Vin Diesel is certainly no stranger to Comic-Con International in San Diego; back in 2013, he not only showed up at that year’s ‘Con to promote Riddick, but also teased a Marvel Studios film announcement (which turned out to be the news that he would be providing the voice for Groot in Guardians of the Galaxy). Surprisingly, though, he wasn’t at SDCC 2015, in order to promote his upcoming supernatural action/adventure, The Last Witch Hunter.
Diesel stars in Last Witch Hunter as Kaulder, the member of a secret order (known as The Axe & Cross) who has spent 800 years hunting “the most horrifying witches in history” (as the official synopsis puts it), by the time we catch up with him, looking fairly normal in the present-day. Kaulder thereafter winds up forming an alliance with a good-natured sorceress (Game of Thrones alum Rose Leslie), in order to battle a new supernatural threat to the world.
It was reported that Last Witch Hunter would be part of Lionsgate’s SDCC 2015 panel, but ultimately the studio decided to devote its Hall H time solely to the upcoming The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2, instead. Nonetheless, Lionsgate has unveiled two fresh posters for the movie featuring Diesel as Kaulder – at very different points in his prolonged existence – to coincide with SDCC 2015. The studio has also launched a tie-in site for the film with AxeAndCross.com, which examines “the mythic history of the organization, spanning Kaulder’s 800 years of hunting witches.”
Check out those Last Witch Hunter one-sheets, below:
Here is the official synopsis for Last Witch Hunter:
The modern world holds many secrets, but the most astounding secret of all is that witches still live amongst us; vicious supernatural creatures intent on unleashing the Black Death upon the world. Armies of witch hunters battled the unnatural enemy across the globe for centuries, including KAULDER, a valiant warrior who managed to slay the all-powerful QUEEN WITCH, decimating her followers in the process. In the moments right before her death, the QUEEN curses KAULDER with her own immortality, forever separating him from his beloved wife and daughter in the afterlife. Today KAULDER is the only one of his kind remaining, and has spent centuries hunting down rogue witches, all the while yearning for his long-lost loved ones. However, unbeknownst to KAULDER, the QUEEN WITCH is resurrected and seeks revenge on her killer causing an epic battle that will determine the survival of the human race.
Written by Cory Goodman (Priest) – along with the duo of Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless (Dracula Untold) – and directed by Breck Eisner (The Crazies), it sounds like Last Witch Hunter will resemble a traditional superhero origin story – albeit, for Diesel as Kaulder. Diesel has already been asked to keep his future schedule relatively open so that in the event that Last Witch Hunter is a commercial success, a sequel can thereafter build on the foundation laid by its predecessor (and be made without a long delay between installments).
Sazama and Sharpless did a passable job helping to transform Dracula into a dark superhero (in essence) with Dracula Untold, while Eisner is a director who’s long seemed to be on the cusp of breaking out – and, of course, Last Witch Hunter will benefit from having the box office draw – and screen presence – of Diesel, playing the lead. We’ll find out soon enough if the film has what it takes (re: commercial power) to give rise to an actual franchise, but at the least it could be a decent one-off genre movie.
The Last Witch Hunter opens in U.S. theaters on October 23rd, 2015.