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John Hillcoat will direct the Nicolas Winding Refn produced remake of Witchfinder General

John Hillcoat (Lawless) is set to direct a new version of Witchfinder General.

The 1968 film starred Vincent Price, Ian Ogilvy and Hilary Dwyer and was based on Ronald Bassett’s novel. Set in 1645 Norfolk, England, it was a fictionalized study of real-life witch hunter Matthew Hopkins and the heinous crimes he committed during the English Civil War.

According to Deadline, Nicolas Winding Refn and Rupert Preston, through their new production ventures and Sunrise Films, together with Hillcoat’s Blank Films, are producing the update. The screenplay is written by Jon Croker (Woman In Black 2).

Refn had this to say about the project:

For almost 20 years, Rupert Preston has not only been one of the main distributors of my films, he has also been one of my closest partners in entertainment. It is with extreme pleasure that both Rupert and I can incorporate John Hillcoat into our group as director for our production of Witchfinder General. It gives me enormous satisfaction to produce John’s vision and bring the retelling of this classic British film to a new audience.

While Hillcoat added:

I am excited to work with fellow filmmaker Nic Refn, a maverick auteur and who, together with Rupert Preston, have been fully committed to independent cinema over the years. 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.

Lots of potential for greatness with this one, but who would you like to see cast in the film?

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