Following its surprise screening at the SXSW Festival, where a “work-in-progress” cut of the film was shown, the new Robert Rodriguez film Hypnotic has secured a theatrical release date in the United States, according to a report by Deadline. The film, which will star Ben Affleck, was given a warm reception when it was screened on Sunday night at the festival and provided a welcome boost for the production which has seen a number of ups and downs during its difficult journey from script to screen. It was noted that, while screening a big budget film as a “work-in-progress” was highly unusual, Rodriguez’s choice to do so in his native Texas provided a PR boost for the film and was able to give confidence to its financiers.
Speaking after the film, which will launch on over 2000 screens, was given a domestic release date of May 12, 2023, Rodriguez stated: “I’ve been working on this film for many years now, and to see the reaction from my home town audience at SXSW was humbling and validating. I look forward to now sharing it with all movie lovers who want to experience a crazy fun ride full of unexpected twists and turns.” The film is a passion project for Rodriguez, best known for his work on Sin City, El Mariachi and the Spy Kids series, as well as recently working with Disney and Lucasfilm on The Mandalorian and its spinoff, The Book of Boba Fett. The director has been working on the $70 million project for almost two decades, and has seen it shut down three different times during production, as well as delayed by COVID, and involved in an insurance lawsuit.
In the film, Affleck appears as a detective who finds himself spiraling down a rabbit hole while investigating a series of reality-bending crimes mysteriously connected to his missing daughter. Aided by a gifted psychic, he is pursued by a lethal specter who he believes holds the key to finding his daughter. But more rabbit holes await. The supporting cast includes Alice Braga, JD Pardo, Hala Finley, Dayo Okeniyi, Jeff Fahey, Jackie Earle Haley and William Fichtner.
Its release comes in the middle of a busy spell for its star, who will also be promoting his film Air, about Nike’s Air Jordans, on which he is director, producer and also starring alongside Matt Damon, as well as DC’s The Flash, in which he reprises his role as Bruce Wayne/Batman in what will most likely be his final appearance as the character.
Hypnotic will be released in theaters on May 12, 2023.