"The visitors, the image of the Grays have been ruined by pop culture," balks Todd Lincoln. "Every day they're on t-shirts, skateboard decks and mudflaps."
He hopes to turn that all around when he directs and produces The Nye Incidents, a feature film adaptation of Devil's Due Publishing, Whitley Strieber ("The Hunger," "Wolfen") and Craig Spector's graphic novel that was set up last month at Dark Castle and Warner Bros.' horror outfit which produced House on Haunted Hill, Gothika and House of Wax. Lincoln, who has been attached to another Devil's Due property Hack/Slash, claimed dibs on the "Nye" film rights the minute Devil's Due founder Josh Blaylock introduced him to the property at Comic-Con.
"I was immediately terrified and hooked," Lincoln tells ShockTillYouDrop.com. "I told [Josh] we should make this into a movie." At the time, the story - cooked up by Strieber, apparently too terrified to tell it himself so splatterpunk vet Spector was brought on board - was not entirely finished. Still, Lincoln optioned the property bringing in Dan Alter (Hitman) to co-produce. Dark Castle's Andrew Rona and Alex Heineman were subsequently pitched the story; they'll be producing as well alongside Joel Silver. "They immediately loved the material and dug the fact that it was based on true events. This woman had actually come to Whitley and these things had happened to her. Some other people had also come to him and he wove together certain incidences into a story."
The Nye Incidents focuses on Lynn Devlin, a medical examiner faced with the discovery of mutilated bodies on the rooftops of buildings around her county. "The bodies have these precise surgical incisions in them and all of the internal organs are missing," explains Lincoln, "the bones are completely crushed in the body which are filled with salt water from the ocean. This town is nowhere near the ocean. What all of these bodies have in common is these were people who were somehow in the alien abductee community. The core concept is someone or something is killing off these alien abductees. We don't know if it's a serial killer making it look like aliens did it or if it's the real thing."
Not quite so unusual ground for Whitley Strieber to tread upon. When it comes to "visitors," "Grays," or if you just want to call them "aliens," he's the go-to guy, an author who scribbled down his own alien abduction experiences in the non-fiction novel "Communion." (That book went on to become a film starring Christopher Walken.) He later went on to pen "Majestic," "The Communion Letters" and "The Grays." Since The Nye Incidents' film announcement, Lincoln's been in direct contact with Strieber.
"Whitley doesn't call aliens 'aliens' he calls them 'visitors' which I think sounds much scarier," says Lincoln. "With this subject, we want to get away from the go-to rural locations or outer space and really capture the terror of what a close encounter or abduction or mutilation would be like. The moment in Signs that everyone talks about is that home video footage of the birthday party and the alien quickly moves past the window. I want to do a whole movie that feels like that moment."
Lincoln continues that he's trying to eschew the archetypal CSI or X-Files formula audiences have grown accustomed to seeing with investigative thrillers. In fact, only the core concept of the "Nye" graphic novel is going to be used in the adaptation. "We're going to make it more about Lynn Devlin and steer clear of the larger conspiracy, cover-ups and the FBI and make it more about this individual who starts to see certain things and experience certain things. Capture how terrifying that would be. It's more about personal invasion and home invasion."
"This is going to be an entirely different take on these visitors," he adds. "Like how Jacob's Ladder had a nightmarish, different take on demons. The less we see, the less we know, the less explained, the better. The idea is to let the audience project their own worst fears onto this stuff. Growing up, I watched Communion and Fire in the Sky and I think the whole reason I'm so excited about this project is that I feel that we have the go to iconic horror movies for vampires, werewolves, slashers and zombies. I just feel like we don't have the go-to horror movie for these visitors. We're not treating this like sci-fi. We're taking this seriously. We're treating this like it's really happening and could happen to you."
Lincoln is also currently attached to another Dark Castle pic, The Apparition, which will throw him into another realm of horror, the supernatural. Expect to read more about Lincoln and his future endeavors here at ShockTillYouDrop.com soon!
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