Most filmmakers cringe when their movies are retitled by distributors, especially when the original moniker comes from the source novel, but such is not the case for British director Nick (TV?s JASON AND THE ARGONAUTS) Willing. The helmer?s well-regarded DOCTOR SLEEP will sport the moniker HYPNOTIC when First Look releases the supernatural thriller in April, and he has no problem with that.
?First Look showed me a list of titles, and HYPNOTIC was the one I was immediately drawn to,? Willing tells Fango. ?I did not mind changing the name, as [co-screenwriter] William Brookfield and I significantly deviated from the Madison Smartt Bell novel while adapting it anyway. When First Look tested the film, audiences were confused about the title and thought the movie was about a serial killer. It?s more than that.?
While Willing awaits the release of HYPNOTIC, which stars ER?s Goran Visnjic and Miranda (THE TWO TOWERS) Otto, he?s readying his next film, THE RIVER KING, based on the novel by Alice (PRACTICAL MAGIC) Hoffman. ?It?s a ghost story set in New England,? Willing says. ?THE RIVER KING is closer to [his first feature film] PHOTOGRAPHING FAIRIES than DOCTOR SLEEP, in that the story is more magic realism than genre-based. David Kane is writing it; he?s the best thriller writer in the U.K.? THE RIVER KING is being produced by Kirk (JEEPERS CREEPERS) D?Amico and Willing?s wife, Michelle Carmarda, and lensing commences in February in Nova Scotia. The Denver Rocky Mountain News called Hoffman?s novel ?a ripping yarn and suspenseful ghost tale.?
Courtesy of Fangoria