Sunday, January 17

Producer Talks Revenant

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Producer Talks Revenant

Last week, Fango first got word of a new genre film going into production called REVENANT, written and directed by Jacob Strunk and executive-produced by Teller (of Penn &￿). We got in touch with Strunk to learn more about the project, and here￿s what we found out, starting with a synopsis:

￿Aging widower Smith Forrest [Ronnie Marmo] leaves his successful life in the big city and returns to the small Wisconsin farm on which he grew up,￿ Strunk tells Fango. ￿Suffering from the debilitating symptoms of a terminal illness and plauged by the ghosts of his past, Smith is forced to re-examine the choices he￿s made in his life and the relationship he shared with his wife, now long dead. As the visions grow increasingly violent and the lines between Smith￿s reality and delusion begins to blur ever more heavily, Smith must face the demons of his past head on in a last attempt to reconcile.

￿REVENANT will be truly a unique and exceptional film,￿ Strunk continues. ￿As I have said publicly before, I do not believe in ￿genre.￿ There are good stories, and there are blocks of text and strands of film aspiring to be stories. If you￿re speaking honestly about people, it doesn￿t matter whether your film is about falling in love in 1920s Prague or fending off a horde of the hideous undead. I refuse to acknowledge the naysayers who speak out against the ￿literary merit￿ of horror-based fiction. I wrote my AP thesis in high school on I AM LEGEND by Richard Matheson, against the urging and wishes of the board, who deemed it a pulp novel not of sufficient literary merit￿and got a perfect score.

￿As such, I strive to push the boundaries of the definition of ￿genre￿ in my movies. REVENANT is an art film, it￿s a horror film, it￿s a thriller, it￿s a dark, dark, dark comedy, some may even call it a romance. But bottom line, it￿s a story about a man, told honestly and with empathy by people who really believe in the power of film and fiction. That￿s what matters, and I believe that is why the film will ultimately be successful. We are aiming for a festival run￿I￿ve had good luck with that in the past￿and, God willing, a theatrical run in the United States, with a DVD release to follow.

￿I was raised on horror movies and FANGORIA,￿ he adds, ￿popcorn in one hand, Coke in the other, a light on in the corner of the room as my friends and I pulled our sleeping bags up tight to our necks. I am still, to this day, influenced by horror films in everything I do, and I believe that￿s one of the things that makes my vision of filmmaking uniquely mine. The horror genre right now is at a low; financially, it￿s doing quite well, but the independent voices and original, sparkling ideas of the past have been replaced by scads of remakes and straight-to-video knock-them-out-in-a-weekend slasher movies. I want to see the credibility that is deserved returned to our stories. If REVENANT can help that happen in any way, I’m honored to be a part.￿

REVENANT is set to shoot this year in Wisconsin; check out the website for Strunk￿s Seven Miles West of Town Productions for more info about this and his previous projects.

Courtesy of Fangoria

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