John Hillcoat To Remake Witchfinder General

John Hillcoat

by James White |
Published on

Though Nicolas Winding Refn had been planning to direct a remake of 1968 historical horror drama Witchfinder General, he's now stepped back to just produce the film. John Hillcoat is on to direct instead.

The original was set in Norfolk in 1645, and told a fictionalised story about real-life witch hunter Matthew Hopkins, who sidestepped morality and ethics under the guise of religious purity during the Civil War. Vincent Price played Hopkins, and the film became notorious for its violence and scenes of torture, falling foul of censors, while it arrived in drive-ins and grindhouses in the States, where it was known as The Conqueror Worm.

Witchfinder General (1968)

The Woman In Black: Angel Of Death's Jon Croker wrote the script for the new film, which will look to shoot later this year. "I am excited to work with fellow filmmaker Nic Refn, a maverick auteur and who, together with [producer] Rupert Preston, have been fully committed to independent cinema over the years," says Hillcoat. "I’m drawn to the dynamic departures behind this remake. The idea of a world pushed to extremes where fear preys upon all, unleashing religious fanaticism, rival factions, tribalism, heretics, and witch hunts... feels strangely familiar in today’s world."

Though remakes often spur the ire of online mobs, we're certainly interested in the pedigree of this one, which will aim to be more of a re-imagining than a straight redo.

Keep up to date with all the latest movie news, click here to subscribe to Empire on Great Magazines and have the latest issue delivered to your door every month.

Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us