The 6 Things You Need to Know About Hugh Grant's Unholy New Role in 'Heretic' (2024)

A24 has just released the trailer for its latest horror movie, Heretic, this past week. While many people have expressed shock to see Hugh Grant step into the shoes of a sad*stic psychopath, many are eager to see what he will bring to the table in his first villainous role. (Bridget Jones’s Diary does not count, despite whatever strong feelings may come up when thinking about his womanizing character, Daniel Cleaver). This article will tell you everything you need to know about the upcoming thriller before it hits theaters this fall!

6 When Is The Release Date for ‘Heretic’?

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Heretic is slated to have a theatrical release on November 15, 2024, giving audiences ample time to mentally prepare for the shock of seeing Grant embrace his darker side. After its theatrical run, we will likely get to see the film available on Max sometime in the new year, as Max currently has a deal with A24 to stream the production company’s films. Heretic will share a release date with Here, a Robert Zemeckis drama film starring Tom Hanks and Robin Wright, Ridley Scott's Gladiator 2 starring Paul Mescal and Denzel Washington, and the holiday action-comedy Red One starring Dwayne Johnson and Chris Evans.

5 Watch the Trailer for ‘Heretic’

The official trailer for Heretic was released by A24 on June 25, 2024. Set to "The Air That I Breathe" by The Hollies, the trailer opens with the two young missionaries struggling to find any interested converts. That all changes when they knock on the door of Mr. Reed, who invites them in claiming that his wife is baking pie. At first, Mr. Reed seems to be a deeply spiritual and level-headed man, but that's all a facade, especially when one of the missionaries makes a startling discovery.

4 Who Stars In ‘Heretic’?

Hugh Grant takes the lead in this suspense-thriller as the antagonist, Mr. Reed. On the surface, he seems well-mannered and polite, but so did Anthony Hopkins when he portrayed the infamous Hannibal Lecter. As previously mentioned, this is Grant’s first venture into villainy. Previously, he’s been best known as a delightful charmer, with roles like the awkward-yet-loveable Prime Minister in Love, Actually, William Thacker in Notting Hill, and Will Freeman in About A Boy. More recently, he’s stepped into more comedic roles, such as Lofty the Oompa Loompa in Wonka, and a snarky historian in the Netflix mockumentaries Death to 2020 and Death to 2021. While he is reprising his character, Daniel Cleaver, in the upcoming 4th installment of the Bridget Jones franchise, Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy in 2025, it will be hard to shake the image of his evil persona from Heretic.

Joining Hugh Grant in Heretic are YellowjacketsSophie Thatcher as Sister Barnes and Chloe East (The Fabelmans) as Sister Paxton. In addition to Yellowjackets, Thatcher also starred alongside Pedro Pascal in the 2018 sci-fi adventure drama, Prospect, and more recently in the miniseries The Book of Boba Fett and the Stephen King horror adaptation, The Boogeyman. She will also be appearing in another upcoming A24 horror movie, MaXXXine, which is the third installment of Ti West’s trilogy. Chloe East started her acting career in 2013, with her first role in the drama, Out of Reach. She then went on to appear in a few episodes of the HBO series, True Blood, before becoming more prominent in shows like Kevin (Probably) Saves the World and Generation. Her first venture into the realm of horror movies comes with the horror-comedy, The Wolf of Snow Hollow, as Jenna, the teenage daughter of Officer John Marshall.

3 What Is ‘Heretic’ About?

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Mormon missionaries Sister Paxton (East) and Sister Barnes (Thatcher) are traveling from door to door, trying to recruit new members to their religion. After multiple dismissals and rude responses, they are relieved to knock on a door and meet Mr. Reed (Grant), who is welcoming to them. He invites them inside to chat after assuring them that his wife is home as well, baking a pie in the kitchen. When he excuses himself to check on the pie, Sister Barnes realizes that the smell of the pie is coming from a scented candle, and they are alone in the house with Reed. When they try to escape, he presents them with a choice between two doors, one labeled “Belief,” and the other, “Disbelief.”

In a sordid game of cat and mouse, the two young women will have to put their faith to the test as they make their way through his labyrinth of twisting tunnels, trap doors, and booby traps. It’s clear in the trailer that he is a skilled woodworker, complete with a miniature version of his maze-like house. In a way, the modifications he made to his home are indicative of the infamous serial killer, H. H. Holmes of the late 1800s, who designed a “murder castle” out of a hotel, complete with hidden rooms, dead ends, and torture chambers. In Heretic, Mr. Reed challenges the strength of the two women’s faith in their religion, making them question everything they thought they once knew about God and the Devil.

The official plot had been largely kept under wraps until recently, with the official synopsis from A24 reading:

Two young missionaries are forced to prove their faith when they knock on the wrong door and are greeted by a diabolical Mr. Reed (Hugh Grant), becoming ensnared in his deadly game of cat-and-mouse.

2 Who Is Making ‘Heretic’?

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Heretic is written and directed by Scott Beck and Bryan Woods, backed by their own production company, Beck/Woods, A24, Catchlight Studios, and Shiny Penny. A24 will distribute the film. Scott Beck and Bryan Woods met while attending the University of Iowa, where they founded Bluebox Films and created the films Her Summer and University Heights. University Heights won MTVU’s “Best Film on Campus” competition that year, securing a development deal with MTV Films for Beck and Woods. Since then, they have worked together previously as writers on numerous films such as A Quiet Place, The Boogeyman, Haunt, and 65, co-directing the latter two films as well.

In addition to writing and directing Heretic, Beck and Woods also co-produced the film, along with Stacey Sher (Django Unchained), Jeanette Volturno (The Invisible Man), Julia Glausi (Fail State), Liliane Bedford (A Black Lady Sketch Show), Kai Raka (Desus & Mero), and Katie Aquino. The music design is handled by Chris Bacon, who composed the score for 65, Wednesday, Men In Black: International, and worked in the music department for films like I Am Legend and King Kong.

1 When and Where Did ‘Heretic’ Film?

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Heretic was primarily filmed in Vancouver, between October 3 and November 16, 2023. The film was granted an interim agreement to allow production to continue during the SAG-AFTRA strike that year.

The 6 Things You Need to Know About Hugh Grant's Unholy New Role in 'Heretic' (2024)
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