Interview

Interview

Exclusive Interview: Horror Actor Ted Raimi Preparing for His Top-Secret Feature Directing Debut

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Veteran horror actor Ted Raimi is about to follow in the footsteps of his big brother Sam (whom you all know as the godfather of the Evil Dead franchise and now an A-list Hollywood director), and go behind the camera to write and direct his own first feature film. In an interview at Crypticon Minneapolis last weekend, Ted told me he will be shooting the film "early next year."
 
"It's a supernatural horror tale about Los Angeles itself," Raimi revealed. "Not enough horror has been told about that city. People seem enamored about it who live there, but I don't know why. I find it completely upsetting and terrifying, so I thought, 'What better place to set a horror movie?'"
 
While Raimi, 47, couldn't divulge the title of the film or any other vital details, he did note that he will make a cameo appearance: "I'll have a small part in it, just for the fans who want to see me in it," he said... and hinted that fans shouldn't be surprised if a certain Raimi by the name of Sam turns up in the film.
 
It's reasonable to assume Ted would cast his brother after appearing in several of Sam's projects – from Evil Dead 2 and Army of Darkness to the Spider-Man trilogy, and most recently Oz the Great and Powerful – but the younger Raimi says the real reason behind it hits much closer to home: "I'll probably have to put him in the movie because my mom will insist upon it. I don't think I'll have a choice. He'll have to be in it," Raimi said with a grin. "Plus, he needs acting work if he wants to keep his SAG card current. He hasn't been in anything for a while. I think it would be good for him."
 
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With any luck, Ted – who currently lives in Los Angeles – said he'd like to travel his native Detroit to make the film. "Los Angeles has stood in so many times for Detroit, so I thought, 'The hell with it, why not have Detroit fill in for Los Angeles?"
 
Ted is passionate about filming in Detroit in order to contribute in any way he can to the city's recovery after the municipality filed for Chapter 9 bankruptcy in July. Plus, he said, the state of Michigan has many more financial incentives to attract film productions, thanks to the efforts of longtime family friend and Michigan native Mike Binder, who directed Sam in Indian Summer. "Mike was very instrumental in getting the bills passed to get the very large rebate Michigan offered to filmmakers not too long ago," he said. "It's since been slightly reduced, but Michigan still has him to thank. I'm all for it. I hope to shoot all my movies there if I can." 
 
Raimi said he's glad he's able to shoot films in the U.S. at all, following a long stretch where a lot of productions went to Vancouver, Canada. "What was attractive to filmmakers about Vancouver was that it was cheap and there were established crews there," Raimi explained. "But now, since the Canadian dollar is doing so well and our dollar has been doing so poorly, it's no longer economically a good idea. People are saying, 'Why should we go way up there when we can shoot it here cheaper?' So Vancouver has lost about half of their film business in the last two years."
 
In addition to his film, Raimi said he's trying to expand production on his Morbid Minutes web series that debuted in 2011 on the Lionsgate Entertainment site Break.com. Here's one of those episodes, entitled "Tie Game":
 
 
The film and TV hyphenate says he's proud of the "grisly little tales" he's written, directed and hosted so far, in a similar vein to Alfred Hitchcock Presents, but wants to make the most of his "Minutes" behind the camera. "I'm creating a 22-minute, half-hour format show that I'm now pitching around town," he said.
 
Raimi will next star in director Victor Salva's vampire thriller Purgatory, which is pre-production. The film also stars Elizabeth Hurley, Vincent D'Onofrio, William Baldwin and Thomas Kretschmann.
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