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Scott Derrickson, C. Robert Cargill Tackling New Adaptation of Noir Novel ‘The Night of the Hunter’

Scott Derrickson and C. Robert Cargill, the terrorific team behind horror hits Sinister and The Black Phone, are going noir.

Universal has tapped Derrickson to direct an adaptation of The Night of the Hunter, the acclaimed 1953 crime novel by Davis Grubb that was previously turned into a 1955 thriller starring Robert Mitchum.

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Derrickson will write the script with Cargill, his frequent collaborator who also worked with him on Marvel Studios entry Doctor Strange.

Peter Gethers will produce through his KramMar Delicious Mystery Productions, and Amy Pascal will produce through her Pascal Pictures first-look deal with Universal Pictures.

Hunter told the story of Harry Powell, a murderous ex-con who takes up the identity of a preacher in order to do his misdeeds. While in prison, a cellmate slated for execution tells Powell that he hid stolen cash with his kids. Upon his release, Powell finds the widow, woos her and marries her, all in a bid to find the loot. Things only gets worse for the kids from there.

The 1955 movie is considered a film noir classic and certainly sets a high bar. The movie, directed by Charles Laughton and also starring Shelley Winters and Lillian Gish, was selected for preservation into the United States National Registry in 1992 and has influenced filmmakers ranging from Guillermo del Toro to the Coen brothers.

Derrickson and Cargill are currently working on Black Phone 2, which will reunite stars from the first film, including Ethan Hawke and Mason Thames. The feature has a June 27, 2025, theatrical release date set.

Derrickson is repped by WME, Brillstein Entertainment Partners and Ziffren Brittenham. Cargill is repped by WME and Brillstein. The Davis Grubb Estate is repped by Murray Weiss of Catalyst Literary Management.

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