The wheels are turning on Hypnotic, Robert Rodriguez‘s detective thriller starring Ben Affleck, again. It’s added a new cast member, Alice Braga (Queen of the South), and has set a new production start date for this September, more than a year after it was originally due to start shooting in April 2020. But like so many other projects, it was delayed due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Solstice Studios announced that Braga has joined the Hypnotic cast, just as the Ben Affleck-starring thriller written and directed by Robert Rodriguez has set a new production start date. Described as a “mind-bending action thriller,” Hypnotic follows “a detective who becomes entangled in a mystery involving his missing daughter and a secret government program – while investigating a string of impossible high-end crimes.” The film is written by Rodriguez and Max Borenstein (Godzilla franchise, Kong: Skull Island).
Braga is best known for her roles in Queen of the South, I Am Legend, and her breakout performance in City of God, and will be appearing next The Suicide Squad, starring alongside Margot Robbie, Idris Elba, and Viola Davis.
Hypnotic is due to start filming on September 20, 2021, restarting production that was delayed from its initial start date in April 2020. But while plenty of movies that were delayed due to the pandemic were able to get things rolling again late last year and early this year, Hypnotic faced a few other hurdles that led to this late start.
Back in September 2020, the producers of Hypnotic filed a lawsuit accusing their insurance company of refusing to extend their policy to account for the pandemic. Per Variety, the producers had purchased a cast insurance policy from Chubb National worth $58 million, which would be paid out in the event that Affleck or Rodriguez became ill or died, making them unavailable during production. But the policy had an expiration date of October 28, 2020, which Hypnotic would have met had the production started under its original schedule. But according to the lawsuit, Chubb has refused to extend that expiration date. This was the cause for Hypnotic having to wait a whole year and a half before production could begin anew, as the policy did not carry a COVID-19 exclusion, which meant that Chubb would have to pay out if Affleck or Rodriguez came down with the disease. So now, Hypnotic begins production after vaccines have made it mostly safe for productions to go on as normal.
Hypnotic will be Rodriguez’s return to adult action filmmaking after his family-friendly Netflix film We Can Be Heroes. Rodriguez, Studio 8 CEO Jeff Robinov, and his colleagues Guy Danella and John Graham are producing with Solstice.
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