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With THE CALLER out in theaters now (see multiple features
and review on this site), screenwriter Sergio Casci (pictured left) spoke with FANGORIA
about his next genre project. Casci is adapting THE DEVIL’S STAIRCASE, a dark
thriller novel by author Helen FitzGerald (pictured below), who also happens to
be his wife.
“It’s about this young Australian girl who’s running away
from home,” Casci tells Fango. “She meets these friends. I don’t know if you’ve
ever been backpacking; you meet people and in two days, you feel they’re like
your closest family. You’re with them 24 hours, and suddenly you feel like you
know them; they’re your best friends ever. The fact is, you don’t know anything
about them. You feel like you do, but you don’t. That’s a scary place to be.
“They end up breaking into this empty house,” he continues.
“The main character, Bronny, doesn’t realize there is a very, very bad man who
has taken her friend and brought her to the basement of the house, and he’s holding
her there for his own sick reasons. When he’s finished with her, Bronny’s next
on his list.” Claire Mundell of Synchronicity Films (CRYING WITH LAUGHTER) and
Marian Macgowan of Macgowan Films (DEATH DEFYING ACTS) in Sydney, Australia are
attached to make the the DEVIL’S STAIRCASE film. FitzGerald and Casci’s Del Rio
Films is also co-producing.
After spending 14 years working on the project, when asked
how it felt to see THE CALLER finally released in theaters, Casci says, “When I
wrote the final polish of THE CALLER, I thought the hard work was over. I was
wrong. The hard work starts now. Not the promotion and distribution of the
film; that’s someone else’s job. The hard work I’m talking about is 18-hour
days spent obsessively Googling and tweeting every compliment, comment or scrap
of information I can find. Last night I got two hours’ sleep. How can I lie in
bed when someone, somewhere, could be posting a blog? Someone somewhere is
bound to be doing that. And I have to read it immediately. Of course, I realize
this has to stop. I miss my sanity. I need my sleep. I don’t like harboring
violent thoughts toward schoolboy bloggers and men aged 45-plus. Then again, it
does give me a damn good idea for a horror movie…”
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