David Hackl, Reher Talk Butcher Bride Adaptation


Portrait of a descent into madness

Yesterday brought us the announcement that Saw production designer and contributing director David Hackl was aligning himself with an adaptation of Vince Churchill’s “The Butcher Bride.” Screenwriter Jack Reher adapted this tale, a good ol’ campfire story of sorts about a young woman, scarred from a Halloween costume ball attack, who becomes a killer of legend (read a full synopsis here).

Reher tells us about his first experience reading Chuchill’s novel. “I’ve never read anything like it. Not since Silence of the Lambs when I was thirteen years old. The last few pages, I found myself saying, ‘No f**king way…no f**king way!’ I was floored at how dark and terrifying the novel was.”

The screenwriter immediately set out to option the story. “The allure was the antagonist, Marlie Downing,” he says. “The first act is set up for us to love this girl and then witness her downward spiral into madness. Her transformation into the Butcher Bride is horrifying. It’s structured in the same vein of Psycho and takes readers on a journey like no other. I had to sanitize earlier drafts before David Hackl came aboard as director. It was him convincing me that we could go back to the terrifying themes and do it without getting slammed with an NC-17 rating. This isn’t torture porn. It’s a complex story that hasn’t been done in a long, long time. It should set a new trend in the tired supernatural genre.”

Hackl, cleaning his hands of the Saw 7 3D debacle (in which he was let go to make way for director Kevin Greutert), says he had to move fast on the script in fear that someone else was going to snatch it up.

“I couldn’t let that happen,” Hackl says. “I immediately called my agent David Saunders at APA and told him that I had to be a part of this. David put Jack and I together and we immediately set to work. Jack had beautifully to captured the raw sensuality, the sexiness and the deeply disturbing evil tone of Vince Churchill’s novel. It was very important to me that we keep the dark beauty of this story in tact. From being in the horror business, I am so seldom actually scared by a story. This is an insane paranormal, thriller that just keeps getting better and better right to the finish. A great script has to paint pictures in my head and my head is exploding with the vivid imagery of this story. From the raucous, sexy Halloween party to the Butcher Brides bloody reign of terror in the Silas Mansion, we hope to shoot the movie in 3D for a more terrifying experience.”

Since he spent much time researching the 3D realm for Saw, he plans on putting that knowledge to good use. “I hope to achieve the feeling of 3D immersion that I wanted to create on Saw 7. The visual richness of The Butcher Bride is perfect for 3D. It won’t be the gimmicky in your face shit – although there may be some – but rather the feeling that you are right there in the vast, haunted Silas Mansion where you can almost touch that spot on the wall where the scratch marks are still caked with dried blood.”

Hackl and Reher have been tidying up the script and are going to take the next step in finding it a home. Stay tuned for more as it comes in!

Source: Ryan Rotten, Managing Editor