EXCLUSIVE: Canadian horror writer/director Patrick Lussier has come a long way and worked his way up the filmmaking food chain. The 47-year-old started out as an editor, working on Wes Craven‘s “Scream” and “Wes Craven’s New Nightmare,” made the jump to features helmer with “Dracula 2000” starring Gerard Butler, and after a few years of banging out B-movie thrillers (“White Noise: The Light,” “My Bloody Valentine 3D“), the director has finally made it to the top of the horror/thriller echelon with his most recent pic, “Drive Angry 3D” starring Nicolas Cage and Amber Heard. Arriving in theaters this weekend, the film is just the beginning of Lussier’s full-on Hollywood blossoming. He’s attached to the remake of two major franchises: Dimension Films‘ “Hellraiser” (more on that later) and “Halloween 3D” (though that one sounds like it’s stalled).
But there’s even more. Lussier’s been rumored to be attached to two other projects, a gritty drama called “Circle of Silence” and a vampire picture (and no joke, courtroom thriller) called “In Darkness,” the former script of which he wrote; the latter written by Rowdy Herrington. And during the “Drive Angry 3D” junket, Playlist contributor Leah Zak confirmed with Lussier and writer Todd Farmer that these were indeed two projects the duo were working on.
“Who are you and where did you hide the [phone tap] bugs?” Farmer laughed. “We just finished a draft of ‘In Darkness’ which we’ve already renamed ‘Already Dead.’ We’ll see if that title sticks, it’s a lot of fun.”
Describing “Already Dead,” Lussier explained that the film would be, “basically like ‘Jagged Edge‘ meets a sort of a grown up thriller. A courtroom thriller. And then ‘Circle of Silence’ is a project that came to me from Bill Tyler and Jonathan Green, one of the producers and one of the writers. It’s a true story of a New York police officer shot in 1972 in a Harlem Mosque. And then it’s sort of the Moby Dick of police stories. The investigation went on for years to try and bring to justice the killer of this officer and at this time it’s still an open case on the NYPD files so but it’s a great story. It has a lot of political elements with it, so we’ll see what happens to it, but it would be an amazing film to make.”
Sounds like a left turn for Lussier and he agrees, “Yeah, it’s definitely a little different for me.”
Farmer says both scripts are done, but “Already Dead” is in the “notes” stage. “There are producers attached; it’s Raffaella de Laurentiis and [a few others],” he said. “And ‘Circle of Silence’ it’s done, it’s out, they’re doing the rounds [around town] with it right now.”
Meanwhile, if you want what appears to be a insane blast of 3D thriller action starring Nicolas Cage, Lussier and Farmer’s “Drive Angry 3D” hits theaters this weekend on February 25. More from this interview soon.