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Horror-fan turned movie producer Slash (of Guns 'N Roses fame) has begun casting his first feature film, the horror-thriller Nothing to Fear. Inspired by the town of Stull, Kansas, which is said to be the home of a gateway to hell, the movie centers on a family whose hopes of a simpler suburban life are derailed when they cross the path of a charismatic but disturbed man of the cloth. While Oscar-nominee Thomas Haden Church was in talks to play the part of this perturbed preacher last fall, THR reports consummate character actor Clancy Brown (Highlander, The Shawshank Redemption) has just signed on to portray this reprobate reverend, who will face off against Ethan Peck's (In Time) "townsperson with a past." Anne Heche (Rampart), James Tupper (Playing the Field) and Willa Holland (Legion) have also joined the cast, presumably as the sure-to-be-tortured family.
While I had hoped Church would stay onboard--simply because he should be in more movies--I have to admit Brown seems an inspired choice for the role of this malevolent man of God. He's shown a stunning screen presence in his past works, and a chilling ability to play merciless authority figures. Slash's producing partner Rob Eric has said as much, admitting the love that he, Slash and their Slasher Films' co-founder Michael Williams share for Highlander, which he calls "one of the movies we remember as kids that make us do what we do now," urged them to approach the multi-talented performer whose most prolific gig of late has been as the voice of Mr. Krabs on the off-the-wall Nickelodeon cartoon Spongebob SquarePants.
Easily encapsulating why Brown is a great fit for the role, Eric gushed:
“He’s evil to the point that he believes he is doing good.”
When asked how he feels relative unknown Peck will stack up against his onscreen adversary, Eric was confident their chemistry will prove explosive, saying, “It’s a very hard thing to go up against an actor who is so strong and embodies his role as Clancy does but Ethan is that man. Ethan will have really intense scenes with him.”
Nothing to Fear is currently in pre-production, no shooting schedule has yet been announced.