Scott Derrickson reveals what led him to answer ‘The Black Phone’

The Black Phone
Image via Blumhouse

Director Scott Derrickson’s The Black Phone is coming out tomorrow, has received some critical praise, and, ahead of the scary story’s reveal to the public Derrickson is saying he was drawn to it partly because of his own childhood trauma.

“When I left Doctor Strange 2, I had been in therapy, really dealing with trauma from my own childhood, and violence from my own childhood, for about three years. [I] was kind of on the tail end of doing that, and was thinking about trying to write a story that’s kind of like an American 400 Blows, like the François Truffaut film, which was autobiographical. I didn’t think I had a story as interesting as his, and then I thought: What if I combined my childhood memories with that story that Joe wrote, The Black Phone? And that’s really what the movie is. It’s characters and memories and feelings and tone drawn from my childhood growing up in North Denver in the late ’70s, and Joe’s story. That’s what the movie is.”

The Sinister and Doctor Strange craftsman makes the above comments in an article published by Entertainment Weekly today. Derrickson also says he is really proud of making The Exorcism of Emily Rose, reveals producer Jason Blum is protective of him and adds the child roles in The Black Phone were not as easily cast as one outside may assume looking in.

“We looked at hundreds of kids for those roles and I’ll admit it, I got lucky. Mason [Thames] is a movie star. You watch. You’ll see. He had the ability to emotionally process exactly what’s happening with his character, beat by beat, as he’s shooting each shot of the movie, and he can somehow express that with such nuance. It’s the look in his eyes, it’s the expression on his face — it’s so truthful, so real, and you cannot teach that. You can teach people how to be better at it, but you can either do that instinctively or you can’t.”

Derrickson has no projects on deck after The Black Phone releases.