Celine Dion to perform original song for Disney’s ‘Beauty and the Beast’

Five-time GRAMMY® winning and best-selling recording artist Celine Dion will perform an all-new original song, “How Does A Moment Last Forever,” for Disney’s live-action “Beauty and the Beast.” The song will also be included on the film’s soundtrack.

Written by eight-time Oscar®-winning composer Alan Menken (“The Little Mermaid,” “Aladdin”) and veteran lyricist and three-time Oscar winner Tim Rice (“The Lion King,” “Evita”), “How Does A Moment Last Forever” is an emotional ballad about holding onto life’s precious moments. Portions of the song are performed throughout the film and interpolated into the underscore before Dion’s full-length version debuts in the film’s custom main-on-end title design.

Says Dion, “Being a part of the original ‘Beauty and the Beast’ was such a magical experience in my life, and I’m truly honored to be a part of this film again.”
President of Music for Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Production, Mitchell Leib, approached the artist on behalf of the project with the idea of recording one of the three new songs written for the film. “Celine was the unanimous choice of the filmmakers and studio to perform this song,” says Leib, “And everyone involved with the film is thrilled she agreed to be part of this new live-action adaptation.”

Dion originally performed the duet “Beauty and the Beast” – featuring Menken’s haunting melody and two-time Oscar-winner Howard Ashman’s unforgettable lyrics – with Peabo Bryson for the animated film. The song became an instant classic and went on to receive an Academy Award®, Golden Globe® and three GRAMMY Awards.
Menken also provides the film score along with new recordings of the classic songs from the animated film written by himself and Ashman. The original motion picture soundtrack will be released by Walt Disney Records on March 10, 2017.

Belle (Emma Watson) comes to realize that underneath the hideous exterior of the Beast (Dan Stevens) there is the kind heart of a Prince in Disney's BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, a live-action adaptation of the studio's animated classic directed by Bill Condon.
Belle (Emma Watson) comes to realize that underneath the hideous exterior of the Beast (Dan Stevens) there is the kind heart of a Prince in Disney’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, a live-action adaptation of the studio’s animated classic directed by Bill Condon.

 

About the Film

The story and characters audiences know and love come to spectacular life in the live-action adaptation of Disney’s animated classic “Beauty and the Beast,” a stunning, cinematic event celebrating one of the most beloved tales ever told. “Beauty and the Beast” is the fantastic journey of Belle, a bright, beautiful and independent young woman who is taken prisoner by a Beast in his castle. Despite her fears, she befriends the castle’s enchanted staff and learns to look beyond the Beast’s hideous exterior and realize the kind heart of the true Prince within. The film stars: Emma Watson as Belle; Dan Stevens as the Beast; Luke Evans as Gaston, the handsome, but shallow villager who woos Belle; Kevin Kline as Maurice, Belle’s father; Josh Gad as LeFou, Gaston’s long-suffering aide-de-camp; Ewan McGregor as Lumière, the candelabra; Stanley Tucci as Maestro Cadenza, the harpsichord; Audra McDonald as Madame de Garderobe, the wardrobe; Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Plumette, the feather duster; Hattie Morahan as the enchantress; and Nathan Mack as Chip, the teacup; with Ian McKellen as Cogsworth, the mantel clock; and Emma Thompson as the teapot, Mrs. Potts.

Directed by Bill Condon based on the 1991 animated film “Beauty and the Beast,” the screenplay is written by Stephen Chbosky and Evan Spiliotopoulos and produced by Mandeville Films’ David Hoberman, p.g.a. and Todd Lieberman, p.g.a. with Jeffrey Silver, Thomas Schumacher and Don Hahn serving as executive producers.

“Beauty and the Beast” will be released in Philippine cinemas on March 16, 2017.

Hitmaker Jason Blum produces new suspense thriller ‘Split’

Following last year’s breakout hit The Visit, producer Jason Blum (The Purge and Insidious series) reunites with filmmaker M. Night Shyamalan for the critically acclaimed suspense thriller Split from Universal Pictures.

Starring James McAvoy and Anya Taylor-Joy (The Witch), Split is an original film that delves into the mysterious recesses of one man’s fractured, gifted mind.

In Split, though Kevin (McAvoy) has evidenced 23 personalities—each with unique physical attributes—to his trusted psychiatrist, Dr. Fletcher (Buckley), there remains one still submerged who is set to materialize and dominate all the others. Compelled to abduct three teenage girls led by the willful, observant Casey (Taylor-Joy), Kevin reaches a war for survival among all of those contained within him—as well as everyone around him—as the walls between his compartments shatter apart.

