Action-thriller Hotel Artemis hits UK screens this week, and we’ve been speaking to the film’s writer-director Drew Pearce about the potential for a sequel. The hotel of the title is actually an exclusive, super-secret hospital — or ‘Dark Room’ — for criminals in need of patching up. And Pearce reckons there are more stories to be told, in different locations, with different characters.
Hotel Artemis in Miami
Drew Pearce: “There’s definitely more stories in the world I’d like to tell. I don’t know if I’d necessarily tell them with all of the same characters. One of the things I miss about movies since a lot of storytelling that I love moved to TV, is short stories. I also like leaving some things mysterious or for the audience’s imagination. That said, the frustration when you are making a 90-minute movie that you shoot in 33 days is that you establish these characters, you fall in love with them, and then you never get to play with them again. You never get to write them again. You never get to direct the actors in that role again. And so it’s definitely very attractive.
“But also we establish the idea of Dark Rooms. There are definitely other DRs — secret hospitals for criminals — around the world in every city. And they’ll have different stories to tell. Artemis is very much in the lineage of American crime like [Raymond] Chandler, so it would be nice to explore other crime places and genres, like Miami, and bring 2028 to Miami Beach with a more Elmore Leonard tone which is in the lineage of Floridian crime writing. But who knows? It’s definitely a world that I would love to come back to. But there’s also a massive charm to… as much as I’m excited about Tim Miller’s Terminator, there’s also a world where The Terminator would have been perfect if I never saw any of the other movies. If what the universe it hinted at was all I ever got. That’s not a thing we do very often anymore. So I would still be very happy if that’s what happened with Artemis, and I’d go on and find a different universe.”
Hotel Artemis in London
Drew Pearce [on relocating to London in a sequel]: “Do you know what? It’s really interesting. Because Dark Rooms, I think, are different buildings. They don’t all have to be disused hotels. It feels like with London… you know those lost, subterranean tube stations? Like those dead, secret tube stations. It feels like they would be a good way of at least getting to a Dark Room. One of the interesting things about LA is, the reason Artemis is set in a busted 1920s hotel is that there are so many of them in downtown LA that are disused. Because in the 1920s downtown was the hub, then it was literally emptied by the ‘70s. It’s being gentrified now, but they all had these prohibition tunnels linking all of the hotels. Which was how they got the gin in. There was like a prohibition delivery service.
“So it would be nice to tap into something in London’s underground history. Literally maybe in the tube. But it’s tricky in London because it’s tougher to hide stuff. And there’s very little undeveloped land. So I expect you’d have to be completely out of sight. But I can logic through to what that would be…”
Hotel Artemis hits UK screens this Friday, July 20. While you can check out our interview with the cast below.