Hollywood is set to give the quintessential Irish stereotype, the leprechaun, a dark makeover as a terrifying killer in a new horror movie.
The symbol of Irishness is set to be played by WWE superstar Dylan “Hornswoggle” Postl in the latest take on the camp Leprechaun horror franchise.
The makers of The Hunger Games and Divergent are behind the prequel to the cult franchise, which will be released across America next month.
The original Leprechaun film in 1993 has the distinction of launching Jennifer Aniston to stardom in her first leading role in a feature film, but the latest screen incarnation is much darker than the previous films in the comedy horror series.
Former screen versions may have given a comic nod to the Darby O’Gill image, but Leprechaun: Origins reboots the familiar, loveable icon into a creature of terror. The official synopsis for the film reveals it centres on two young couples backpacking through the Irish countryside.
“(They) quickly discover the idyllic land is not what it appears to be when the town’s residents offer the hikers an old cabin at the edge of the woods.
“Soon, the friends will find that one of Ireland’s most famous legends is a terrifying reality.”
The new version has Diary of a Wimpy Kid star Melissa Roxburgh in the leading role, along with American star Andrew Dunbar, who previously starred in Alien Trespass
Director Zach Lipovsky told Comic-Con the leprechaun in his movie is truly terrifying.
“Our leprechaun is completely different than what you’re used to seeing in movies and elsewhere.
“Our approach was to make something that could really be out there. Something more organic and less fairytale. Our creature is something that clearly has biological roots.
“That being said, it does have all the traits you’d expect from a leprechaun... the pointy ears, the lust for gold.
“But ours also has the skin of a naked mole rat. It has dead things hanging off of it. We took a very dark and disturbing approach,” he added.
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