Nancy Jill Thames Biography & Facts
The Black Phone is a 2021 American coming-of-age supernatural horror film directed by Scott Derrickson and written by Derrickson and C. Robert Cargill, who both produced with Jason Blum. It is an adaptation of the 2004 short story of the same name by Joe Hill. The film stars Mason Thames, Madeleine McGraw, Jeremy Davies, James Ransone, and Ethan Hawke. In the film, an abducted teenager (Thames) uses a mysterious telephone to communicate with the previous victims of his deranged captor (Hawke).
Derrickson came on board to direct The Black Phone after departing Marvel Studios' Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness over creative differences. Filming occurred over two months in Wilmington and surrounding counties in the state of North Carolina. The film premiered at Fantastic Fest on September 25, 2021, and was theatrically released by Universal Pictures on June 24, 2022. A critical and commercial success, it grossed $161 million and received praise for its performances, faithfulness to the source-material, and screenplay.
In 1978, a serial child abductor and murderer nicknamed "The Grabber" prowls the streets of a Denver suburb. Siblings Finney and Gwen Blake live in the area with their abusive, alcoholic father. At school, Finney is frequently bullied and harassed. He has a friendship with a classmate, Robin, who fends off the bullies. A boy that Finney knew, Bruce, is abducted by the Grabber. Gwen, who has psychic dreams much like her late mother, dreams of Bruce's kidnapping. Detectives Wright and Miller interview Gwen at school, believing she has inside knowledge. She refuses to help, but is still punished by the siblings' father for speaking with the detectives. Shortly after, the Grabber abducts Robin.
Days later, the Grabber kidnaps Finney. He awakens in a soundproofed basement. On the wall is a disconnected black rotary phone. Later, Finney hears the phone ring and answers it. Bruce's ghost tells Finney about a floor tile he can remove to dig a tunnel to escape.
The police search for Finney is unsuccessful. The Grabber brings Finney food and leaves the door unlocked. Finney is tempted to sneak out. Billy, another boy on the phone, calls and explains this is a game that the Grabber plays. He is waiting to punish Finney if he leaves the basement. Billy instructs him to use a cord to get out via the basement window. His attempts break the bars on the window grate, preventing him from climbing back up. Gwen dreams of Billy being abducted and confides in her father.
Wright and Miller speak to an eccentric man called Max who is staying in the area with his brother. It is revealed Finney is in the clueless Max's basement, and the Grabber is his brother. Finney speaks to another victim, Griffin, on the phone. Griffin gives Finney the lock combination and informs him the Grabber is asleep upstairs. Finney sneaks upstairs and unlocks the door but the Grabber's dog alerts him of the escape. Finney is quickly recaptured.
Finney hears from another victim, a delinquent called Vance, whom Finney was scared of. Following Vance's instructions, Finney breaks a hole in the wall and enters the back of the freezer in the adjacent storage room, but the freezer door is locked tight. Finney hits his breaking point and begins to cry. The phone rings one more time. Robin comforts Finney and encourages him to stand up and fight for himself. He teaches Finney to punch and to pack dirt inside the phone receiver to use as a weapon.
Gwen has a vision of the Grabber's house. She contacts Wright and Miller. Max realizes Finney is being held in the house and rushes to the basement to free him, only for his brother to kill him with an axe. The police rush to the house that Gwen found. In the basement, they find the buried bodies of the victims. Deciding it is time to end the game with Finney, the Grabber attacks him with the axe. Using the byproducts from his failed escape attempts, Finney immobilizes the Grabber. As the ghosts taunt the Grabber over the phone, Finney snaps his neck with the phone cord.
Distracting the dog with meat from the freezer, Finney exits the house, which turns out to be across the street from the burial site. He reunites with Gwen. The siblings' father arrives and tearfully begs forgiveness for his earlier treatment of them. Back at school, a confident Finney sits next to his crush in class and says to her she can call him Finn.
Mason Thames as Finney Blake, a young teenager captured by The Grabber
Madeleine McGraw as Gwen, Finney's sister experiencing psychic dreams
Ethan Hawke as The Grabber, a psychotic child kidnapper and serial killer
Jeremy Davies as Terrence, Finney and Gwen's alcoholic and abusive widower father
E. Roger Mitchell as Detective Wright
Troy Rudeseal as Detective Miller
James Ransone as Max, the Grabber's eccentric brother
Miguel Cazarez Mora as Robin, Finney's friend who becomes a victim of the GrabberProduction
Scott Derrickson and frequent collaborator C. Robert Cargill decided to adapt Joe Hill's short story "The Black Phone" into a feature film while the former was working on Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, a sequel to Doctor Strange, which he had directed and co-written with Cargill. Cargill promised to postpone the project until Derrickson, who had a commitment with Marvel Studios, became available to direct. In January 2020, Derrickson came on board to helm The Black Phone soon after departing from the Doctor Strange sequel due to creative differences.The Black Phone was officially announced in October, with child actors Mason Thames and Madeleine McGraw set to star. Thames said his audition took place over Zoom soon after the COVID-19 pandemic began: "It was quite weird and we had bad Wi-Fi. I'd say a line and it would take a few seconds for them to say something back. It got a bit awkward. Eventually I got a callback." In early 2021, Jeremy Davies, Ethan Hawke, and James Ransone were added to the cast. Hawke said he was initially hesitant on playing the villain because he did not want to be remembered for a "scary" performance for the rest of his career, but changed his mind after realizing he was in his 50s. "Villains might be my future," he added.The film was shot on a $16–18 million budget. Principal photography began on February 9, 2021, and concluded on March 27. Filming took place at EUE/Screen Gems in Wilmington, North Carolina, and around the counties of New Hanover, Brunswick, and Columbus, under the working title Static. Mark Korven composed the score during post-production, and the film was completed by December 2021.For the construction of the film, Derrickson was inspired by the films The 400 Blows (1959), The Devil's Backbone (2001), Rosemary’s Baby (1968), and the novel A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving.
The marketing campaign from Universal Pictures for The Black Phone began with the release of a trailer on August 25, 2021, at CinemaCon. Variety said the film looked .... Discover the Nancy Jill Thames popular books. Find the top 100 most popular Nancy Jill Thames books.