Universal Pushes Back ‘The Black Phone’ to Summer 2022

Horror film was previously scheduled to be released on Feb. 4, 2022

the black phone Ethan Hawke
Universal Pictures

Universal Pictures has pushed back the release date of Blumhouse Productions film “The Black Phone” to June 24, 2022, the studio said Thursday.

The horror film from “Doctor Strange” director Scott Derrickson was previously scheduled to be released on Feb. 4, 2022.

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.”

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” 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.