British director Christopher Smith (he of 'Triangle,' 'Severance' and the underloved 'Creep') is back with a new genre film, 'Black Death.' Starring Sean Bean, Eddie Redmayne, Carice van Houten and Andy Neyman, Smith's latest follows a band of 14th Century knights (led by Bean) who seek out an isolated English village that is reportedly unaffected by the bubonic plague currently sweeping the nation. It's a gritty and somber story about life and death, faith and conviction in medieval England. So, basically, if you saw the trailers for 'Season of the Witch' and thought it looked too goofy and Hollywood-y for your tastes, 'Black Death' will definitely be more up your alley. (Think of it as 'Season of the Witch' by way of 'Valhalla Rising.')
Speaking of 'Season of the Witch,' Smith holds no ill will toward it. The similarly-plotted movies coincidentally went into production back-to-back (in fact, some of Smith's crew members worked on both films) and 'Witch' just beat 'Black Death' to theaters (the film is currently available On Demand and will hit theaters on March 11).
Smith also happens to be a huge fan of Nicolas Cage's, though due to a recording flub I was unable to transcribe our opening discussion of how great it would be to work with the actor. So even though that part of the conversation was lost, don't be surprised when Smith, who has an infectious, energetic passion to simply be working in the film industry, brings up 'Bad Lieutenant' and his new werewolf movie in the same breath.