Justin Dix presses on with passion project ‘Riding Hood’

Pre-viz scene of ‘Riding Hood.’

Some 20 years ago Justin Dix had the idea for a film about an orphaned red riding hood who is hell bent on exacting revenge against the werewolf who killed her grandmother.

Over the years the filmmaker made several attempts to finance Riding Hood but he is now pulling together all the elements of the action fantasy, ready to shoot later this year.

“It’s been a long gestation but it will happen this time, things are moving quite rapidly and I am going to do it,” the writer, producer, director, FX supervisor and production designer tells IF.

Dix has had promising discussions with potential investors, including an LA-based firm and people who backed his most recent film, Blood Vessel, a survival/horror opus which Umbrella Entertainment will launch later this year.

The futuristic Riding Hood is set in an alternate New York in The Woods, a walled neighbourhood which separates the Hellion population from humans. The protagonist joins the Department of Hellion Security to track down the werewolf.

Dix and Steven McKinnon, his business partner in SFX studio Wicked of Oz, have screen tested a number of actors here and in the US for the lead roles but none is yet locked in.

In most of the film the werewolf appears in human form until he morphs into the creature.

The pair has designed the werewolf and they have compiled a full-length animatic version of the movie using storyboards, live action and concept art.

Dix is using the same kind of animatic preparation which he saw on Swedish writer-director David Sandberg’s Kung Fury 2 , inspired by the 2015 short film which premiered at Directors Fortnight in Cannes.

Wicked of Oz made the majority of characters and effects for the martial arts action comedy shot in Germany and Bulgaria, which features Arnold Schwarzenegger as a cigar-chomping US President, Michael Fassbender as a gun-toting sidekick called Colt Magnum, Sandberg as Kung Fury, Jorma Taccone as a time-traveling Hitler and David Hasselhoff as the voice of Hoff 9000.

Nathan Phillips, Alyssa Sutherland and Christopher Kirby play survivors of a torpedoed hospital ship in the north Atlantic in 1945 in Blood Vessel, which has screened at numerous festivals including Monster Fest, Grimmfest in the UK, the New York Horror Festival and FilmQuest in Utah.