Blum, known for his industry innovation in helping to shepherd small-budget films into worldwide blockbusters, discusses the partnership with Shyamalan: “Night can tell these extraordinarily character-driven stories against a backdrop of a larger subject matter. Split isn’t a typical small-budget film; it’s a large vision on a limited budget. It is not CGI or hundreds of millions of dollars that makes Split feel so epic—it’s Night’s incredibly provocative story.”

Jason Blum is an Academy Award®-nominated and two-time Primetime Emmy Award- and Peabody Award-winning producer. His multi-media company, Blumhouse Productions, pioneered a new model of studio filmmaking: producing high-quality, micro-budget films.

Blumhouse, which is in the midst of a 10-year first-look deal with Universal Pictures, has produced the highly profitable The Purge, Insidious, Ouija and Paranormal Activity franchises, which have grossed more than $2 billion worldwide. Blumhouse’s model began with the original Paranormal Activity, which was made for $15,000 and was released by Paramount Pictures, grossing approximately $200 million worldwide, making it the most profitable film in the history of Hollywood.

Blum, who was nominated for an Academy Award® for producing Whiplash, was added to Vanity Fair’s “New Establishment List 2015” and received the Producer of the Year Award at 2016’s CinemaCon.

Now playing across the Philippines, Split is distributed by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.

‘Passengers’ marks first visually-stunning film of the year

“It’s always good when you can create your own world,” says director Morten Tyldum, who creates a new vision of space travel in Passengers, touted to be the first visually stunning film of 2017. “I’m a huge sci-fi fan, and I also have such respect for the genre, so I wanted to try to do something that had never been done before.”

In the film, Aurora (Jennifer Lawrence) and Jim (Chris Pratt) are two strangers who are on a 120-year journey to another planet when their hibernation pods wake them 90 years too early. Jim and Aurora are forced to unravel the mystery behind the malfunction as the ship teeters on the brink of collapse, jeopardizing the lives of the passengers on the greatest mass migration in human history.

To achieve the film’s extraordinary look, the filmmakers – in Tyldum’s words – had “to both look forwards and backwards.” Looking to the future, they created a spaceship with an intricate design that uses the centrifugal force from spinning blades to create gravity, and contains the robots, holograms, and other technology that the future has in store. To that, Tyldum marries what he calls a “nostalgic design,” inspired by Art Deco, classic Hollywood, and World War II uniforms. “The past is with us – the past inspires us – and I wanted to have the past to be very present in the film. At the same time, it has robots, it’s a smart ship, it has screens, it has AI. By combining this, on a pure aesthetic level, a visual level, I think it’s unique. It feels very sci-fi, but also very grounded, very belonging to our world.”

To make this vision a reality, Tyldum turned to Guy Hendrix Dyas, an Oscar® nominee and BAFTA winner for his work with Christopher Nolan on Inception, and the designer of such varied films as Elizabeth: The Golden Age, Steve Jobs, and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Dyas feels he was born to design Passengers; in fact, he was the only designer that Tyldum interviewed for the job.

Since childhood, Dyas had dreamed of building a spaceship inside and out, and Passengers made that dream a reality. The result was a series of enormous, hugely memorable sets that brought the spaceship Avalon to life.

“We wanted to build as much as possible, because this is a character-driven movie, not a movie that is driven by special effects,” says Tyldum. “We have a lot of big spectacle scenes, some mind-blowing effects, but the driving force is the characters and the performances. To get those performances, I didn’t want Jen and Chris to act against green screens – I wanted to build as much as possible so they can actually feel and understand the space they’re in. I think it pays off because it feels more real.”

Producer Ori Marmur recalls, “No one involved in this movie has ever seen anything like these sets. One person walked on and said, ‘People are going to think your set is CG; they’re not going to believe you guys actually built this.’”

Now playing across the Philippines, Passengers is distributed by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International. Use the hashtag #Passengers

Fantasy adventure ‘The Great Wall’ imagines what lies beneath

Legendary Pictures and Universal Pictures, along with China Film Co., Ltd. and Le Vision Pictures, present The Great Wall, an epic action-adventure depicting a monstrous threat hidden for centuries behind one of the greatest manmade wonders of the world.

