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'Malignant' trailer brings James Wan back to his bloodcurdling horror roots

By Josh Weiss
Malignant Still

The first trailer for James Wan's top secret horror project, Malignant, is finally here! After more than a year of teaser images, casting news, and pandemic-related delays, we finally know what the director's post-Aquaman genre film is all about.

Written by Akela Cooper (scribe behind the upcoming sequel to The Nun), the project stars Annabelle Wallis (Annabelle) as Madison, a woman plagued by dreams of grisly murders. Except they're not dreams at all; when Madison wakes up, she realizes these homicidal visions are, in fact, horrifying realities with some sort of connection to a...malignant...entity known as "Gabriel."

Based on the trailer, it looks like Wan is harkening back to his Saw days with a police procedural element weaved into the overall supernatural proceedings. The filmmaker is most definitely back in his element — perhaps with a lot more creative control given that Malignant is much smaller when compared to the billion-dollar comic book hit that was Aquaman.

Watch now:

“I think we have something very special. I think it’s genre-bending. I think it’s so brave. It’s so original. I just haven’t read anything like it,” Wallis told The Hollywood Reporter last summer. “And James Wan, we worked together on Annabelle, so he was like, ‘I wrote this part for you, Annabelle. Let’s collaborate.’ I think I’ve found in him such a wonderful collaborator, and I know that we will continue working together for years to come. I think it’s really going to be something that audiences are pretty wowed by because it’s a real passion project for him.”

Her co-stars include the following actors: Maddie Hasson (Mr. Mercedes), George Young (Containment), Michole Briana White (Dead to Me), Jacqueline McKenzie (Reckoning), Jake Abel (Supernatural), and Ingrid Bisu (The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It).

Cooper conceived of the screen story alongside Wan and Ingrid Bisu. Wan also produced the film with Michael Clear. Eric McLeod, Judson Scott, Bisu, Peter Luo, Cheng Yang, Mandy Yu, and Lei Han  are executive producers.

Malignant will begin to scare the pants off us all when it arrives in theaters and on HBO Max Friday, Sep. 10. Wan is currently deep in production on the Aquaman sequel, subtitled Lost Kingdom.

Head to the gallery below for a look at the giallo-esque teaser poster and more...