The director of Hostiles and Black Mass is taking a stab at Horror.
Thanks to the rip roaring success of The Shape of Water, Guillermo Del Toro has been having new projects coming out of the woodwork such as setting up a new genre focused section for Fox Searchlight. What might be one of the first films to come out of this is Antlers, a horror film based on a short story called The Quiet Boy. The film is – according to IMDB – about “A young teacher discovers that her troubled student’s father and younger brother harbor a deadly supernatural secret. Taking the boy into her care, the teacher must fight for their survival against horrors beyond imagination.” Sounds a like something in the vein of Killing of A Sacred Deer-ish, but I think it might have a little more genre punch to it due to Del Toro’s inolvement. And apparently, Cooper is happy about something like this happening.
Speaking with Collider, he talks about inspirations for the film and what he’s planning to do (while also talking about his MLK assassination picture Hellhound on His Trail), saying:
“Antlers I’m developing with Guillermo, I’ve been working on that as well as a screenplay called Hellhound on His Trail about the assassination of Dr. King and the manhunt for James Earl Ray.”
“Well I’m currently developing Antlers, [it and Hellhound on His Trail] are both kind of moving in sync, but it feels like Antlers might take the pole position. I’m working with the writers now before I start writing on it. But I’m in the process of really developing that with Guillermo and it’s been a lot of fun, and very different for me. I was so influenced early on by the work of John Carpenter, like Halloween, or certainly The Exorcist which is a favorite of mine, or even Tarkovsky’s Stalker. So I’m able to bring all of that into one film which is exciting.”
As for working with Del Toro:
“[Guillermo] said I’ve obviously never seen you direct a horror film, but there’s a lot of horrific moments in your movies, so I’m more interested in someone who doesn’t work in that genre to step into it. Which is I guess a bit like Friedkin in a sense, having not directing in that genre before he took on The Exorcist. So I find that exciting, I’ve made my musical of sorts and my personal film with Out of the Furnace and my anti-gangster gangster movie, and then the Western… [Guillermo is] fantastic and so supportive and wildly imaginative, so it’s really been a great collaboration. I’m very fortunate that he asked me to do this.”
I’m definitely interested to see where this goes. Cooper is definitely a talented director and while I don’t he hasn’t made anything that’s truly great on his own (Black Mass was okay but Out of The Furnace and Hostiles were very worthwhile films, especially the former), seeing him team up with a master like Del Toro could be a great push for him.