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Benedict Cumberbatch in Doctor Strange

Although we’re incredibly excited to see Sam Raimi enter the MCU for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Scott Derrickson’s surprise exit from the project as its director at the top of the year was still a bummer. Word is Derrickson decided not to pick up where he left off with the 2016 film due to creative differences in terms of his horror vision. And low and behold, the filmmaker is now returning to the genre for a new film with Blumhouse Studios and Universal Pictures.

Scott Derrickson is the mind behind Blumhouse’s terrifying Sinister franchise, along with 2014’s Deliver Us From Evil and 2005’s The Exorcism of Emily Rose. The director has signed on to co-write and direct Black Phone, a film adaptation of Joe Hill’s same-named novella, per Deadline. He will re-team with his Sinister collaborators Robert Cargill and producer Jason Blum.

Black Phone centers on four characters, including a ghost from 1945, an eight-foot-tall locust and a boy trapped in a basement. The story was part of Joe Hill’s 20th Century Ghosts collection of short stories. The author is no stranger to seeing his work get adapted. His novel Horns was made into a movie starring Daniel Radcliffe in 2013, and his Locke & Key comic book series was turned into a popular Netflix show earlier this year.

Joe Hill also collaborated with Stephen King on In the Tall Grass, which was also made into a Netflix film. The author will executive produce the Black Phone movie. Following the announcement, Robert Cargill took to Twitter to tease the new project:

According to Scott Derrickson’s own social media update, Black Phone will definitely be rated R. This may have been a roadblock that kept the filmmaker from fulfilling his Marvel visions, which likes to stick with within PG-13 parameters. Black Phone will allow Derrickson to unleash some true terror and for more audiences to be exposed to Joe Hill’s work.

Black Phone will star young actor Mason Thames, who appeared in Apple TV+’s For All Mankind, as well as the voice of Bonnie in Toy Story 4, Madeleine McGraw. Fans of Sinister and Blumhouse’s horror films will especially be excited for this news. Derrickson is also making an action thriller called Bermuda starring Captain America actor Chris Evans.

Blumhouse has a stacked line up coming down the pipeline and Scott Derrickson’s Black Phone is an exciting addition. The studio just released The Craft: Legacy straight to VOD, which CinemaBlend’s own Corey Chichizola gushed about in his review and body-swap slasher comedy Freaky is coming this November. The studio recently showed off footage of Halloween Kills and announced who is directing Insidious 5.

As far as Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness goes, development is finally moving right along, with the sequel reportedly set to begin filming right about now. Check out what scary movies are creeping up next with CinemaBlend’s upcoming horror movie list.

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