Directed by Zhang Yimou, The Great Wall stars Matt Damon, Jing Tian, Pedro Pascal, Willem Dafoe and Andy Lau.

Set in an alternate vision of ancient China (circa 1100 A.D., during the Song Dynasty), the story imagines that The Wall was built to defend against a mythical Chinese creature called the Tao Tei (historical spelling, “Taotie”), a malignant species and gargoyle-like figure from Chinese mythology that rises every 60 years from the heart of the Jade Mountain to attack in vast, swarming armies and feed on humankind.

“I remember being told when I was young that the magnificent Great Wall of China was the only manmade object one could see from space,” says producer and Legendary CEO Thomas Tull. “True or not, I never forgot that, and when I set out to create a company known for its monster movies, I wanted to make one that combined my love of the genre set against this magnificent structure.

“I always wondered what was so important and compelling to have a country build a structure that big, that incredible,” Tull continues. “At Legendary, we like monsters, so my geeky brain went to work on the idea of a country building this wall to keep monsters out.”

As Tull developed the idea with The Great Wall’s story and screenplay writers, he discussed the idea of a European soldier of fortune wandering Asia in the Middle Ages who comes upon a magnificent structure that covers the entire horizon. When the mercenary approaches, he is told that the guardians are preparing for the attack.
“During the course of developing the screenplay, Western writers actually discovered the Chinese legend of a monster called the Taotie [historical spelling],” adds producer Peter Loehr, who has spent the last 25 years of his career working in China. “The Taotie is actually quite well known in China.

“There’s a fantasy book called the ‘Shan-hai Jing,’ which dates back 2,500 years,” Loehr continues. “In the book, they set out different types of monsters, goblins and demons, and the Tao Tei (our spelling) is one of them. The Tao Tei, in the fantastical ‘Shan-hai Jing,’ as well as historical records, are portrayed as gluttonous. They eat incessantly, so much so that when there’s nothing left to eat, they eat their own bodies.”

Producer Charles Roven, who is known for his indelible print on blockbusters from The Dark Knight trilogy (alongside Legendary), Suicide Squad and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice to the much-anticipated upcoming Wonder Woman and Justice League, was brought onto the production by producers Tull and Jon Jashni. He walks us through his initial involvement in the film: “Alex Gartner and I were invited into the project by Thomas and Jon; thereafter, we were part of the original story development.”

Roven reflects on his intrigue at the premise of The Great Wall: “At the time period of our story, the Chinese were among the greatest societies…creating things the West had never seen. The gunpowder they’d invented motivates the mercenaries in our story, who are Western savages initially only out for themselves. When they come across this secret society that is trying to preserve humanity, it makes them reevaluate everything.”

Producer Jashni explains that the production team long aimed to acknowledge and honor both a bygone historical period and a long-ago era of filmmaking—one in which the sets were built to scale. “These structures were built, both then and now, to incite awe and respect,” he notes. “We knew we wanted to depict the inner workings of The Wall as practical. One might think of it as going inside a clock. It seems to do something fairly simple from the outside, but what allows it to appear so simple is rather complex. The audience might rightly assume that The Wall is merely capable of defending—by virtue of its height and its impenetrability—that which is protected behind it. We wanted to surprise them by also having The Wall be able to ‘fight back’ in clever and unexpected ways.”

Opening on January 25, 2017, The Great Wall is distributed by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.

Meghan Trainor writes, performs new song for ‘Smurfs: The Lost Village’

“I’m a Lady,” a new song from the multi-platinum reigning Grammy Awards Best New Artist Meghan Trainor, will be featured in Sony Pictures Animation’s Smurfs: The Lost Village. The song is performed & written by Meghan Trainor and produced by Martin Rene, Monsters & Strangers and Meghan Trainor.

Fans will be able to hear the song in the new year, in advance of the film’s debut in Philippine cinemas on March 29, 2017.

Commenting on the announcement, Trainor said, “I love the Smurfs and was honored when they asked me to write a song for this new movie. I was especially excited – I wrote the whole thing in one evening!”

In this fully animated, fresh new take on the Smurfs, a mysterious map sets Smurfette and her best friends Brainy, Clumsy and Hefty on an exciting and thrilling race through the Forbidden Forest filled with magical creatures to find a mysterious lost village before the evil wizard Gargamel does. Embarking on a rollercoaster journey full of action and danger, the Smurfs are on a course that leads to the discovery of the biggest secret in Smurf history!

