Exclusive: J.K. Simmons Talks Conspiracy Theorists and More for Dark Skies - Dread Central
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Exclusive: J.K. Simmons Talks Conspiracy Theorists and More for Dark Skies



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Exclusive: J.K. Simmons Talks Conspiracy Theorists and More for Dark SkiesThis Friday Scott Stewart’s creepy thriller Dark Skies lands in theaters everywhere, and to get you conspiracy theorists out there ready, Dread Central recently caught up with veteran character actor J. K. Simmons, who portrays Edwin Pollard, an expert on mysterious forces.

During our chat with Simmons (“Oz,” the original Spider-Man trilogy), we heard about what attracted him to the project as well as more on grounding his approach to a character that’s often regarded in horror movies as the ‘crackpot conspiracy theorist’ and what the versatile actor looks for to keep things interesting for him as a performer.

Check out the highlights from our exclusive interview with Simmons below, and look for Dark Skies in theaters this weekend!

Dread Central: What was it about this character in Dark Skies that appealed to you? You don’t get a whole lot of screen time, but it’s certainly enough to make quite an impact.

J.K. Simmons: It was just that; the character is only on the screen for a very brief amount of time, but he leaves such an impact because of how he relates to this poor family who comes to him for help. Edwin was complex and odd and was really the guy who was there to give Keri (Russell) and Josh (Hamilton) the nuts and bolts of how to deal with their situation because it was something he has been living with for some time.

What I also liked about the project was that at the heart of this story, Dark Skies is a family drama; you see this young family struggling with a lot of the same stuff everyone out there is suffering with – losing their homes, barely making ends meet – so I think it was the balance of that stuff and the otherworldly stuff going on in the story that I really enjoyed.

Dread Central: Usually when we encounter a character like Edwin in a horror or sci-fi movie, he ends up being the crazy conspiracy guy that no one ever really takes seriously, but there was something different about this role- maybe it was your approach or maybe it was the story. But I enjoyed that he wasn’t just a caricature all the same.

J.K. Simmons: You know, a few things helped; the way Scott (Stewart) structured the script was hugely important to making this character relatable and realistic because we meet him so far into the story, you can’t help believe him after you’ve seen the things that this family has been through. You don’t dismiss his theories because they’re more than that. Edwin also had this sense of resignation to him- he gave up fighting these forces long ago so he just lives in his tiny apartment with all his cats and does his best to live with it. He’s not a guy who has a solution- only answers.

Dread Central: Considering you’ve worked in pretty much every genre in both television and in film for almost 20 years now, what keeps you interested as an actor when you’re looking at new projects?

J.K. Simmons: Something that I have always done is just always be looking for something different. After I did “Oz,” which was my first real breakout role, I was getting offered tons of offers to play Nazi character because of my work as Schillinger; I didn’t want to be that guy for the rest of my career though so I turned all those down and just kept looking for different things, and eventually they came my way.

The other thing that I’m always looking for is good writing and a good character that I feel like I can connect to in some way. That’s why I enjoyed this character so much; you think you know just who he is going to be when you meet him, and it’s not that way at all. Scott does a great job of taking all those expectations you go into when you’re watching a movie like Dark Skies and then completely throws you off by twisting them in really clever ways. You don’t get that often enough in horror movies.

Josh Hamilton, Keri Russell, and Dakota Goyo also star. The film, directed by Scott Stewart, is more modest-budget scare fare from Insidious and Paranormal Activity producers Blumhouse Productions and Alliance Films.

Dark Skies is a psychological thriller about a suburban couple whose lives become a nightmare when a terrifying alien presence enters their home each night to prey upon their children. Increasingly isolated from skeptical friends and neighbors, the couple are forced to take matters into their own hands to save their family.

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Paramount’s Dating App Thriller Snags The Boy Next Door Screenwriter



Are dating apps scary? Paramount sure hopes that’s the case as they have just hired screenwriter Barbara Curry (Blumhouse’s The Boy Next Door) to pen the upcoming “dramatic investigative thriller” Gasp.

Hiring Curry for this film makes a ton of sense being that before Curry was the screenwriter behind “dramatic investigative thrillers” she worked as a prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney’s office for ten years. Qualifications galore.

