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Interview: Author Joe Hill Talks HORNS, TALES FROM THE DARKSIDE, and More

Talking with author Joe Hill is a real treat. Energetic and funny, Hill is the creative mind behind some of the most interesting new literary genre works since he made his debut with the novel Heart-Shaped Box in 2009. Nerdist spoke with the author of Locke & Key about the feature film adaptation of his novel Horns starring Daniel Radcliffe and directed by Alexandre Aja. Hill was candid about the risk and excitement that come along with a novel-to-film adaptation and gave an update on the Kurtzman and Orci produced reboot of Tales from the Darkside that is coming to The CW.

After a long delay from Toronto International Film Festival in 2013 to the release date coming up this fall, was author Joe Hill excited that the adaptation of his novel Horns would finally be released? “Tremendously excited,” he says. “And relieved because when you enter the book to movie sweepstakes, you don’t know what you’re going to get. Most of the time the film never gets made and then, when it does get made, most of the time it’s terrible. In this case I feel like we wound up with something really special. We wound up with a lovely, heartfelt movie that’s anchored by a wonderful performance by Daniel Radcliffe.” Hill continued,”[I]n the course of the novel Ig experiences grief, loss, rage, madness, delight, despair, the character covers a huge amount of emotional territory and Daniel Radcliffe was able to do all of that and make it look effortless. To me whenever you see an artist do something hard and make it look easy, you’re seeing someone who has busted their ass. Who has worked really hard to get good at their craft and takes nothing for granted and I just think we were tremendously lucky to get him to do the film.”

What about noted French genre director Alexandre Aja? Did Hill like the idea of Aja bringing the book to life? Hill explained, “Alex came in a little bit before Dan Radcliffe and I had seen his work and I loved his work and I was excited. I felt that he has the ability to mix humor and beauty with perversity and wickedness and that’s very much the tone of the book. You know, the book is kind of a car crash between decency and evil and so I felt like we had a chance to do something exciting. But you know, you wait and see. In this case I felt like we got lucky.”

After Horns makes its debut this October, what is next for Hill? According to the author, his partnership with Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci on the reimagining of the ’80s series Tales from the Darkside is coming soon. Said Hill, “I wrote the pilot episode for a loose, very different reboot called Darkside for CW which will be out next year and that was really fun to write, everyone seems to have liked it and we got a full series order so that’s awesome.” Will The CW’s Darkside be an anthology series like the George A. Romero original? “Not exactly… The X-Files raised the bar. I think in a post-X-Files world, you can’t really do an anthology show like The Twilight Zone or The Outer Limits or the original Tales from the Darkside. In the case of the new Darkside, you’re getting stories that are individual, stand alone, great, creepy stories but it’s also like a Rubik’s Cube where the parts are turning and then after three or four episodes hopefully the viewer will go, ‘Oh wait a minute! Oh, this is all one story,’ and so gradually over the course of the first season it is revealed that all these individual stories of horror, fantasy and wonder all have a connecting thread that tells one overarching story. I hope it works.”

Horns, starring Daniel Radcliffe, Juno Temple and Max Minghella, directed by Alexandre Aja based on the novel by Joe Hill hits theaters October 31, 2014.

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