Directed by Kelly Asbury, the film is written by Stacey Harman and Pamela Ribon, based on the characters and works of Peyo. Produced by Jordan Kerner and Mary Ellen Bauder Andrews, the film features the voices of Demi Lovato as Smurfette, Rainn Wilson as Gargamel, Joe Manganiello as Hefty Smurf, Jack McBrayer as Clumsy Smurf, Danny Pudi as Brainy Smurf, with Mandy Patinkin as Papa Smurf.

“Smurfs: The Lost Village” is distributed by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International.

MMFF entry ‘Saving Sally’ took 10 years to make

The Metro Manila Film Festival Screening Committee describes “Saving Sally,” one of the eight entries in this year’s December film festival as “an atypical youthful love story replete with child-like elements as applied through 2D animation.”

The Cinema Evaluation Board gave an A rating to the directorial debut of Avid Liongoren, a motion picture that weaves a young romantic story set in wonderful 2D animation hues.

How the film was put together is also anything but typical. You might as well call it “epic.”

“Saving Sally” was mounted by a small team of young animators led by its director Avid Liongoren who has directed for television and TV commercials. They began shooting as early as 2005 but production slowed down due to funding.

Production came into full swing in 2010 on a blue screen, which was later replaced with a stylized Manila and 2D animated monsters created by Liongoren and his team of artists at Rocketsheep. Every frame, every background, every piece of art was painstakingly made. “What we lacked in manpower, we made up for with love in every single frame. We spent countless hours checking and rechecking every detail,” shares Direk Avid.

The result is ready to be served come December 25. “Saving Sally” as director Liongoren puts it is “a familiar coming-of-age story told with super- stylized visuals. The project blends live action, 2d animation and an abundance of warm, fuzzy feelings to create a totally unique and lovable little film.”

Get ready to be dazzled and mesmerized, children, millennials, and the young-at-heart. “Saving Sally” will make you believe in love, comic books, and the monsters in our heads all over again.

Cheer on as Marty (Enzo Marcos), an aspiring comic book artist pines for his best friend Sally (played by Rhian Ramos), a gadget inventor. Sally, however, has monsters for parents and an inconsiderate boyfriend (TJ Trinidad). In Marty’s fantasies, he conjures up ways of defending the love of his life from the big bad world.

At its very heart, “Saving Sally” is a simple story about love and never, ever giving up told in a unique way that combines live action & vivid kaleidoscope-colored animation.

“Saving Sally” stars Rhian Ramos, Enzo Marcos, TJ Trinidad, Bodjie Pascua, Carme Sanchez, Sharmaine Centenera Buencamino, Archie Adamos. Rated Parental Guidance by the MTRCB.

Bringing you a tale of young love, monsters and how dreams really can come true, “Saving Sally” opens December 25, 2016 in cinemas nationwide.

Ben Affleck learns Indonesian fighting style for ‘The Accountant’

Ben Affleck stars in Warner Bros.’ action-thriller The Accountant as Christian Wolff, a specially trained assassin who happens to be a math savant suffering from Asperger’s Syndrome. Director Gavin O’Connor knew that Christian should have an idiosyncratic fighting style, forged by his childhood training and his personal penchant for order.
O’Connor maintains, “I wanted to approach the action through character, with the thought being when Chris got into a situation that required violence, he would eliminate the threat as quickly and economically as possible. It’s math. It’s ‘How do I make my move and get them off the chessboard?’”

Conferring with stunt coordinators Sam Hargrave and Fernando Chien, the director explored various types of martial arts. Nothing quite fit the bill until they showed him an Indonesian method that is less widely known, called pentjak silat. “I immediately said, ‘I want that,” he recalls. “I’d never even heard of silat before, but it’s incredibly efficient, so it served our purpose in a very cinematic way. We honed in on that form and built the action around it.”

Hargrave and Chien, together with their stunt team, started training Affleck, keeping in mind O’Connor’s desire to mirror Chris’s persona in the action. Chien confirms, “His style needed to be almost surgical—very linear and direct. He wouldn’t bounce around like a boxer. We mainly focused on silat, but because of how dynamic Ben needed to be in his fights, we also taught him judo, jiu-jitsu…everything from the ground up, but extremely stylized.”

the accountant movie

“This martial arts technique hasn’t been seen in too many movies before so it felt fresh and new,” Affleck says. “I loved the style, so I dove into training as hard as I could. I spent months ahead of filming learning elaborate fight choreography, which involved a lot of flips and throws. Performing almost all of the action myself was difficult and demanding, but, luckily, I had the benefit of some really strong coaches and stunt performers who came up with some cool and unique stuff for me to do. It was very intense, but when it all came together and was done right, it could be beautiful and elegant, even though it was brutal.”

