MaXXXine: Is The Puritan a real movie?

Daisy Phillipson
Lily Collins in The Puritan, a film-within-a-film in MaXXXine

MaXXXine makes frequent references to a movie named The Puritan, and given Ti West blurs the line between fact and fiction, you’d be forgiven for wondering whether it’s a real movie or not. 

After all, the filmmaker does incorporate some real-life events into the horror movie, which follows on from the 2022 films X and Pearl

The serial killer Richard Ramirez, aka the Night Stalker, is weaved into the backdrop of MaXXXine. There’s also nods to real movies, with the trailer revealing Mia Goth’s Maxine Minx on the set of Psycho’s Bates Motel

But what about The Puritan? Here’s what you need to know about if it’s a real horror movie or not. 

Is The Puritan a real movie?

No, The Puritan isn’t a real movie. It’s simply a film-within-a-film made-up for MaXXXine.

We first learn about the horror flick at the start when Maxine auditions for a key role in the upcoming sequel, The Puritan II. 

The director of the original, Elizabeth Bender (Elizabeth Debicki), returns to helm the sequel, while Molly Bennett (Lily Collins) reprises her role as the lead character – paving the way for some hilarious interactions with Maxine. 

The Puritan and the follow-up both look like blood-spattered, B-movie versions of The Crucible. But in the era of Satanic Panic, The Puritan II is mired in controversy, with angry religious protesters trying to put a stop to its production.

Could The Puritan be made into a real movie?

In a conversation with Dexerto, Ti West said he’d be game for turning The Puritan into a feature-length movie on one condition: if Lily Collins is up for it

This wouldn’t be the first time something like this has been done. Arguably the best example is Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino’s 2007 double feature Grindhouse, which featured a number of spoof trailers for movies that didn’t exist. 

From those trailers, Rodriguez turned Machete into a standalone flick in 2010, which went on to spawn a sequel, Machete Kills. Meanwhile, Eli Roth expanded on his Grindhouse teaser with Thanksgiving, which dropped in November last year. 

Lily Collins in The Puritan, a film-within-a-film in MaXXXine
West would be open to making The Puritan real if Collins is up for it

When asked whether he’d be up for doing the same with The Puritan, West replied, “I mean, if Lily Collins was up for it.” But don’t expect it to come soon, as the filmmaker understandably needs a break for now.

“The weird thing is, I’ve been working on these movies for almost five years, all day, every day. And so, in about two weeks, I’m done, and it’ll be interesting to wake up without some responsibility to the X universe,” he continued.

“But anything’s possible. I think it would be exciting to make another movie in this world in some way. I just don’t know if it’ll be the next thing.”

MaXXXine is in cinemas now. If you’re okay with spoilers, take a look at our breakdown of the ending. You can also check out other new A24 movies, the best Neon horrors to watch before Longlegs, and new movies coming out this month.

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About The Author

Daisy is a Senior TV and Movies Writer at Dexerto. She's a lover of all things macabre, whether that be horror, crime, psychological thrillers or all of the above. After graduating with a Masters in Magazine Journalism, she's gone on to write for Digital Spy, LADbible and Little White Lies. You can contact her on

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