2016 film Under The Shadow is a terrific underseen horror film. Set in 1980s Tehran during the Iran-Iraq war, the film captures the horror of being under seige during a warzone, while also commenting on the horrific treatment of women during this time. On top of that, a supernatural presence – inspired by Djinn folklore – possibly haunts the main family.
Director Babak Anvari deservedly got plenty of praise for his debut. He turned that into Wounds, another horror that’s set to arrive on Netflix at some point, and now he’s found the inspiration for his third feature. Anvari has signed on to direct the suspense thriller Departure for Lionsgate.
The film draws inspiration from Martin Caidin‘s book, Ghosts Of The Air: True Stories Of Aerial Hauntings. It consists of real-life accounts from pilots who’ve experienced strange phenomena, including landing at an airfield that wasn’t there, and planes guided by dead pilots.
The script has been penned by Billy Ray (Captain Phillips). It revolves around a brilliant Miami-based FAA investigator obsessed with learning how a 727 suddenly vanished into thin air and then reappeared in the exact same spot 10 minutes later. Mysterious occurrences continue to occur in the Miami skies, and the investigation becomes personal when the investigator’s wife is on one of the planes affected.
Anvari is reportedly penning his own script rewrite. Considering his deft handling of supernatural phenomena and family drama in Under The Shadow, this sounds like a perfect fit. We’ll wait for more news on what actors may board Departure.
Until then, Anvari’s sophomore feature Wounds, starring Armie Hammer, Dakota Johnson, and Zazie Beetz, will play at Cannes later this month before arriving on Netflix, likely sometime later in 2019.