Winner of the Un Certain Regard section in 2018 (watch the ceremony here) with his sophomore feature Border, Ali Abbasi has been developing what would become his third feature since 2016 (and has a lot more items on his plate). Other than this formerly titled “The Long Night” being an Iranian language project and that Abbasi reteamed with cinematographer Nadim Carlsen (they also worked on Abbasi’s debut film, Shelly), there has been no casting news revealed on what we think was a January 2021 production which might have taken place in Denmark and Germany (cited as a Denmark, Germany, Sweden, France – co-production). We believe that producers on Abbasi’s Holy Spider include Jonas Wagner and/or Sol Bondy. Worth noting is that Abbasi was among the auteur filmmakers to join the HBO series “The Last of Us” – Kantemir Balagov and Jasmila Zbanic also directed episodes.
Gist: We follow family man Saeed as he embarks on his own religious quest — to “cleanse” the holy Iranian city of Mashhad of immoral and corrupt street prostitutes. After murdering several women, he grows ever more desperate about the lack of public interest in his divine mission. When he is finally caught, Saeed is celebrated by large sections of the public. It is not until he is condemned to death, that reality dawns upon him…
Release Date/Prediction: Will open in Cannes and make a bid for the Competition section…and if denied…look for this to move to Venice Film Festival.