In films like Fast and the Furious and Chronicles of Riddick Vin Diesel plays the anti-hero – a character on the wrong side of “authority” who is constantly being hunted. For his newest project, The Last Witch Hunter, the Fast Five star will be, as the title suggests, doing the hunting himself.
At the moment Vin Diesel is only “in talks” for The Last Witch Hunter, which is currently in the early stages of production at Lionsgate-Summit. At one point the film was to be directed by Timur Bekmambetov (Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter), but he has since been replaced with Breck Eisner (The Crazies).
Eisner, and potentially Diesel, will be working off a script from Cory Goodman, who dealt in a similar genre with his script for Priest. Even though it might tread similar territory, Goodman’s script for The Last Witch Hunter was counted among the Blacklist scripts for 2010, meaning it was one of the “hottest” screenplays not currently attached to a studio.
The Last Witch Hunter follows a (what else) witch hunter who must stop (you guessed it) a witch uprising in modern day Manhattan. Part of that uprising involves the procreation of witches, which suggests warlocks might be involved in some capacity as well. Unfortunately, there isn’t any more information on the film’s story beyond that.
Before audiences can even wrap their mind around the film’s story, though, Diesel needs to officially sign on. Right now Diesel is in production on Fast and Furious 6 with Dwayne Johnson, but before that he has the Chronicles of Riddick sequel, appropriately titled Riddick, set to release as early as January. Fitting The Last Witch Hunter into the busy action star’s schedule, if at all, might require moving a few upcoming projects around.
The decision to jumpstart The Last Witch Hunter could be seen as a reaction to the forthcoming film Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters. The first trailer for that 2013 film was released early last week, and it didn’t go over as well as many had hoped.
The Last Witch Hunter could be marketed as a witch-hunting film done right, or its current forward progress could be part of a “now or never” situation. If audiences are in that particular genre mindset, it might be best for Summit to get started on the film now, lest they lose its appeal. Let’s just hope next year doesn’t have the same problem with witch-hunting films as this year had with Snow White films - i.e., having multiple films that draw from the same creative well, to mediocre results all around.
Hansel and Gretel is set to release early next year, though, so it’s unlikely The Last Witch Hunter will release in close proximity. Instead Summit could use the success (or failure) of Hansel and Gretel as a gauge for how audiences might respond to their film.
We’ll keep you posted on more The Last Witch Hunter news as it develops.
Source: The Wrap