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Ethan Hawke has built his career on gritty thrillers with occasional pit stops into heartfelt romantic dramas (Richard Linklater’s two Before films) and historical biopics. His resume is noticeably light on comedies and horror films, though half of that statement is about to change.

Hawke has signed on to the latest Scott Derrickson picture, an as-yet-untitled genre film that will be produced by Jason Blum (Insidious, Paranormal Activity), The Hollywood Reporter reports. Derrickson, who directed 2005’s bare-bones exercise The Exorcism of Emily Rose (as well as the flat sci-fi thriller The Day the Earth Stood Still), will begin shooting the picture in September, though plot details for the screenplay – which he co-wrote with C. Robert Cargill – are being kept under lock and key for as long as possible.

Of the names so far involved in this mysterious project, the one I most trust is Blum, who has had an extremely successful year thank to James Wan’s profitable (and chilling) Insidious. His experience on that sleeper hit, as well as the Paranormal franchise, helps me believe that he understands how to produce low-budget yet highly effective horror films. And while I was disappointed in Derrickson’s Earth, if this new effort brings him back to the scaled down, raw work he did on Emily Rose, all the better. It’s also always refreshing to see a veteran actor like Hawke step out of his comfort zone. For him to finally try horror for the likes of Derrickson and Blum, I’m hoping it’s a special idea powering their secretive script, and one that could potentially unnerve an audience in the way that Insidious shook me to the core.
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