Dracula, The Black Phone, Adrift: Weekly Round Up

Dracula, The Black Phone, Adrift: Weekly Round Up

Dracula, The Black Phone, Adrift: Weekly Round Up – It wasn’t unusual pre-Coronavirus to hear of projects from filmmakers who currently have a few movies in the pipeline already, but one of the things the pandemic has most definitely done is highlighted this since no one can work properly on any film at the moment.

Not one month ago I spoke about director Darren Aronofsky’s new movie, The Whale, starring Brendan Fraser, but now we’ve learned of yet another project from the filmmaker. While it may not be his next movie, it’s still a rather tantalizing prospect – especially if you’re, like me, a horror fan and have enjoyed Aronofsky’s work in the past.

The new project is called Adrift (although that’s not to be confused with the Shailene Woodley survival drama, also called Adrift, that came out a couple of years back) and will see the director reteam with his Requiem for a Dream star, Jared Leto. For those of you who have stomached it, you’ll know just watch a grueling experience that movie is, and so I’d be lying if I didn’t say that the idea of these two getting back together isn’t a rather exciting prospect.

Perhaps what makes it even more exciting, though, is the fact that it is a horror movie, and one based on a book by Koji Suzuki, the author also behind the inspiration for Ringu – or The Ring, or Ring, depending on what you prefer – and if that hasn’t got you chomping at the bit then I’m not sure what will.

We’ll remain on the horror train for a moment because this week we also got some (good) news surrounding a long-awaited project that I have been anticipating with eagerness.

For those of you who aren’t aware or haven’t been keeping track, the horror film Last Voyage of the Demeter has been in production hell for just over a decade now, it was originally put into development way back in 2010 (ah, simpler times, eh?) and was going to star Viggo Mortenson and be directed by Neil Marshall. The film is a sort of “spin-off” or “re-imagining” of one of the key events from the Grandaddy of all vampire stories, Bram Stoker’s Dracula.

In Stoker’s book, the “Demeter” is the ship that sails from Transylvania to England, transporting the vicious Count’s undead body from his Gothic Castle to the foggy streets of London.  In the novel the ship arrives at the ports in London with no one on board, the crew has mysteriously disappeared. While it is, of course, implied that Dracula has had his way with them, it’s very much nothing but a plot device in Stoker’s story and appears once as a newspaper clipping.

It does then make for a rather intriguing prospect for the focus of a feature film since one can draw upon the Dracula name while crafting almost an entirely new story. While it has been through a slew of potential directors, it appears that the movie is finally happening with The Autopsy of Jane Doe and Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark director Andre Øvredal taking the reigns.

The movie will reportedly star Corey Hawkins, who some may recognize from 2017’s Kong: Skull Island or 2015’s Straight Outta Compton. What role Hawkins will be playing remains very much a mystery at this point, but I’ll be keeping my ear very close to the ground on this one.

Now, I debated about whether or not to include this piece of news or another piece this week, given we’ve already had two horror related stories, but I figured “fuck it, this is my roundup, I’ll write what I want!” so let’s move on over to the wonderful world of Blumhouse.

Known for their low-budget horror output, Blumhouse is a studio synonymous with the genre at this point, and so any new project that comes from them is worth some interest, in my opinion. However, there are occasionally projects that get announced that quite quickly become something more than simply another Blumhouse movie. The Invisible Man, Get Out, and this week’s subject, The Black Phone…

Now, The Black Phone was already a project that was noteworthy since it is based on the short story by author Joe Hill, the son of the world’s most iconic and successful horror author, Stephen King. If that wasn’t enough, though, the film was also set to be directed by Scott Derrickson, who hit the big time with Marvel’s Doctor Strange, but before that was best known as the director of Sinister, a genuinely creepy little movie starring Ethan Hawke, which is supposedly the scariest movie of all time although… well… no.

Anyway, The Black Phone can now add another piece to its already impressive puzzle, as Ethan Hawke himself has signed on to appear in the movie, reuniting with his Sinister director. As well as reteaming with Derrickson, Hawke is also reteaming with Blumhouse, as the movie will be his ninth with the production company. What role Hawke will be playing remains unknown, but I’ll be sure to bring you the news when I know. Hawke will, of course, soon be seen in the upcoming Disney+ show Moon Knight, starring Oscar Isaac, and in Robert Egger’s next movie, Viking drama The Northman. – Dracula, The Black Phone, Adrift: Weekly Round Up

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Alex Secker is a writer/director/editor. His debut feature film, the micro-budget thriller Follow the Crows, won Best Independent Film at the Global Film Festival Awards, while his stage-play, The Door, won the People’s Choice Award at the 2017 Swinge Festival.