Doctor Strange director Scott Derrickson reveals the first poster for Universal Pictures and Blumhouse horror movie The Black Phone. Directed by Derrickson from his adapted screenplay co-written by Doctor Strange scribe C. Robert Cargill, The Black Phone reunites Derrickson with his Sinister star Ethan Hawke in an adaptation of the 2004 short story by author Joe Hill (NOS4A2, Locke & Key). "Never talk to strangers," warns the poster for the horror-thriller from producer Jason Blum (The Forever Purge, Halloween Kills) that features Hawke (The Purge, Marvel's Moon Knight) as a costumed creep who kidnaps young victim Finney Shaw (For All Mankind's Mason Thames).
When Finney finds himself locked in a soundproof basement with the remains of the killer's past victims, he answers calls from the dead when an antique — and disconnected — telephone rings.
The Black Phone "is definitely one of the creepiest movies we've ever done. Scott thinks it is his best movie," Blum previously told Collider of the new movie reuniting him with his Sinister director. "I'm such a fan of Scott's…I really like all of his movies. I loved Sinister, but I will certainly say [Black Phone] is one of his best movies. Maybe the best movie he has ever made."
The Black Phone marks Derrickson's return to horror after helming 2014's Deliver Us From Evil and co-writing 2015's Sinister 2 with Cargill. Citing "creative differences," Derrickson and Cargill exited Marvel sequel Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness and re-teamed to answer the call for The Black Phone.
"It was creative differences. [Derrickson] wanted to do one movie, and Marvel wanted to do another movie. So he sat there and said, 'Well sh-t, I've got this great script that I wrote with Cargill, and I'm really proud of,'" Cargill told CinemaBlend. "We were actually going to go out to other directors for The Black Phone, and Scott was like, he called me up and said, 'Dude, I have to make this movie. It's gotta be my movie, I have to do this. Do you mind waiting until after I'm done with [Doctor Strange 2]?'"
"He really wanted to bring me onto Strange as well. But in the event that it didn't happen, he was like, 'Do you mind waiting?'" continued Cargill. "And I was like, 'You know what, if you feel this passionately about it, no. I'll wait a couple years to make this movie.'"
The official description for Hill's short story that inspires The Black Phone is below.
Jack Finney is thirteen, alone, and in desperate trouble. For two years now, someone has been stalking the boys of Galesberg, stealing them away, never to be seen again. And now, Finney finds himself in danger of joining them: locked in a psychopath's basement, a place stained with the blood of half a dozen murdered children.
With him in his subterranean cell is an antique phone, long since disconnected . . . but it rings at night anyway, with calls from the killer's previous victims. And they are dead set on making sure that what happened to them doesn't happen to Finney.
Co-starring James Ransone (IT: Chapter Two) and Jeremy Davies (Lost), Universal and Blumhouse open The Black Phone in theaters on January 28, 2022.