Ti West is cutting up a double portion of his new A24 slasher. The director revealed that after he shot X in New Zealand in early 2021, he stuck around to film a second feature, titled Pearl and already green-lit by A24. West confirmed the news to the Los Angeles Times at the South by Southwest premiere for X, which takes place at a rural porn shoot in 1979 and also stars Brittany Snow and Kid Cudi. After the premiere, a clip from Pearl screened. West co-wrote Pearl with Mia Goth, who stars as both Maxine and Pearl, the elderly woman who becomes fixated on her in X, a prequel digging into her backstory. He told the Times that Pearl — which he compared to Douglas Sirk’s melodramas, Mary Poppins, and a “demented” Disney movie — “sets up an idea for the third movie, which has a different vibe altogether.”
The first trailer for Pearl makes good on West’s promise of a “demented” Disney movie, like an Apple Dumpling Gang or Old Yeller pastiche for very disturbed children (okay, it still might not be as upsetting as Old Yeller). It shows Goth in curly little braided pigtails and coveralls playing the young Pearl like a murderous Shirley Temple, pitchforking a goose and almost feeding her wheelchair-bound Pa to a gator. Pearl dreams of getting away from her farmer’s-daughter life and becoming a moving-picture star, and she doesn’t care what she has to do to make it. “I’m worried there may be something wrong with me,” she confesses before letting a goat lick blood off her hands. “The whole world is gonna know my name!” she screams, before we see her next to a body engulfed in flames.
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