Our Chief Weapon Is Surprise

One of the finest horror movies of the 60s is about to be zapped by the remake ray.  Michael Reeves Witchfinder General is in the sights of Nicholas Winding Refn, director of Drive, Only God Forgives and Neon Demon.

Vincent Price starred in the original as lawyer Matthew Hopkins. During the breakdown in social order following Cromwell’s seizure of the English crown during the Civil War, Hopkins claimed to have been appointed to the role by Parliament.  
He then rode out to visit village after village, brutally torturing confessions out of suspected witches and charging local magistrates for his work.
Schlockmeister Roger Corman co-produced the film based on Ronald Bassett’s novel. Unlike a lot of Corman’s output, it was played absolutely straight and completely seriously.

Winding Refn was attached to produce several years ago.  Now fresh off the Netflix series Too Old To Die Young it appears things are gathering pace with some interesting new hires to the project.

The Proposition and The Road helmer John Hillcoat will direct. Jon Croker is writing the script. Croker penned The Woman in Black sequel along with doing uncredited work on American Animals and the Paddington films.  Rupert Preston will also produce.

File this one under “Very Early Development”.

And Ruthless Efficiency

Look, I know the Spanish Inquisition aren’t the puritanical witchfinders of merry old England.  It’s just that I can’t help but think of them whenever I watch this movie about people barging into homes and accusing other people of heresy.  Also, it’s always good to have an excuse to share Monty Python.