Nic Winding Refn And Rupert Preston To Remake WITCHFINDER GENERAL
More news about Danish director Nicolas Winding Refn this morning. The director announced that he is reuniting with the UK based distributor that helped get Refn's Pusher out into the World. We are all indebted to this man, Rupert Preston.
As the story goes in this article in Deadline Refn was having trouble getting his crime thriller out beyond the borders of Denmark. Preston saw the film and picked it up for distribution in the UK and brought Refn to England for press. The rest, as they say, is history; beautiful neon drenched, blood soaked, history.
The pair continued working together, Preston distributing Refn's film in the UK, up until Drive. Refn has wanted to reunite with Preston since and produce another film together. Enter Michael Reeves' 1968 film Witchfinder General.
Witchfinder General starred Vincent Price, Ian Ogilvy and Hilary Dwyer and was based on Ronald Bassett’s novel. Set in Norfolk, England, in 1645, it was a fictionalized study of real-life witch hunter Matthew Hopkins and the heinous crimes he committed during the English Civil War. Torture and violence featured heavily in the original film, which stirred controversy, and the censors, in the UK. In the U.S., it played drive-ins and grindhouses and ultimately gained cult status. Director Reeves died within a year of its release. The Telegraph has called the British Reeves “our directorial James Dean, our lost auteur of Sixties nihilism, Hitchcock’s vanished heir.”
Refn and Preston will speak with writers and directors about this new adaptation. Refn will produce under his banner Space Rocket Nation. Preston will produce under his banner Sunrise Films. They plan to go into production in 2017.