‘Witchfinder General’ Remake Points to John Hillcoat to Direct

Witchfinder General is getting a remake and it’s to be helmed by Aussie-born John Hillcoat. While Hillcoat’s work is often in music video production, he has several large project releases under his belt including 2016’s police/crime drama Triple 9 and 2009’s post-apocalyptic saga, The Road.

Hillcoat will join Nicolas Refn and Rupert Preston who are already attached to produce the film according to Deadline.

Based on a fictionalised account of historic witchfinder Matthew Hopkins as well as starring luminary Vincent Price, the original Witchfinder General (AKA The Conqueror Worm in the USA) became something of a contentious subject during its 1968 release due to its graphic violence and torture scenes (although today in a post-Saw world it’s hard to imagine anything jarring the modern audience. Oh wait.)

Here’s a brief synopsis of the original film to give a hint of what may be on offer here.

England is torn in civil strife as the Royalists battle the Parliamentary Party for control. This conflict distracts people from rational thought and allows unscrupulous men to gain local power by exploiting village superstitions. One of these men is Matthew Hopkins, who tours the land offering his services as a persecutor of witches. Aided by his sadistic accomplice John Stearne, he travels from city to city and wrenches confessions from “witches” in order to line his pockets and gain sexual favors. When Hopkins persecutes a priest, he incurs the wrath of Richard Marshall, who is engaged to the priest’s niece. Risking treason by leaving his military duties, Marshall relentlessly pursues the evil Hopkins and his minion Stearne.

Hillcoat had this to say:

“I’m drawn to the dynamic departures behind this remake. The idea of a world pushed to extremes where fear preys upon all, unleashing religious fanaticism, rival factions, tribalism, heretics, and witch hunts… feels strangely familiar in today’s world.”

Preston added:

“It’s an incredibly powerful and iconic piece and is now a re-imagining of the original film rather than a straight remake. It is set to excite and resonate with a worldwide audience.”

 


What say thee, Wasteoids? Doest thou deem a remake of Witchfinder General to be heretical or of divine providence?

Speaketh now in thine comments section below or be…poked.

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