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M Night Shyamalan's The Village - Preview



Preview by: Jack Foley

HAVING impressed M Night Shyamalan in Signs, Joaquin Phoenix has now been rewarded with a prominent role in the writer-director’s next movie, The Village.

The creepy movie is already one of the hottest prospects of 2004 and co-stars the likes of Sigourney Weaver, William Hurt and Adrien Brody.

Set in the late 19th Century, the film will apparently tell the story of a rural community, in Covington, Pennsylvania, in 1897, whose surrounding woods are home to a 'mythical race of creatures'. It also contains a period element and is described by Shyamalan, himself, as ‘a lot more romantic than my other films’.

The talented director has made a name for himself for creating intelligent, and highly spooky, films, following Signs, Unbreakable, and, of course, The Sixth Sense.

But judging from the teaser trailer, which has recently been released, The Village could well be his creepiest effort yet. Said trailer features mostly monologue snippets from William Hurt’s character, played over spooky imagery of the village and the woods that surround it.

Hurt will star as the town’s leader, whose daughter, Kitty (played by Bryce Dallas Howard), begins a relationship with Phoenix’s character, Lucius, at the time the events take place.

Filming took place in Shyamalan's home town of Philadelphia, in October last year, for Disney movies, and is already being backed by the distributor as one of its big new releases.

A spokeswoman for the company, Nina Jacobson, said there was little hesitation in accepting Shyamalan’s latest project, given the box office pedigree of his previous efforts, and the critical acclaim which comes with it.

"I'd say the time lapse between us reading the script and green-lighting the movie was 45 seconds," she joked.

Shyamalan, too, remains confident of the potential of his latest, and his cast are almost all first choices.

Phoenix, in particular, has been hailed by the director as ‘the leader of the pack from his generation of actors’.

The movie is scheduled for a July release in the States and should follow in UK cinemas on August 20.

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