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The Black Phone - What We Know So Far

Horror fans have a new film to get hyped about, with details about Scott Derrickson's latest project, "The Black Phone," finally emerging.

Many already know Derrickson as the director of Marvel's "Doctor Strange," and he will be returning to serve as Executive Producer on the sequel, "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness." However, the director has quite a resumé of horror titles prior to his foray into the MCU, including "Sinister," "The Exorcism of Emily Rose,"  "The Day the Earth Stood Still," and "Deliver Us From Evil." Derrickson is a frequent collaborator with screenwriter Robert Cargill (including on "Doctor Strange" and "Sinister"), and the pair will be reuniting on "The Black Phone" as well. The film is based on Joe Hill's novella of the same name, and the author has a screenwriting credit on the movie.

Lovers of horror are already excited about the release of "The Black Phone," so let's go over what we know about the film.

What's the release date for The Black Phone?

According to Variety, Scott Derrickson's next film "The Black Phone" is slated for release on June 24. Per Deadline, the film previously held release dates of January 28 and February 4. 

A joint venture between Universal Pictures and Blumhouse Productions, "The Black Phone" is currently the only wide release set for that date, arriving a week after Sony/Marvel's hotly anticipated "Morbius" on January 21. There currently aren't any wide releases scheduled for the weekend after, though we imagine that will change as production schedules are sorted as the year continues.

While a release date just after the holiday season is often a kiss of death for a film, COVID-19 has rewritten all the rules and norms of the film industry. Many productions have been pushed back due to the pandemic, so studios are eager to get them out quickly as theaters begin to reopen worldwide. Having more films to look forward to is an excellent way to get through the gray days of January.

What is the plot of The Black Phone?

"The Black Phone" follows Finney Shaw, a shy but clever 13-year-old boy. He is abducted by a sadistic killer and kept in a soundproof basement. However, when a disconnected phone on the wall begins to ring, Finney discovers he can hear the voices of the killer's pervious victims, who are set on helping him avoid their tragic fate.

Author Joe Hill, who wrote the original source material, is no stranger to film and TV adaptations of his work. His second novel, "Horns," was made into a feature film starring Daniel Radcliffe, and his third book "NOS4A2" was adapted for television by AMC. Notably, his long-running comic book seires, "Locke & Key," is an enormously successful Netflix original, with a third season ordered before the second had premiered.

For fans of the original "The Black Phone" novella, a faithfully-terrifying big screen adaptation seems like a safe bet. We doubt Hill would have it any other way.

Who is in the cast of The Black Phone?

The premise of "The Black Phone" promises an entertaining watch. However, its impressive cast makes the film even more of an exciting production. 

Four-time Oscar nominee Ethan Hawke stars in the film. His exact role is unknown, but it wouldn't be a shock to see him playing the villain. Alongside Hawke,  "Lost" and "Justified" star Jeremy Davies appears, certainly a veteran to unsettling stories. James Ransome, known for "How to Make it in America," and "House of Cards" actress Gina Jun also appear in the film. Newcomer Mason Thames stars as the young captured protagonist Finney, having previously appeared in the Apple+ original "For All Man Kind."

Because "The Black Phone" is an adaptation of a book, and knowing this comes from the mind of Joe Hill, we expect many plot details straight from the original story will be fleshed out on the big screen. However, Universal and Blumhouse have been relatively hush-hush about details of the film, and it only began filming in February 2021. While fans will have to wait and see exactly how "The Black Phone" performs with critics, we're betting a haunting and enthralling film is on its way.