EXCLUSIVE: Michael Rooker is returning to work with his Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer director John McNaughton for the first time in nearly four decades in a new film titled violent roadwhich is intended to be the first in a series.
The movie in the vein dexter and the great avengers movies of the 70s will focus on a serial killer who only kills those who deserve to die – featuring a modern hero who is a bad guy turned good, protecting the innocent and punishing the guilty. Tim Perell will produce his banner vigilante thriller Process Media. In addition to the film, Process Media will partner with BAFTA-nominated entertainment studio iNK Stories to develop a violent road video game—providing an interactive experience in which audiences can participate in the expanded world of the story.
“I wanted to work with Michael Rooker again since, Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer, but we never got the chance. Finally, I wrote a story that took the genre in a whole new direction,” McNaughton said. “Michael Rooker as Stony; he drives a truck… and kills people. Stony is the ultimate serial killer… with a twist, and he’s going home now after twenty years to settle the score of the past.”
Rooker and Naughton’s 1986 career launch film, Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer, followed Henry (Rooker), who upon arriving in Chicago, moved in with ex-con Otis (Tom Towles) and began educating him in the ways of the serial killer. Naughton co-wrote and directed the film, which proved to be a huge hit with fans of the genre as well as art audiences, winning top awards at the Sitges and Brussels International Film Festivals and securing six nominations at the Independent Spirit Award for 1991, including two that recognized McNaughton and Rooker individually. Time magazine and Roger Ebert both nominated Henrique one of the ten best films of the year.
“With violent road, John McNaughton and Michael Rooker aim to once again create a transgressive and shocking film that will exist at the forefront of art and genre,” said Perell. “As Henrique was ahead of its time so violent road will be ahead of this time; a disturbing and moving reflection of contemporary American culture.”
Navid Khonsari and Vassiliki Khonsari, co-founders of iNK Stories, added, “We are excited to be working with John and Tim on developing a gender-changing game with a feminist perspective on the American phenomenon of a serial killer.”
Rooker began a five-decade career with Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer, and is currently known around the world for his role as Yondu in Guardians of the Galaxy series, Merle in Living Dead, and papers in Suicide squad and F9.
In addition to Henry: Portrait of a Serial KillerJohn McNaughton’s films include Mad Dog and Glorystarring Robert De Niro, Uma Thurman and Bill Murray, and wild thingsstarring Kevin Bacon, Neve Campbell and Matt Dillon.
An Independent Spirit Award winner for producing, Perell has been making films for four decades and, in recent years, has taught filmmaking at Johns Hopkins University. Upcoming releases include Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini’s party of the century and several titles still in secrecy. Past projects include John Cameron Mitchell’s Cannes sensation shortbus, last chance Harvey starring Dustin Hoffman and Emma Thompson, Bobcat Goldthwait’s Best dad in the world starring Robin Williams, and five films with director Bart Freundlich, including trust the man and wolves.
Known for its pedigree in creating award-winning AAA and indie gaming experiences across all platforms, iNK Stories was founded by former Rockstar Games player Navid Khonsari, who established the look and feel of major gaming franchises like GTA, red dead, and Max Payne. iNK Original Narrative Titles—1979 revolution, blindfolded, Fire exit and Hero— have earned top industry honors, widespread critical acclaim and global commercial success. The company also has forged collaborations with the he likes from Capcom, Microsoft, Paramount and Google to produce indies and industry blockbusters like Alan Wake, front of house, and Resident Evil 7between others.
Rooker is represented by Gersh and Link Entertainment; McNaughton by Gersh.