Universal Pictures has released an unsettling debut trailer for director Scott Derrickson’s new horror film “The Black Phone.”
Based on a short story by author Joe Hill, “The Black Phone” follows a shy 13-year-old boy who is abducted by a sadistic killer (played by Ethan Hawke) and thrown into a soundproof basement where a broken phone hangs on the wall. But when the phone starts ringing, the boy begins communicating with the killer’s other victims, who help him try and escape.
In addition to directing “The Black Phone,” Derrickson produced the film and co-wrote the screenplay with C. Robert Cargill, his co-writer on “Sinister” and “Doctor Strange.” Indeed, while Derrickson made a name for himself by directing horror movies like “The Exorcism of Emily Rose” and “Deliver Us From Evil,” he made the jump to Marvel to kickstart a new franchise with 2016’s “Doctor Strange.”
Derrickson was originally set to return to direct “Doctor Strange 2,” but ended up leaving the project over creative differences with Marvel. Sam Raimi signed on in his stead, while Derrickson moved quickly to returning to his horror roots with “The Black Phone.”
Speaking of Marvel, Hawke was in the running to lead “Doctor Strange” at one point, and is currently filming a co-starring role with Oscar Isaac in Marvel’s upcoming Disney+ series “Moon Knight,” in which he’s rumored to play the show’s villain.
“The Black Phone” opens in theaters on February 4. The film is produced by Derrickson & Cargill’s Crooked Highway and presented by Universal and Blumhouse. Jason Blum, Scott Derrickson and C. Robert Cargill are producers on the film, which is executive produced by Ryan Turek and Christopher H. Warner.