You may not know the name Robin Hardy, but you should. The man behind The Wicker Man (the 1973 classic, not that horrible remake) has spent years trying to produce The Wicker Tree, a spiritual successor (pun intended) to the original film.
Yes, that Nicolas Cage dreck likely ruined the title of The Wicker Man for you (or at least gets you thinking about women getting beat up or bees) but the original is a bonafide classic, perhaps Christopher Lee’s greatest film and certainly one of the great horror films of all time, as Time Out’s recent Top 100 British Films list revealed.
The Wicker Tree uses the same basic “outcast unknowingly visiting a town of Celtic cultists” formula, this time focusing on a two evangelical Christians who head to Scotland from Texas to spread the word of God. It’s based on Hardy’s own novel Cowboys for Christ.
You can find the trailer for the film on its official site here. Beware that there is some NSFW content- those cults love their feritility rituals, after all. (How come I never end up getting menaced by a cult on my vacations?)
As you’ll hear, they got Christopher Lee back for a cameo. There’s just no mistaking that voice. Lee’s role was actually supposed to be a much larger one but the man recently injured his back while filming the upcoming film The Resident, which stars Hilary Swank and Jeffrey Dean Morgan, and he was forced to bow out of the role. You can figure out which one was meant for him in the trailer.
Expect The Wicker Tree to hit sometime this year!
Lastly, a plea. When is some enterprising soul going to clean up those additional scenes for the director’s cut of The Wicker Man and slap that print on a blu-ray? I’ll be first in line for that sucker.