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First Details, Concept Art: William Friedkin’s Return to Horror, “BIRTH OF A BAT”

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THE EXORCIST: the name alone will incite goosebumps from horror hounds of any age. With THE EXORCIST defined as one of, if not the, scariest movies of all time, William Friedkin has long since injected his films with a mean streak and some unsettling suspense, but the director has never quite returned to the visceral terror defined in THE EXORCIST. Yet now, Friedkin is poised to bring his talents to terror once more, with FANGORIA learning of the first details for his next film, BIRTH OF A BAT.

The film, which is touted to be a mix of both domestic horror and creature feature, will be shopping for international distribution at the upcoming Cannes film market, where the 79-year-old Friedkin’s proof-of-concept short will be screening. BIRTH OF A BAT will follow a newlywed couple in upstate New York, who soon are saddled with a troubled and deformed young boy, whom the wife had given up for adoption 7 years prior and has tracked her down since. The film comes from an original script from Friedkin and KILLER JOE writer Tracy Letts from a story by Dick Kulpa.

“After having seen THE BABADOOK, William Friedkin has decided to return to horror in a big way, and I’m excited to help bring his twisted vision to life,” says Producer Reynard Fox. “Will BIRTH OF A BAT be as scary as THE EXORCIST? No. It’ll be scarier.”

While there is no scheduled production dates, Fox has stated that filming will hopefully begin later this summer for a spring 2016 release. And while the film will certainly be horror, with Friedkin is insisting on using only practical SFX to bring the more gruesome moments to life, Fox insists that the film will be a “mature affair,” with familiar subject matter that has been “covered in the news weekly and throughout the world.”

“Digital SFX is stunning, especially with what it can achieve on a grand scale, but there’s something terrifying about what the eye can actually perceive,” added Fox. “While Regan is burnt onto the eyes of generations of horror fans, the boy from BIRTH OF A BAT will be equally as unforgettable.”

And to prove they’re not fooling around, Fox has provided FANGORIA with the first concept art for the film below, but be warned, it’s most definitely NSFW…

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About the author
Ken W. Hanley
Ken W. Hanley is the Managing Web Editor for FANGORIA and STARLOG, as well as the former Web Editor for Diabolique Magazine and a contributing writer to YouWonCannes.com. He’s a graduate from Montclair State University, where he received an award for Excellence in Screenwriting. He’s currently working on screenplays, his debut novel "THE I IN EVIL", and various other projects, and can be followed on Twitter: @movieguyiguess.
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