Deadline reports that Gasp is centered around a female detective investigating a killer who is targeting women via a dating app. Nice. Not only is that a super-timely and creepy plot for a flick, but the film is supposedly based on several true stories.

Heaven help us. I knew it. Stay away from those. Male or female. Nope. Nope. Nope.

Now while I’ve never had a bad experience (re: stalker) from a dating app that makes sense considering I never use them. Ever. I prefer the old-school method of sitting in my room alone typing horror news articles and letting the ladies come to me.

12% of the time, it works every time.

The film is based on a pitch by Mario Celaya and produced by Jennifer Gibgot and Adam Shankman. Jessica Sharzer (“American Horror Story”) is co-producing.

We’ll let you know when we hear more!


A female detective goes undercover online to catch a killer who is murdering women he meets on a specific popular app. But when she starts to fall for one of the suspects who has been cleared, she discovers he may, in fact, be the killer.

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Alien: Covenant’s Carmen Ejogo Joins True Detective Season 3



“From the dusty mesa her looming shadow grows…”

The first season of HBO’s “True Detective” was one of the best seasons ever put on a TV screen. Hands down. The second season was another story altogether. While not a complete waste of time (Colin Farrell owed) the season was basically merely ‘meh’.

But what about “True Detective” season 3?

Well, a few months back it was announced that the third season had been greenlit by HBO, with creator Nic Pizzolatto returning to pen the series and director Jeremy Saulnier (Green Room) taking the helm of the episodes.

Today we have news that Carmen Ejogo – who you may recognize Ejogo from such recent fright flicks as It Comes at Night, Alien: Covenant, and The Purge: Anarchy – will be joining the previously announced Mahershala Ali (Moonlight) for Season 3.

Ejogo will play the female lead, Amelia Reardon, who THR describes as “an Arkansas schoolteacher with a connection to two missing children in 1980.”

Nice Pizzolatto will serve as showrunner and direct alongside Jeremy Saulnier. Executive producers include Pizzolatto, Saulnier, Scott Stephens and season one stars Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey as well as original director Cary Joji Fukunaga. Steve Golin, Bard Dorros and Richard Brown are also credited as exec producers.


A macabre crime in the heart of the Ozarks and a mystery that deepens over decades and plays out in three separate time periods.

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Danielle Harris Tried to Get Jamie Lloyd into New Halloween Movie



One of the top films all of us are looking forward to the most here at Dread Central is Blumhouse’s upcoming sequel/reboot thing to John Carpenter’s Halloween.

The new Halloween (2018) film is written by Danny McBride and David Gordon Green and is all set to be directed by Green this year. Recently we learned that original Halloween star Jamie Lee Curtis was going to be returning to the new film.

Not only that, but Curtis’ classic character Laurie Strode would have a daughter… played by Judy Greer. But what about Danielle Harris?

After all, Harris was the star of Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers and Halloween 5: The Curse of Michael Myers. Let alone, she had a starring role in both Rob Zombie’s remake and it’s sequel. So how about the new film?

Turns out Harris tried to get her character Jamie Llyod (aka the daughter of Jamie Lee Curtis’ Laurie Strode) from Halloween 4 and 5 into the new film… but she was turned down by Blumhouse and the new creative team. That sucks.

Harris was pretty bummed about the whole deal and took to Facebook recently to clear the air. You can check out quotes from her video, along with the video itself, below.

After that make sure to hit us up and let us know how much you would have liked to see Harris return to Halloween in the comments below or on social media!

“What I am bummed about is… [Laurie] has a daughter,” Harris says. “I was okay with it when she had a son… but they’re saying it’s the last one and… she has a daughter. And it’s not Jamie. It’s just kind of a bummer, I guess. I think somebody had said, it wouldn’t have hurt the movie to have Jamie reunited with [Laurie]. But that didn’t happen.”

“We did put in a call, thought it’d be kinda cool even just to have a little flashback…” She continues. “They were not interested. So. I tried.”

Blumhouse’s Halloween hits theaters October 19, 2018.

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Posted by Danielle Harris on Monday, November 6, 2017

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