Darclight Films, the edgy genre-driven label of Arclight Films, announces the acquisition and release of first-look footage of John La Tier’s inspired directorial debut The Tell Tale Heart starring Rose McGowan (Grindhouse, TVs Charmed, Jawbreaker, Scream), Peter Bogdanovich (The Sopranos, Humboldt County, Festival In Cannes, TVs “The Simpsons“) and Patrick John Flueger (Footloose, Brothers, TVs “The 4400“). Based on the classic short story of the same name penned by Edgar Allan Poe, America’s first master of horror over 150 years ago, La Tier, who also co-wrote the script, transplants the gloomy Gothic story into vibrant and enchanting modern day New Orleans. Darclight Films will be sharing never-before-seen footage in Cannes.
“We’re thrilled to present The Tell Tale Heart to buyers for the very first time, and Cannes is the perfect place to do so,” said Clay Epstein, VP of Sales and Acquisitions for Arclight Films, who secured the deal. “It’s one of Edgar Allan Poe’s most well known stories, and only a few others have been translated into as many languages worldwide as The Tell Tale Heart. The combination of the incredibly talented team of cast and crew that have come together to give new life to a truly classic and horrifying tale and a built-in global audience give the film outstanding commercial viability.”
The Tell Tale Heart remains true to the original insofar as the story’s protagonist is tormented by the still-beating heart of the old vulture-eyed man he murdered and buried beneath the floorboards of his residence. The film grows the tale and expands the character’s troubled mindscape to include a hauntingly romantic arc illuminated by McGowan. The filmmakers were adamant about maintaining a fervent connection to the classic and world-renowned tale’s literary roots.
“It’s arguably the seed of the entire genre,” said La Tier, who was compelled to resurrect Poe’s story albeit with a twist. Certainly Poe created a unique and starkly terrifying approach to horror fiction. He placed his readers in the minds of his mad characters and so had a way of leaving his readers feeling insane themselves. “The fear of the characters became the fear of the readers. I wanted to remain true to that while broadening the character’s psyche through the introduction of a female element to hint at the possibility of redemption, something entirely missing in Poe’s sublime version,” stated La Tier.
Moving the location of The Tell Tale Heart to New Orleans was a stroke of inspired creativity. “I think the city is definitely a character,” said McGowan. “If there was going to be a city with a heartbeat under its floorboards, New Orleans is it.”
“The director, John La Tier, did a magnificent job of encapsulating the essence of Poe’s classic story with a modern surprise while capturing the soul of one of the most unique cities in the world,” according to Executive Producer, Joey Tufaro.
The Tell Tale Heart was produced by Daniel Zirilli via Popart Film Factory and Leverage Entertainment.
Darclight Films is handling worldwide sales.