Grimmfest Films is back with mind-bending, Emile Hirsch-starring thriller PAST LIFE!


Emile Hirsch in INTO THE WILD


Grimmfest head honchos Simeon Halligan and Rachel Richardson-Jones are back with brand new genre film PAST LIFE – starring Emile Hirsch!


Production is scheduled to commence in March 2023 in the UK.


Known for his performances in Sean Penn’s INTO THE WILD and The Wachowski’s

SPEEDRACER, Hirsch stars as an investigative reporter JASON FREY who reluctantly agrees to attend a hypnotism event with his pregnant wife Claira. Under hypnosis, Jason witnesses a murder through the eyes of a killer. Haunted by what he has seen, Jason uses past live regression techniques to investigate a series of unsolved murders from the eighties, while unwittingly reawakening a psychopath’s killer tendencies.


Royal College of Art graduate, and director of Grimmfest, Manchester’s International

Festival of Fantastic Film, Halligan brings his design credentials and his deep knowledge of

genre cinema to bear on the project. Dean Lines and Ray Bogdanovitch (Hounded, The

Banishing) wrote the screenplay with additional material from Halligan.


Halligan’s previous feature directing credits include WHITE SETTLERS (THE BLOODLANDS in the US) and HABIT.


PAST LIFE will be produced by Rachel Richardson-Jones of Grimmfest films (HABIT), Pierre

Romain and Susan Michels of SWE (SON OF THE SOUTH) and Michael Laundon of M2

Productions (ENDLESS). Executive producers include Michael Bassick (HACKSAW RIDGE) for M2, Sarada McDermott (BRIDGERTON), Angus Finney (THE MOTHER) and Glenn Kendrick Ackermann, Jason Piette and Ewan Dunbar of Disrupting Influence who will be presenting the project at AFM.


“We are absolutely thrilled to be working with Emile, on PAST LIFE a superb actor who has

proved his versatility and breadth in an array of movies. His depth as a performer will bring

nuance to Jason’s complex character. We can’t think of a better actor to play the role in this

brilliantly conceived thriller”, said Glenn Kendrick Ackermann of Disrupting Influence.


Director Simeon Halligan said, “PAST LIFE is an exciting psychological thriller that combines

the rush of eighties thrillers like DePalma’s BLOW OUT or Argento’s TENEBRAE, with the

conceptual complexity of movies like Nolan’s MEMENTO or Anderson’s THE MACHINIST, I

can’t wait to share this twisty turny mind bender with audiences”.


“Simeon is the perfect director to bring PAST LIFE to the screen. This movie sits squarely in

his ballpark and reflects his love and passion for dark psychological thrillers. With a

background in art direction and a deep knowledge of genre cinema, we know he will bring

an amazing visual style to bear on the film”, added producer Michael Laundon.


Emile Hirsch is best known for his breakthrough performance in INTO THE WILD, directed by

Sean Penn, which received worldwide acclaim, garnering him a SAG Award nomination.

Emile can be seen in Quentin Tarantino’s ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD opposite

Margot Robbie, Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt as well as the action comedy, THE

COMEBACK TRAIL, with Robert De Niro, Tommy Lee Jones and Morgan Freeman. Emile

starred in the psychological sci-fil thriller, FREAKS, and NEVER GROW OLD opposite John

Cusack, directed by Ivan Kavanaugh. In 2013, Emile starred in the critically acclaimed box

office hit, LONE SURVIVOR opposite Mark Wahlberg, Taylor Kitsch and Ben Foster.

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