Blumhouse has hired its first female director for Hulu's Into the Dark series. The production company behind films like Get Out, the Purge franchise, and this year's Halloween has hired director Sophia Takal to helm an all-female horror project titled New Year New You.
New Year New You will be the fourth episode in the horror anthology series from Blumhouse airing exclusively on Hulu. Into the Dark has been recognized as Hulu's version of Black Mirror, the sci-fi anthology series on Netflix. Airing only one episode a month, Into the Dark focuses on a different theme or holiday each episode, premiering just in time for Halloween with The Body, and it has been regarded as a blend between dark comedy and horror. Now, Takal's involvement will mark the very first time Blumhouse has hired a female director for one of its projects.
IndieWire has learned that Sophia Takal will be directing the next episode of the Hulu series just two months after Blumhouse founder and CEO Jason Blum received backlash for his comments on female directors - namely how he believes that there aren't many women who direct horror films. That said, Takal was brought on for the project before Blumhouse had received said criticism. New Year New You will have an 85-minute runtime, similar to the feature-length runtime of Into the Dark's previous two entries, and this will mark Takal's third role as a director on a feature-length film, as she previously worked on 2011's Green and 2016's Always Shine. And, as for her time on directing New Year New You, she said, "This was my first time working as a director-for-hire. I was nervous I wouldn’t be able to bring myself to the project, but they trusted me.”
New Year New You tells the story of old high school friends reuniting on New Years Eve, during which time they confront previous traumas. The all-female cast includes Suki Waterhouse (The Bad Batch), Melissa Bergland (Winners & Losers), Kirby Howell-Baptiste (Killing Eve), and Carly Chaikin (Mr. Robot). Takal described the episode as a "satirical take down of the loathsome internet culture of today."
Hiring its first female director is a major step forward for Blumhouse, and it has the potential to open the door for several other aspiring directors that have hoped to work with the production company. Blum previously pointed out in his apology regarding his comment about female directors that he "will do better," addressing the fact 50 percent of Blumhouse's audience is female and that he has not done enough to hire more women in the past. This is hopefully the start of a more inclusive future for Blumhouse.
New Year New You will be released on December 28, 2018 on Hulu.