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The Limehouse Golem – Exclusive Interview with Writer Jane Goldman

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The Limehouse Golem

In The Limehouse Golem, Victorian London is gripped with fear as a serial killer is on the loose and leaving cryptic messages written in the blood of his victims. With few leads and increasing public pressure, Scotland Yard assigns the case to Inspector Kildare, played by Bill Nighy, a seasoned detective who has a sneaking suspicion that he’s being set up to fail.

Faced with a long list of suspects, Kildare must rely on help from a witness to stop the murders and bring the maniac to justice.

We caught up with the film’s screenwriter, Jane Goldman. You may recognize her name from The Woman in Black, a horror movie also set in Victorian times. Goldman’s a true Gothic and genre fan, and here’s what she had to say about her inspirations for The Limehouse Golem.

Dread Central: How’d you come up with such an elaborate story? And how close is it to the novel?

Jane Goldman: Well, yes – It was adapted from a book that I absolutely fell in love with way before I became a screenwriter. I thought, ‘God I hope someone’s making a movie of this’ because I really wanted to see that movie! At that time it was in development, and there was going to be Terry Gilliam directing it. But it didn’t happen. The rights had become available, and did I want to do it! So that is how the thing happened. But yeah, I love that world, I love that milieu. The public appetite for horror, real-life horror and literary Gothic horror, can all be traced back to the Victorian era. That is always something that’s hugely interesting to me, and the story’s very much driven by that.

DC: We know you’ve already worked in period horror with the film version of The Woman in Black, but did you do some research to prepare for The Limehouse Golem or did you learn anything new? You’ve got the whole backdrop of the black-box theater here.

JG: I already had a lot of material around my house and knew those subjects. And having worked on The Woman in Black, I really enjoyed digging deeper and doing research on the music halls and the kind of people who worked in the music halls. It was the type of entertainment for Londoners that I adore – none of that research felt like work. It’s all stuff I enjoy reading up about. There was also lots in the book; it is fortunate that the author, Peter Ackroyd, is also a brilliant writer of nonfiction history books. I did additional research on the theater stuff, which was fun. Although some of those music hall comedy routines really don’t stand up (laughs).

DC: The characters are so richly drawn; did you know whom you were writing for?

JG: I didn’t know at all. At the beginning of the project it was just me and Stephen, the producer, so no, I didn’t dream of who might be cast in it. I was absolutely thrilled when we landed Bill Nighy. He’s such a lovely man and such a lovely actor. Also the only actor who has ever said to me in rehearsal, “Oh, please tell me if there’s any particular word you want me to emphasize in a sentence…”  I so appreciated the gesture because you sometimes think – oh, I meant it like that, not like that – so, what an incredibly generous and lovely man, and he brought so much to the role himself, he really brought such incredible empathy to detective Kildare and I feel very fortunate to have gotten to work with him. They’re all so wonderful and so much exactly how I had imagined them. Olivia Cooke was absolutely lovely. I felt really fortunate that we got with this cast.

DC: Who have been some of your influences as a writer – not just literary, say, but in film and art as well?

JG: Oh, that’s a good question. I mean, I’m not all horror, but it always has been and always will be my favourite genre. There are absolute horror influences in this movie, but I’m quite aware that it’s not pure horror; it’s more suspense and mystery with horror elements I think. I absolutely grew up watching any horror film I could get my hands on and books. In terms of influence, short horror stories by Daphne Du Maurier like Don’t Look Now were hugely influential when I was growing up. Ira Levin as well, Rosemary’s Baby, when I was growing up, was very influential. Especially the fact that Daphne Du Maurier, feeling that a woman could write horror, definitely influenced me. And also, rather embarrassingly, I as a young person, thought that Ira Levin was a woman as well, because being English I’d never heard of anyone being called Ira! I thought it was a woman’s name (laughs). In terms of movies, there are so many horror movies that I love, I don’t know that any are a direct influence, but certainly a lot of my favourite movies are horror. I will watch any horror movie.

Bill Nighy, Olivia Cooke (“Bates Motel”), and Douglas Booth (Pride and Prejudice and Zombies) star in the flick written by Jane Goldman (Kingsman: The Secret Service, The Woman in Black). Juan Carlos Medina directs.

Look for it in theaters and on VOD and Digital HD on September 8, via RLJ Entertainment.

Synopsis:
The city of London is gripped with fear as a serial killer – dubbed The Limehouse Golem – is on the loose and leaving cryptic messages written in his victims’ blood. With few leads and increasing public pressure, Scotland Yard assigns the case to Inspector Kildare (Bill Nighy) – a seasoned detective with a troubled past and a sneaking suspicion he’s being set up to fail.

Faced with a long list of suspects, including music hall star Dan Leno (Douglas Booth), Kildare must get help from a witness who has legal troubles of her own (Olivia Cooke) so he can stop the murders and bring the killer to justice.

The Limehouse Golem

The Limehouse Golem

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Go Christmas Caroling with The Killing of a Sacred Deer

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Given that I personally have gone Christmas caroling with various lunatics hopped up on eggnog, what the hell… why not go Christmas caroling with The Killing of a Sacred Deer? Dig on this latest clip!

