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Daniel Myrick talks Savant

DanielMyrick.jpgThe director of the infamous The Blair Witch Project, which I think is still a very strong and clever film, has been talking about his next project Savant, and while he doesn't give too much away, the premise really caught my attention and is a really interesting story idea.

Daniel Myrick, the co-director of The Blair Witch Project, reveals that he's been writing the script for some years and considers this a “pet project”, and that while it's taken this long and could be the biggest film he's done to date, it is going to get started this year.

Let's just leap straight into what Myrick said about his idea for Savant:

“Savant is about this guy named Jeremiah Stark who is incarcerated in this special facility...He has this special ability to get inside people's heads and influence their behavior, thus turning the people into mass murderers, [by] doing nothing more than having a regular conversation.”

He revealed the plot outline over at SciFi Wire, and then he goes on a little more to talk about how the story is told:

“You'll meet this guy, have a beer with him, or whatever; a month later, you'll wake up and take everybody out at the car dealership where you bought your car. He has this really uncanny power to do this, and these two people—this agent and this hostage negotiator—[are] trying to find out who this guy has spoken with in the past.”

Now while I'm not bowled over by how the story will play out, the idea sounds superb. It's like isolating one of the Heroes and really analysing his story in the real world. Actually the more I think about the story path the more excited I get by it as well, perhaps the Savant has used his powers on the hostage taker to get him where he is today and the negotiator is trying to piece together what he's saying, all the while believing him more and more, or maybe the negotiator has been manoeuvred by the Savant too?

Who knows, for now that's all Daniel Myrick is saying about the project, but it really is an interesting one that's for sure.

Of course I would guess that this film pins on how successful his current film The Objective does, and it's already getting a limited release in cinemas across the U.S., which is better than his previous direct to DVD films. It tells the story of soldiers in Afghanistan who come across a strange evil in the middle of the remote desert, you can see a trailer below:

Interesting, but I feel that it's all very safe territory for the director, returning again to an unseen, paranormal force that kills people without us seeing it. Perhaps Savant will have something more to offer.



A really cool film for a late night shiver, the basic idea of a killer who does not have to be near his victims was handled exceptionally well in PSYCHIC KILLER (1975) starring Paul Burke, Jim Hutton and Julie Adams (directed by Ray Danton) over 30 years ago.

A very creative plot concerns a mental patient, Arnold Masters, hospitalized for a murder that he didn't commit, learns from a fellow cellmate the art of “astral projection”—the black magic of voodoo given to him by an Afro-Caribbean inmate—which causes Arnold to leave his physical being by transporting his soul someplace else. Upon his release, Arnold uses this newfound power to bump off the people he holds responsible for his arrest (and his mother's death while inside). One by one the victims are killed and the police are clueless as to who is doing the killing, until the missing pieces fall into place. With two cops on the case while his caring shrink tries to prevent any more murders, the “PSYCHIC KILLER” exemplifies inexpensive filmmaking well done, given a competent director, a solid story inside a decent script, a professional cast and a great amount of effort.

Now, here it is 30 years later and talk of “Savant”. Well, a cool idea is always a durable framework.

Well it certainly sounds similar, but it also sounds like a great many other films too, and vice versa.

Richard Burton in 1978's The Medusa Touch could have been said to be a copy too, Heroes and Push could be connected.

Where does true originality begin? Are these reusing the same ideas or doing something different?


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