Good news Vincent Price fans! The remake to 1968’s classic Witchfinder General takes another step forward steps forward to being remade. A few years ago, Nicolas Winding Refn joined as a producer and It’s taken some time, but he’s now joined by John Hillcoat who will stay on as director of the film. There will be some big shoes to fill by remaking this one and while details are currently sparse, the synopsis so far reads: “A witch hunter in the 17th century England is responsible for the death of hundreds of women”.
This will be an interesting film to remake. The original featured the legendary Vincent Price as the evil Matthew Hopkins and his side-kick John Stearne (Robert Russell) during the English Civil War. They were challenged by a young soldier, Richard Marshall (Ian Ogilvy), after seeing the atrocities they are committing. Back in the day, the film was known for its pretty graphic violence, despite being cut by the censor board in the UK. There isn’t any news on possible casting for the update, but it would be interesting to see how dark they decide to go and who they could get to bring these roles to life with a 40+ year update.
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Refn and Hillcoat do have me intrigued in bringing this to life. Refn is the writer/director known for The Neon Demon, Only God Forgives and Valhalla Rising. He also directed Drive. The one thing I can say about all of them is that they are highly stylized and are pretty heavy despite not necessarily being pure horror. He’s producing Witchfinder General, so it will be interesting to see how much of his style will bleed into this film. Hillcoat on the other hand can do some bleak films. He is responsible for The Road and its dark subject matter, as well as Lawless. I do what to see where these guys take this story.
Witchfinder General is adapted from Ronald Bassett novel of the same name. When it came over to the United States, it was retitled The Conqueror Worm from a poem by Edgar Allan Poe of the same name. This was a marketing ploy to capitalize on the Roger Corman series of Poe/Price films, even though this has nothing to do with that series. It is interesting that my father owns this film on VHS under that title.
Hearing this information, I’m excited to check out this film. I do actually need to see the original, as the subject matter is right up my alley of the perversion of religion and the using it as tool for their means. What about you? Does this news about Witchfinder General remake have you excited? Let us know on Twitter, Reddit, and in the Horror Movie Fiend Club on Facebook!