Last week, in the wake of the box office success of Blumhouse Productions’ Insidious Chapter 2, microbudget feature producer extraordinaire Jason Blum announced that he would be exorcising another horror plot from someone’s head and turning it into its own potential franchise. And it turned out to be an exorcism movie called Incarnate, with Aaron Eckhart to star. Instead of changing their mind after looking around at the billion terrible exorcism movies in recent history, Blum and director Brad Peyton have added Rosario Dawson to the cast, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
While I’m sick of movies about possession, this is pretty strong casting, especially for a flick that’ll probably only cost a few million to make. Dawson, like Eckhart, is a strong performer the majority of the time, even when the movie she’s in isn’t particularly memorable.
Eckhart will play “an unconventional exorcist with the ability to tap into the subconscious of the possessed, who meets his match when a 9-year-old boy is possessed by a demon from his past.” Keeping it to the afflicted child motif that runs through Blum productions like Paranormal Activity, Insidious and Dark Skies. Unfortunately, they’re keeping a tight lid on the role that Dawson will be playing. I’m hoping for Satan, but it’ll probably just be a nun or the kid’s mom or something.
The fact that this will be directed by Peyton, whose only two films were Journey 2: The Mysterious Island and Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore, is more confusing than foretelling what kind of a movie this might look like. And it was written by Ronnie Christensen, who wrote the 2008 Anne Hathaway mystery Passengers and last year’s Dark Tide, a Halle Berry film nearly as terrible as Catwoman. (Not really.) I just hope Incarnate offers something a little different story-wise, and stays far away from the found footage treatment. It’s really just the actors and Blum’s track record that have me interested.
Dawson recently starred in Danny Boyle’s Trance and has a slew of films coming out in the next year or so, with the Diego Luna’s Cesar Chavez biography and Robert Rodriguez’s Sin City: A Dame to Kill For as the highlights, though Brian Horiuchi’s offbeat romantic drama Parts Per Billion sounds intriguing. She’s also in Atom Egoyan’s kidnapping thriller The Captive with Ryan Reynolds and Scott Speedman, but that just sounds like a walk in the park compared to Prisoners, which is now in theaters.
Since Insidious Chapter 2 made over $60 million in two weekends on a $5 million budget, production companies would probably sell their souls to get on board with this one. Blum has a first-look deal with Universal, but no deals have been made just yet. A Los Angeles production is being planned to start in November.
Since they’re already tossing the word franchise around, you can bet this movie has an open ending. But it can’t possibly be any worse than The Devil Inside’s ending, can it?