Directed by Robert Rodriguez, ‘Hypnotic’ is an action thriller film starring Ben Affleck as Danny Rourke, a detective searching for his missing daughter. Rourke’s search takes him into the eye of a grave conspiracy that is tied to his past. The high-octane film delivers plenty of twists supplemented with action that will keep viewers engaged with the narrative. Therefore, viewers might also wonder whether the high-concept movie is based on a book and what is the inspiration behind ‘Hypnotic.’
The Inspiration Behind Hypnotic
No, ‘Hypnotic’ is not based on a book. The film is based on an original concept from writer-director Robert Rodriguez. Rodriguez rose to prominence with the 1992 action film ‘El Mariachi.’ The film was made on a small budget and became a critical and commercial success, giving the director a doorway into mainstream cinema. Over the years, Rodriguez has worked on several hit projects, such as the ‘Spy Kids’ franchise, some episodes of ‘The Mandalorian,’ and all episodes of the spin-off series ‘The Book of Boba Fett.’ However, Rodriguez’s incredible work could not warrant a studio greenlight for his ambitious concept, which he would title ‘Hypnotic.’
Rodriguez revealed that he first devised the concept nearly twenty years before the film’s release in the early 2000s. However, that iteration never saw the light of the day. Years later, the project was picked up by Studio 8 in 2018. Rodriguez wrote the final screenplay draft alongside Max Borenstein, known for his work on blockbuster films such as 2021’s ‘Godzilla vs. Kong.’ In an interview with Collider, Rodriguez revealed that the style of acclaimed filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock inspired the film’s concept. “It’s like a Hitchcock thriller on steroids. That’s all I can say,” Rodriguez said in the interview while promoting the movie. “It’s a not everything you see is real-type movie, and it’s got a great cast. It’ll be very energetic. It’s one of my favorite stories,” he added.
In a separate interview, Rodriguez spoke at length about the film’s conceptualization. Rodriguez revealed that he was watching Hitchcock’s 1958 psychological thriller film’Vertigo,’ when he first thought of the concept that would eventually become ‘Hypnotic.’ After watching the film and thinking about Hitchcock’s other popular movies, such as ‘Psycho,’ ‘Spellbound,’ and ‘Frenzy,’ Rodriguez thought about a one-word title that could have been a Hitchcock movie. “Like if I want to make a Hitchcock-type movie, if kept making movies for another ten years, what’s another one-word title he would have come up with so it fits in that realm?” he said in an interview with Gizmodo.
After settling on the title ‘Hypnotic,’ Rodriguez began working on the story and focused on including the visual tricks he wanted to show in the film. He also drew inspiration from a filmmaker’s job of constructing a fake reality to immerse the audience. “And the other big thing that I loved about the idea was it’s about what we do as storytellers and filmmakers. We create a hypnotic construct in a movie theater for an audience with actors, with lines, and they know that it’s got to be strong enough that they don’t see the lines so that they believe in it enough, invest in enough to cry or laugh or cheer, tell their friends to go see it too,” Rodriguez said. Ultimately, ‘Hypnotic’ is not based on a book. It is an original concept from Robert Rodriguez, whose desire to emulate the craft of Alfred Hitchcock and the tonality of his films led to the germination of the movie’s idea.
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