Chien acknowledges that Affleck, who came into the film right after portraying Batman, was already in fighting shape—just not in the same way that Christian had to be. “For that film, he became really buff and muscular, but this character needed to be slick and more quick—very direct and explosive—so we did more martial arts conditioning with a lot of dynamic movements.”

Hargrove adds, “We had a small gym where we would go for about two hours a day. Fernando and I put him through his paces, making drills out of the choreography and having Ben practice them over and over again until every move became like second nature to him. We sometimes drove him to the point of exhaustion, but Ben never gave up. He put in the work and came back stronger every day.”

O’Connor observes, “Ben had to travel different paths in making sure we got both the physical and emotional aspects of the character right, which was vital. He was working out every day and getting all the choreography down because he was doing most of it himself. In just a short amount of time, he had to look like he’d been studying his entire life, so it was a crash course for him and I think he did an amazing job.”

Opening across the Philippines on November 2, 2016, “The Accountant” is distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment company.

Fifth ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ film titled ‘Salazar’s Revenge’ in PH

Walt Disney Pictures has announced that the latest Pirates film starring Johnny Depp will be officially titled in the Philippines as “Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge.” (The film is alternatively called Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales in the US.)

The fifth installment in the hugely successful Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, Salazar’s Revenge will bow in local cinemas starting May 24, 2017.

Thrust into an all-new adventure, a down-on-his-luck Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) finds the winds of ill-fortune blowing even more strongly when deadly ghost pirates led by his old nemesis, the terrifying Captain Salazar (Bardem), escape from the Devil’s Triangle, determined to kill every pirate at sea… including him. Captain Jack’s only hope of survival lies in seeking out the legendary Trident of Poseidon, a powerful artifact that bestows upon its possessor total control over the seas.

Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge is directed by Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg (Oscar Best Foreign Language Film nominee Kon-Tiki).

The cast also includes Orlando Bloom, Kaya Scodelario, David Wenham, Geoffrey Rush and Brenton Thwaites.

“Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge” is distributed in the Philippines by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures through Columbia Pictures.

Inventive script adds up talented cast for ‘The Accountant’

The cleverly constructed screenplay of Warner Bros. Pictures’ new thriller “The Accountant” drew the film’s impressive acting ensemble, led by Ben Affleck (Batman v Superman), Anna Kendrick (Pitch Perfect), J.K. Simmons (Whiplash), Jon Bernthal (TV’s The Punisher), Jeffrey Tambor (TV’s Transparent) and John Lithgow (Interstellar).
“It kept me guessing until the very last page,” Affleck states, “and I thought it was very smart, rich in detail and in character depth, and inventive in its evolution.”

“Part of my job as a director,” Gavin O’Connor says, “is surrounding myself with people who are really good at what they do—people who are going to constantly lift up the material and make me better and make the movie the best it can be. All of these actors are of that caliber.”

In “The Accountant,” Christian Wolff (Affleck) is a math savant with more affinity for numbers than people. Behind the cover of a small-town CPA office, he works as a freelance accountant for some of the world’s most dangerous criminal organizations. With the Treasury Department’s Crime Enforcement Division, run by Ray King (Simmons), starting to close in, Christian takes on a legitimate client: a state-of-the-art robotics company where an accounting clerk (Kendrick) has discovered a discrepancy involving millions of dollars. But as Christian uncooks the books and gets closer to the truth, it is the body count that starts to rise.

Anna Kendrick plays Dana Cummings, a junior accountant who uncovers a problem in a robotics firm in which Christian was called in to fix. “She’s intrigued by him because he’s sort of a dorky accountant, but there’s something mysterious, too, which becomes even more obvious when things take a frightening turn. Basically, nerding it up with Chris is the most exciting thing that’s ever happened to her,” she laughs.

J.K. Simmons plays Ray King, head of the Treasury Department’s Crime Enforcement Division, who is determined to find the identity of the underworld numbers cruncher known only as “the Accountant.” “What fascinated me about Ray is that he’s this real alpha male when we meet him and then, as the story develops, we find different aspects to him, as we do with most of the characters. It adds a lot of depth and some surprises.”

