Robert Rodriguez’s ‘Hypnotic’ Sold Out on Oscar Night – Deadline

The Oscars didn’t rain on Robert Rodriguez’s parade tonight as the filmmaker debuted his long-in-the-works Hypnotic at SXSW’s Paramount Theater, where the audience is turned away.

Much to Rodriguez’s relief, the $70 million Ben Affleck film – which was delayed by Covid, shut down three times, hit an insurance claim and saw its US distributor Solstice Studios implode – drew a rapturous response at the packed Paramount Theatre. Plenty are sure to be back here at SXSW.

Courtesy Ketchup Entertainment

In its first collision with Oscar night, SXSW largely counter-programmed the big ABC event, read after Friday night’s mega opening night title, Paramount/eOne’s Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Among Thieves, the next major studio title is tomorrow night’s Lionsgate release John Wick: Chapter 4followed by Warner Bros.’ Evil Dead Rise and Lionsgate’s Joy ride later this week.

IN Hypnotic, Academy Award winner Affleck plays a detective investigating a mystery involving his missing daughter and a secret government program. Andreas Wiseman of Deadline reported that Ketchup Entertainment has US rights and is planning a summer theatrical release in 2,000 theaters.

Rodriguez, Austin’s movie theater mayor, took a series of questions from fans and brought along props from his movies, including a baby Danny Trejo prop from Machete.

Asked about stylistic inspirations, Rodriguez said that his DP Pablo Berron and him talked about Michael Mann’s Heatespecially its use of widescreen.

“I don’t usually shoot widescreen,” exclaimed Rodriguez, who sought to distinguish between dream sequences and real-world sequences in the respective use of wide-angle and spherical lens.

Rodriguez with baby Danny Trejo, courtesy Rosy Cordero of Deadline

The filmmaker also talked about how while editing films, he will keep another title in the background as inspiration ie. when he cut Spy Kids 2, he had Alfred Hitchcock’s dizziness on in the background.

Hitchcock was also a big inspiration here for Rodriguez too Hypnotic who adored the filmmaker’s panache for one-word titles. Rodriguez explained that good ideas and titles in this case come from asking yourself the right questions.

Looking for a one-word title, “Hypnotic popped into my head. I said ‘Wow, Hypnoticbut what does that mean?”

“Then I thought, ‘Oh, this is a guy who can’t be caught.’ You go to catch this guy and he’s the most elusive villain because you think you’ve arrested him, then your own cops are gun raging, then they’re shooting each other. And that’s the opening,” Rodriguez explained.

Ketchup Entertainment CEO Gareth West was involved in setting up the financing of Solstice Studios and is an EP on Hypnotic along with other financiers such as Ingenious Media.

On this Oscar night, SXSW had extra bragging rights as Everything everywhere at once became their first world premiere (from a year ago) to win Best Picture at the Academy Awards.

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