Trailers for the most anticipated Summer 2015 titles, be they Avengers: Age of Ultron or Insidious: Chapter 3, have started to make their way online, but it’s not just May through August of next year that’s packed with enticing offerings for movie buffs. Fall 2015, for example, will bring not just the usual high-art indie films and dramas that become part of the awards season discussion, but also a number of high-profile tentpoles. Which is to say, The Last Witch Hunter – now officially dated to arrive during that frame – has its work cut out for it.
Last Witch Hunter is currently in production and stars Vin Diesel as Kaldur, an immortal warrior who has been battling witches for centuries, before he arrives in modern-day New York City. There, Kaldur finds an unlikely ally in a young sorceress (Game of Thrones alum Rose Leslie), who helps him in his quest to stop the covens of New York from unleashing a terrible plague upon humankind. Supporting cast members include Elijah Wood, Michael Caine, and Ólafur Darri Ólafsson (A Walk Among the Tombstones).
Diesel has been promoting Last Witch Hunter through his popular Facebook page for a while now, having teased that the project is aiming to reach theaters by October of next year. Sure enough, Lionsgate has now officially scheduled the film to arrive on October 23rd, 2015, now that New Line Cinema has shifted The Conjuring 2 back away from that date (so that James Wan can direct the sequel). As it stands, Last Witch Hunter‘s opening weekend competition will include the live-action Jem and the Holograms movie and a currently-untitled horror film.
Directed by Breck Eisner (The Crazies) and scripted by Cory Goodman (Priest), with a rewrite by Oscar-nominee Melisa Wallack (Dallas Buyers Club), Last Witch Hunter looks to fall closer to Diesel’s past B-movie action genre offerings – Riddick being the most recent example – rather than his big-budget franchise installments, a la Fast and the Furious and Guardians of the Galaxy (both of which have new chapters arriving over the next few years).
Of course, as evidenced by the box office turnout for Riddick ($98 million worldwide on a $38 million budget), there’s very much a crowd that’s up for a B-grade action flick – especially when it’s done well – and that bodes well for Last Witch Hunter. Diesel’s fantasy/adventure may provide a nice alternative choice to some of the other films opening in the heat of October next year, such as Guillermo del Toro’s Gothic haunted house throwback Crimson Peak and Steven Spielberg’s currently-shooting Cold War drama/thriller.
The Last Witch Hunter opens in U.S. theaters on October 23rd, 2015.