Over the years, Lee Daniels has directed Academy Award-nominated films like The United States vs. Billie Holiday and Precious, as well as created a list of TV shows that includes Empire and Star, all of which allow the writer/director/producer to tell unique stories with incredible actors. And, while Daniels has focused on biographies and character-driven dramas in the past, he’ll soon try his hand at a new variant of his signature style by adding horror to the equation.
At some point in the near future, Daniels will release The Deliverance, a star-studded fright fest centering on a family pushed to their limits by a demonic entity. If this is the first you’re hearing about the upcoming horror movie, don’t worry, because we’re about to break it all down now. Here are six things, including the cast, basic premise, and other things we know about The Deliverance.
The Deliverance Will Be A Netflix Exclusive
When The Deliverance is released, you won’t be seeing it on the big screen at your local cineplex. In fact, the only way to watch the upcoming movie is by having a Netflix subscription, because the popular streaming service has acquired the exclusive rights to Lee Daniels’ next project. In January 2022, when the movie still didn’t even have a name, Variety reported that Netflix won a competitive bidding war to obtain the film, beating out the likes of MGM and Miramax for the honors.
There is no word on exactly when The Deliverance will be eligible for the Netflix Top 10, but expect to hear more on the movie in the months to come.
Andra Day, Glenn Close, And Caleb McLaughlin Lead The Deliverance Cast
Lee Daniels is no stranger when it comes to working with large ensemble casts, considering that movies like Lee Daniels’ The Butler featured names like Forest Whitaker, Oprah Winfrey, Cuba Gooding Jr., Robin Williams, John Cusack, and Alan Rickman, to name a few. But still, The Deliverance will be quite an undertaking with its large gathering of stars.
Golden Globe and Grammy winner Andra Day, the legendary Glenn Close, and Stranger Things mainstay Caleb McLaughlin are just three of the names who are set to appear on The Deliverance cast. Others, according to Deadline, include Omar Epps, Miss Lawrence, Anthony B. Jenkins, Aunjanue Ellis, Tasha Smith, Demi Singleton, and Mo’Nique. This will be the first time Mo’Nique and Daniels have worked together since the comedian and actress accused the producer of “blackballing” her following the release of Precious, according to EW.
The Deliverance Centers On A Mother Attempting To Protect Her Family From A Demonic Presence
When The Deliverance eventually premieres, it will combine elements of horror, drama, and spirituality to tell a riveting story about a mother’s attempt to protect her family from a demonic presence. According to Netflix, the movie centers on single mother Ebony Jackson (Andra Day) as she attempts to make a fresh start in a new home with her children. But, not long after settling in, the family is toyed with and tormented by a malignant entity that forces Ebony to enter a battle for her life, her family, and her faith.
Besides the basic elements, specifics about the story have yet to be revealed as of this writing, but this has all the characteristics of a great exorcism story like so many others in the past.
The Movie Is Based On The Experiences Of Latoya Ammons
There has long been a history of horror movies based on true stories, and The Deliverance will soon be yet another addition to the list that includes A Nightmare on Elm Street, The Conjuring, and another demonic-based fright fest, The Exorcist. According to Deadline, Lee Daniels upcoming movie is based on the story of Latoya Ammons, a mother of three in Gary, Indiana, who experienced a series of traumatic experiences in her home after moving there in November 2011.
The Indianapolis Star covered the story in great detail in the years following the demonic presence, and reported on the various experiences the Ammons family endured. This included Ammon’s young son walking backwards up a wall, her daughter levitating in the middle of the night, and more. At one point, the Gary Police Department and Department of Child Services even began to investigate the occurrences before an exorcist was brought in to rid the home of the presence.
The Deliverance Was Penned By David Coggeshall, Elijah Bynum, Thomas Westfall, And Lee Daniels
The writing team responsible for adapting the harrowing tale of Latoya Ammons and her family into The Deliverance is made up of a group of writers who have a great deal of combined experience in horror movies as well as working with Lee Daniels. According to The Hollywood Reporter, this includes David Coggeshall, Elijah Bynum, Thomas Westfall, and Daniels himself.
In the past, Coggeshall has written the “based on a true story” horror film, The Haunting in Connecticut 2: Ghosts of Georgia, and an episode of the Prime Video original series, Lore, as well as the 2022 Orphan prequel. Bynum’s previous credits include the TV series, One Dollar, and the 2017 Timothée Chalamet vehicle, Hot Summer Nights. Westfall has worked with Daniels on everything from The Paperboy to Empire.
Production On The Deliverance Was Ongoing In Summer 2022
No release date has been announced for The Deliverance at this point, but the movie was in active production as of summer 2022. In late July, Glenn Close posted a brief (and silent) video to her Instagram page along with a caption saying she was in her final week of shooting. In addition to calling Lee Daniels a “creative powerhouse,” Close said the production was a “fabulous experience.”
There is no word on when principal photography will wrap on The Deliverance, but if Close was just about to finish shooting in late July 2022, things should be concluding sooner rather than later.
Be on the lookout for more about The Deliverance in the months to come, but in the meantime, check out all the 2022 Netflix movies that should hold you over while you wait.
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Philip grew up in Louisiana (not New Orleans) before moving to St. Louis after graduating from Louisiana State University-Shreveport. When he's not writing about movies or television, Philip can be found being chased by his three kids, telling his dogs to stop barking at the mailman, or chatting about professional wrestling to his wife. Writing gigs with school newspapers, multiple daily newspapers, and other varied job experiences led him to this point where he actually gets to write about movies, shows, wrestling, and documentaries (which is a huge win in his eyes). If the stars properly align, he will talk about For Love Of The Game being the best baseball movie of all time.