Look for the flick starring Colin Farrell (Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy, In Bruges, 2009) and co-starring Oscar winner Nicole Kidman (Best Actress, The Hours, 2003) to hit Blu-ray, DVD, and digital on January 23rd. Yorgos Lanthimos directs.

Special features include “An Impossible Conundrum” featurette, and the package will be priced at $24.99 and $19.98, respectively.

Synopsis:
Dr. Steven Murphy (Farrell) is a renowned cardiovascular surgeon presiding over a spotless household with his ophthalmologist wife, Anna (Kidman), and their two exemplary children, 12-year-old Bob (Sunny Suljic) and 14-year-old Kim (Raffey Cassidy). Lurking at the margins of Steven’s idyllic suburban existence is Martin (Barry Keoghan), a fatherless teen he has covertly taken under his wing.

As Martin begins insinuating himself into the family’s life in ever-more unsettling displays, the full scope of his intent becomes menacingly clear when he confronts Steven with a long-forgotten transgression that will shatter the Murphy family’s domestic bliss.

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Which Monsters May Be Making Their TV Debut in Junji Ito Collection?

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Studio Deen’s highly-anticipated anime anthology Junji Ito Collection has been building buzz, especially since its new teaser dropped weeks ago. Eagle-eyed fans who are well-acquainted with horror mangaka Junji Ito’s body of work will spot some familiar faces in the new trailer, brought to the small screen by showrunner Shinobu Tagashira.

So, who among Ito’s famous menagerie of monsters may be making an appearance in the show when it airs next year?

Oshikiri Toru

Oshikiri is the morally-questionable highschooler who begins to question his perception of reality in Hallucinations, a series of some loosely connected one-shots. Oshikiri’s a little on the short side, with an even shorter fuse. One thing he’s not short on is moneyas evidenced by his impressive, albeit creepy, mansion. We’ve yet to see which of his adventureswhich range from murder to parallel dimensionswill be his television debut.

Yuuko

The once-chatty Yuuko falls ill and sees her worst fears come to pass in Slug Girl, the famous one-shot whose brand of body horror is sure to feel like a distant cousin (or maybe a predecessor?) to Uzumaki‘s “The Snail” chapter. It offers little in the way of answers but is best enjoyed in all its bizarre glory.

The Intersection Bishounen

In Lovesick Dead, one of Ito’s longer standalone stories, an urban legend causes a rash of suicides when young girls begin to call upon a mysterious, black-clad spirit called the Intersection Bishounen. The custom catches on quickly among teenagers, out late and eager for him to tell them their fortune in life and love, since his advice is to die for. Literally.

Souichi Tsujii

A long-running recurring character in Ito’s manga (probably second only to Tomie herself), you’ll know Souichi by the nails he sucks on or sticks out of his moutha strange habit borne out of an iron deficiency. He’s an impish kid whose fascination with the supernatural makes him the odd man out in an otherwise normal family. The morbid pranks he likes to playfunny only to him—don’t do much to endear him to his peers or relatives, either.

Fuchi

The titular character in Fashion Model, Fuchi works as a professional model for her, shall we say, unique look and Amazonian stature. When she and another actress are hired by a crew of indie filmmakers, Fuchi shows them that she doesn’t like sharing the limelight. She also makes a cameo in a couple of Souichi’s stories, and in them he finds her genuinely attractive. Beauty, after all, is in the eye of the beholder.

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Nemo Rising Signing Happening at Dark Delicacies on December 23

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Author C. Courtney Joyner will be signing copies of his new book Nemo Rising at Burkank’s Dark Delicacies horror store on Saturday, December 23 at 4pm. You can get the full details of the event and directions on Dark Delicacies’ website.

Nemo Rising will be a sequel to Jules Verne’s 1870 masterpiece Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, and will see President Ulysses S. Grant recruiting the notorious Captain Nemo to destroy a gigantic sea monster which has been responsible for sinking ships. The gigantic eight-tentacled mollusc can be seen on the book’s cover below, and it looks like Nemo will have his work cut out for him.

Joyner also worked on the screenplays for the Full Moon films Doctor Mordrid and Puppet Master vs Demonic Toys, whilst his previous books include Hell Comes To Hollywood and the Shotgun series. If you can’t make it to the signing, Nemo Rising will be released in the US on December 26, and in the UK on January 13.

Nemo Rising Dark Delicacies Signing Details:
​Nemo Rising will be released on hardcover from Tor Books on December 26th, 2017.

JUST ANNOUNCED: On December 23rd at 4:00 PM, C. Courtney Joyner will sign copies of NEMO RISING at Dark Delicacies in Burbank, California!

C. COURTNEY JOYNER is an award-winning writer of fiction, comics, and screenplays. He has more than 25 movies to his credit, including the cult films Prison, starring Viggo Mortensen; From a Whisper to a Scream, starring Vincent Price; and Class of 1999, directed by Mark Lester. A graduate of USC, Joyner’s first produced screenplay was The Offspring, which also starred Vincent Price. Joyner’s other scripts have included TV movies for CBS, USA, and Showtime. He is the author of The Shotgun western series and Nemo Rising.

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