Malignant: James Wan unveils new image, discusses film’s inspirations

Between directing Aquaman movies, Saw co-creator James Wan decided to return to his “indie horror roots” by making the giallo-inspired film Malignant, which will be reaching theatres and the HBO Max streaming service on September 10th. Speaking with Total Film, Wan discussed the film’s inspirations and also unveiled a new image from it, which you can see below.

Scripted by Akela Cooper from a story that Wan, Cooper, and Ingrid Bisu crafted together, Malignant will show us what happens when

Madison is paralyzed by shocking visions of grisly murders, and her torment worsens as she discovers that these waking dreams are in fact terrifying realities.

Wan said that Malignant is his

take on that particular ’80s trope of storytelling where a victim starts seeing through the vision of a killer. There was a period where there were a lot of movies like that, and I’m a big fan of that particular sub-genre. Movies like The Eyes of Laura Mars. I wanted to do my own version, crossed with my love of [Brian] De Palma and [Dario] Argento and [Mario] Bava.”

Wan’s love of Bava is so strong, he even said that his Aquaman sequel is heavily inspired by the filmmaker’s Planet of the Vampires.

Malignant stars Annabelle Wallis, who previously worked with Wan when he produced and she starred in Annabelle, a spin-off from his film The Conjuring. Wallis is joined in the cast by Maddie Hasson (We Summon the Darkness), George Young (Containment), Michole Briana White (Dead to Me), Jacqueline McKenzie (Palm Beach), Jake Abel (Supernatural), and Ingrid Bisu (The Nun).

Wan produced Malignant with Michael Clear, while Eric McLeod, Judson Scott, Bisu, Peter Luo, Cheng Yang, Mandy Yu, and Lei Han served as executive producers.

The director promised from the start that the film would be a “hard-R thriller”, and it did end up being rated R for “strong horror violence and gruesome images, and for language”.

Source: Total Film

About the Author

Cody is a news editor and film critic, focused on the horror arm of, and writes scripts for videos that are released through the JoBlo Originals and JoBlo Horror Originals YouTube channels. In his spare time, he's a globe-trotting digital nomad, runs a personal blog called Life Between Frames, and writes novels and screenplays.