Hulu? It's true! Well ... sort of. After David Fincher's dark, gritty serial killer thriller became an unexpected hit both critically and financially, New Line Cinema decided they needed a sequel. This wouldn't be the easiest feat, of course, since "Se7en" (or "Seven," as normal people call it, and as I will call it from now on in this story) didn't exactly have a happy ending that left room for another story. But studios don't worry about that sort of stuff – they just worry about making money. Rather than ask "Seven" writer Andrew Kevin Walker to pen a sequel script, New Line looked around for an already existing screenplay they could re-tool into a sequel – a sequel they wanted to call "Ei8ht," and no, I'm not joking. What happened next may shock you! Or it won't shock you at all! 


In case you need a refresher, "Seven" is a film about two detectives: Somerset (Morgan Freeman), a cynical, weary old-timer ready to throw in the towel, and Mills (Brad Pitt), a fresh-faced young guy ready to take on the world. The two cops get caught up in a case where a serial killer is bumping off his victims in brutal ways meant to resemble the seven deadly sins (which, despite what some people think, are not actually anywhere in the Bible). Eventually, the cops catch the killer. Or, more accurately, the killer turns himself in. But it's all part of his fiendish plot – the killer, John Doe, has murdered Mills' wife, all with the hopes that it will enrage Mills enough to kill him as an act of wrath, thus completing his seven deadly sins cycle. It works: Mills is so distraught he kills John Doe and ends up being hauled away for murdering a prisoner in police custody while Somerset looks on, defeated. The end!

It's not a pleasant movie, and yet it ended up being a big hit and ushered in a whole new era of serial killer thrillers, most of which were kind of crappy. Meanwhile, "Seven" distributor New Line Cinema decided they wanted a sequel. They could have commissioned a sequel script, but instead, the studio decided to just find a pre-existing script and rework it. As odd as this may sound, this custom is actually fairly standard in Hollywood, or at least it used to be. Almost all of the "Die Hard" and "Lethal Weapon" movies originated as original scripts that were rewritten to become sequels. 

The script New Line seized on was called "Solace," written by Ted Griffin and Sean Bailey. The "Solace" script involved a psychic who was brought in to help catch a serial killer. There's nothing supernatural or otherworldly like psychic phenomenon in "Seven," but that didn't bother New Line. They figured they could change the script so that the psychic character was none other than Morgan Freeman's Detective Somerset, who was suddenly psychic for some reason. That psychic power sure would've been handy during the events of "Seven," Somerset. Why didn't you break out your gift then? In any case, New Line thought they had what they needed, and they decided to change the title from "Solace" to "Ei8ht."


It's unclear how far into development "Ei8ht" got before things changed. Some reports claim that David Fincher was actually in talks to direct the sequel. But Fincher himself had nothing but disdain for the idea publicly. During a Q&A, Fincher was asked if he would ever direct a "Seven" sequel, to which he replied: "I would have less interest in that than I would in having cigarettes put out in my eyes." So ... uh, yeah, that's pretty cut and dry – Fincher was not into the idea. 

Perhaps realizing that this was a fool's errand, the folks involved with "Ei8ht" went ahead and renamed it "Solace," giving up on the "Seven" sequel idea. The film entered production in 2013 under director Afonso Poyart, with Anthony Hopkins as the psychic and Colin Farrell as the serial killer. And then ... nothing happened. "Solace" sat around on a shelf until 2015, where it made its world premiere in Turkey. That same year, it screened at the Toronto International Film Festival. Finally, in 2016, Lionsgate Premiere acquired U.S rights to the film and gave it a very quiet release, after which it promptly faded from everyone's memory. 

Now, "Solace" is streaming on Hulu. So, is it any good? No, not really! It's a rather dull slog, and Anthony Hopkins, a great actor, is on autopilot, although Colin Farrell is having some fun as the killer. Still, watching "Solace" is an interesting experiment, because you can sort of picture how it could've turned into a "Seven" sequel, with Morgan Freeman standing in for Hopkins. Or, ya know, you could just watch "Seven" again instead.