No one does modern horror movies like James Wan. The filmmaker and producer has left his mark on some of the most successful horror franchises of recent times. Wan is making his return to the genre with the upcoming movie Malignant, featuring Annabelle Wallis in the lead role. In an interview, Wallis praised the scope of the movie, and what Wan has done with the narrative.
“I think we have something very special. I think it’s genre-bending. I think it’s so brave. It’s so original. I just haven’t read anything like it. And you know, again, I’m at a place in my life and my career where it’s time to be brave. It’s time to push.”
Malignant was originally supposed to release on August 14, 2020. But the closing down of theater chains forced the team behind the film to postpone the release date. Little is known so far about the plot for the movie, other than the fact that it is an original thriller that is not based on any existing IP and belongs to the Giallo sub-genre of horror. For Annabelle Wallis, doing Malignant was a way to partner with Wan again after Annabelle, on a project that the filmmaker was truly passionate about.
“James Wan, we worked together on Annabelle, which was the first time I ever came to America. And then, he watched The Loudest Voice, and he said he loved my work. So, he was like, “I wrote this part for you, Annabelle. Let’s collaborate.” I think I’ve found in him such a wonderful collaborator, and I know that we will continue working together for years to come.”
“He’s kind, and he’s so good at what he does. And I think it’s really going to be something that audiences are pretty wowed by because it’s a real passion project for him. So, I’m very excited. Yeah, let’s see! That’s what good art and good cinema is. You kind of throw it out there, and then you don’t know how people are going to react. That’s the exciting thing, you know.”
Since his early days making a mark in Hollywood with the first Conjuring film, Wan has gone on to establish himself as one of the most successful filmmakers the industry has to offer, bringing in billions at the box-office not just in the horror genre, but also action, with 2015’s Furious 7 and 2018’s Aquaman. But all that heady success does not appear to have gone to Wan’s head, as Wallis remembers the filmmaker’s extremely hands-on approach on the sets of Annabelle.
“[James Wan is] so good. He’s so hands-on, holding cameras and moving equipment. He was even fixing my makeup. He was literally my hair girl. He fixed all my hair. So, to see someone at his level, someone who’s had huge success, and to know that in order to survive, you’ve got to go back to your roots. You’ve got to go grassroots, you’ve got to be on your set, and you’ve got to remind yourself why you love it. It’s so cool.”
“It’s so inspiring. And there’s so many aspects of this job that are so wonderful, but you always have to be reminded why you’re doing it and keep saying, “Is it worth it? Is the time away from home worth it? Is the exposure in the world worth it? Do I want to do these long hours? Do I want to do a night shoot?” And if yes, then that’s a wonderful feeling. So, he inspired me to continually ask those questions, and I’m very grateful to him. He’s a wonderful man.”
These quotes originated at The Hollywood Reporter.