Just days after we catalogued the ever-growing cinematic universe of Ethan Hawke movies in which he plays a scruffy Dad “just trying his best,” comes this news: Hawke is dipping his toes back into Blumhouse-branded horror. In fact, he’s reteaming with the writer and director of his previous, 2012 moneymaker Sinister for a feature adaptation of a Joe Hill short story, The Black Phone. It’s the ninth time Hawke has worked with producer Jason Blum, to be written by C. Robert Cargill and directed by Scott Derrickson of Marvel’s Doctor Strange.
The Black Phone is the story of a captured young boy, who has been abducted and placed in a fortified basement by a killer, first appearing in Joe Hill’s collection 20th Century Ghosts. Here’s the official synopsis:
John Finney is locked in a basement that’s stained with the blood of half a dozen other murdered children. In the cellar with him is an antique telephone, long since disconnected, but which rings at night with calls from the dead…
Hawke obviously wouldn’t be playing a child in peril, which makes us wonder whether this might actually be a villainous turn by our beloved scruffy dad. Actor Mason Thames (For All Mankind) has also been announced, and we wouldn’t be surprised to see him in the role of John, joined by other announced actors such as Madeleine McGraw and Jeremy Davies. Derrickson, meanwhile, has said to expect an “R” rating, so this isn’t likely to be a YA horror affair.
Hawke has been all over lately, starring in the Blumhouse Showtime series The Good Lord Bird as abolitionist John Brown. We’ll bring you more details on The Black Phone as they arrive.