Jon Bernthal plays crack hitman named Brax, whose deadly skills rival Chris’s own. Bernthal describes Brax as “highly unpredictable and extremely dangerous and he seems to enjoy what he does. He’s a lone wolf who is quite capable of taking care of business by himself.”

Living Robotics is headed by its founder, Lamar Blackburn, played by John Lithgow. “Lamar’s great passion is helping people who have lost limbs by making what he calls ‘neuro-prosthetics,’ which connect mechanical limbs with the actual muscles and nervous system of the body,” Lithgow says. “He’s a technological genius, so you have these two people, Lamar and Christian, both with extraordinary minds, who are put together.”

Christian Wolff’s background and distinctive skill sets are largely established through flashbacks, beginning as a child, and later including a stint in prison. There, he forms a bond with a fellow inmate and former black money accountant named Francis Silverberg, played by Jeffrey Tambor. Tambor affirms, “Francis is Chris’ mentor in prison and, in a way, it’s a very loving father-son relationship. It was a wonderfully written script with a beautiful puzzle to it, and I think everyone will really enjoy trying to work it out.”

Opening across the Philippines on November 2, 2016, “The Accountant” is distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment company.

Horror hitmaker Jason Blum produces ‘Ouija: Origin of Evil’

When developing “Ouija: Origin of Evil,” Blumhouse Productions’ Jason Blum and Platinum Dunes’ Michael Bay, producers Brad Form and Andrew Fuller were excited to work with Hasbro Studios on the opportunity to expand dramatically the cryptic world of the mystical board. For this terrifying chapter that would explore the origin of evil in one small town, they would be trusting the franchise with a filmmaker known for work that is as innovative as it is heart-racing.

Inviting audiences again into the lore of the spirit board this Halloween, Universal Pictures’ Ouija: Origin of Evil tells a terrifying new tale as the follow-up to 2014’s sleeper hit that opened at No. 1.

The production team approached visionary filmmaker Mike Flanagan, who created Blumhouse’s 2014’s hit Oculus and this year’s hold-your-breath thriller Hush. They gauged his interest in crafting a chapter that delved into so much more of the legend of the board…as well as putting his unique stamp on the series.

ouija origin of evil movie

Flanagan felt it would be fascinating to explore the superstitious culture of the late 1960s’ Ouija for this chapter, as well as what secrets laid buried beneath one family’s home…only to be unlocked through the board. The horror maestro and his equally talented writing partner, Jeff Howard, imagined the tale of sisters Doris and Lina Zander, who grow terrified the more they learn about the family home they share with their mother, Alice.

Blum explains that when Alice begins using the Ouija board in her séances, she thinks it’s great for business. He notes: “In the beginning, Alice is not discovering anything evil, and it actually seems like it’s a great thing. She thinks that she’s performing this amazing service where—if you have someone in your life who’s gone—you can come use the Ouija board and connect with them. Through Doris you can talk to people who are no longer with us in this world. Initially it seems like it’s not only good for business, but good for people too.”

“There was a lot of discussion about making a direct sequel to the first film and expanding upon that narrative,” explains Form, “but that felt like the easy answer. When we took a hard look at the source material, we began to see that the story was right in front of us. Who was the real ‘DZ’ who was haunting our characters in the first movie, and what had been done to her so long ago that turned her into the twisted spirit seeking out revenge upon anyone who inhabited her home?”

Fuller, who serves as Bay and Form’s production partner at Platinum Dunes, shares how the film’s dramatic themes appeal to a broad base of moviegoers, and that it was of utmost importance to all involved to make this a story about a broken family…and not just a ghost story. “If you strip away the supernatural elements, you’ll find a family going through something extremely tragic and then extremely frightening,” he says. “Audiences who wouldn’t necessarily seek out a horror film will connect to this character-driven story.”

So notes Form, a thriller centered on a Ouija board made the perfect vehicle for relatable horror. “The idea that we could wrap a film around this intense desire to contact those on the other side was irresistible, and Ouija boards are so specific to that,” he concludes. “Even people who don’t believe in spirits have such a strong reaction to the game. This game has the power to turn non-believers into believers, even if only for a moment.”

Opening across the Philippines on October 26, 2016, “Ouija: Origin of Evil” is distributed by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.