EXCL: Producer Talks Asphyx Remake


Finding the right man for the update

As far as remakes go, 1972’s The Asphyx is a curious choice. Yet, writer-director Matthew McGuchan is going to take a crack at it for Black & Blue Films in 2010.

“I’ve had my eye on it for a while,” says producer Jonathan Sothcott, whose currently overseeing Dead Cert‘s production in London. “There were a load of films made in the ’70s that had really, really interesting concepts, but the filmmaking limitations of the time, and the budget and all kinds of things, stopped them being what they could be. The idea of scientists trying to isolate the spirit as it leaves the body I think is fantastic.”

Directed by Peter Newbrook, The Asphyx (the only film he directed in his career) concerned about a scientist whose experimentation with the “asphyx,” or spirit of death, grants him immortality. Further research only brings death to those he loves.

“I went to see a short film by a guy named Matthew McGuchan, last year,” explains Sothcott. “I said to him afterwards, ‘You nicked it off The Asphyx, didn’t you?,’ and he said, ‘Yeah, pretty much, it was the big influence on it. I’d love to remake it.’ So there was a seed that went in, and it’s taken a year of negotiations, and tracking things down to find, and now he’s going to write and direct that in June.”

That’s a long ways off, but that’s because Sothcott has another lined up after Dead Cert. “We’re now in the stage with Devil’s Playground, that starts in the next couple of weeks. We’re making million pound films now. The Asphyx will be a million pound film. When you don’t have a massive, Hollywood, Tom Cruise-type star in them, there’s not much you can’t do for that kind of money. The idea is that we make films that make their money back in this country, and wherever they sell in the rest of the world, it’s just profit.”

Source: Ryan Rotten, Ben Mortimer