How Patrick Wilson came to direct Insidious: The Red Door

Patrick Wilson wasn’t going to return for Insidious: The Red Door, but couldn’t resist when he had the opportunity to direct the movie.

Insidious: The Red Door, Patrick Wilson

It’s been ten years since Patrick Wilson last stepped into The Further, but the actor returned for Insidious: The Red Door. Not only did Wilson reprise his role of Josh Lambert, but he’s also made his feature directorial debut with the Insidious sequel. Just how did that come about? Turns out that all he had to do…was ask.

Patrick Wilson told THR that he had been looking for an opportunity to direct for a number of years. When Insidious co-creator Leigh Whannell approached him about returning for a fifth installment of the franchise, he admitted that he probably would have said no until his agent suggested that he could direct the movie as well.

It was literally my agent asking. It got pitched to me. They came to me with an idea for a story. Before they wrote a story about the Lamberts, they wanted to know if the Lamberts would do it, because I had left this franchise behind. There was no Ill will. It was fine. It had just run its course. So they wanted this movie to be about Dalton, but they asked if I would come back for a couple scenes. To be honest with you, I probably wouldn’t have done that even though they’re my friends, but it was actually my agent who said, “What if Patrick directs it?” My agent and I had been looking for things to direct, and at that point, Blumhouse didn’t know that I even wanted to direct or that I had a desire. So when my agent asked, “What if Patrick directs it?” Blumhouse went, “Of course, yes! That’s a great idea. We didn’t know he wanted to do that.” And so it really was that easy.

Patrick Wilson continued: “Once I thought about the movie that I wanted to make, it was very personal, so I didn’t feel like I had to pitch myself. My agent asked, they said yes, and then I went to LA to meet with [President, Feature Films, Blumhouse] Cut Samuelson. I also talked to Steve Bersch at Sony [President, Screen Gems] on the phone and just said, ‘If you don’t want to make this kind of movie, that’s fine, but if I’m gonna do this movie, I’m gonna go back and deal with what happened at the end of Insidious: Chapter 2. That’s the movie I want to make. I want to deal with this family’s trauma through the eyes of a horror movie. That’s the story I’d like to tell with a father-son relationship.’ And they said, ‘Great, go for it.’ So it really was that much of a blessing.

Scott Teems penned the script for Insidious: The Red Door and worked on the story with Patrick Wilson in his backyard. “Scott flew to me in the fall of 2019, and he just sat in my backyard and asked me, ‘What kind of movie do you wanna make?’”Wilson said. “He’s a filmmaker, too, and he couldn’t be a sweeter guy. He’s a super skilled writer, and I expunged all these ideas on him. I said, ‘This is what I want to do. I want a father-son relationship, and let’s have Dalton go to art school.’ And so we just started kicking around these ideas before he went off and wrote it.“Then the pandemic happened and everything came to a halt, but Wilson kept working on the project even while on the set of other movies.

So I went and did moonfall and Aquaman 2, but there hasn’t been a day in the past four years that I haven’t thought about this movie. That’s the honest-to-God truth. Every day on the sets of these other movies, including Aquaman 2, I was reworking things and rewriting things. I would then send it all to Scott, we’d talk about it and he’d put it in his words. So I had a really great collaboration with Scott over the past three years of writing.

This won’t be the last time we see Patrick Wilson behind the camera as he seems to have caught the directing bug. “For sure, yeah,”Wilson said. “This never seemed like a one-off. It just seemed like the first step. So I’m already looking at other things.Insidious: The Red Door is now playing in theaters, so be sure to check out a review from our own Tyler Nichols.