A Ben Affleck Movie Plagued by COVID, Financial Woes, and a Lawsuit at Long Last Lands a Release Date


Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images

There are cursed movies, and then there’s Hypnotic. The Ben Affleck-led action-thriller has been a passion project that legendary director Robert Rodriguez has had on the back burner for a full two decades now, but even when he finally got the project into production in recent years it became plagued by numerous, never-ending problems. At long last, however, it seems that the hell Rodriguez has endured to make it to the screen is over as Hypnotic has, against all the odds, gotten itself a release date.

As per Deadline, Hypnotic has followed up its unusual “work in progress” premiere screening at SXSW with the announcement that it will be coming to U.S. theaters this May 12 and will play in over 2,000 exhibitors nationwide. The fact that the film, which will be distributed by Ketchup Entertainment, is releasing in less than two months is something of a surprise considering that it’s not even complete yet, despite principal photography beginning back in Sep. 2021.

It might take a movie of its own to properly tell the story of Hypnotic‘s behind-the-scenes’ woes, but here’s the short version. As based on a script Rodriguez first wrote in 2002, the $70 million-priced picture had its shoot held up by the onset of the pandemic before getting shut down three times due to COVID outbreaks, which led to a lawsuit against the feature’s insurance company. Just to add more spice to proceedings, main financier and domestic distributor Solstice fell apart during filming.

Ben Affleck in 'Hypnotic'
Image via Solstice Studios

In response to this labor of love finally getting some good news, Rodriguez himself said the following in a statement:

“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.”

Hypnotic stars Affleck as Daniel Rourke, a detective who becomes entangled in a mystery somehow connecting his missing daughter to a secret government program. Alice Braga, and JD Pardo co-star. Watch out for it in theaters this May.



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