To Top

In 2011, Octavia Spencer won an Oscar for her performance in The Help. Now, Spencer is teaming up with the movie’s director, Tate Taylor, on a new horror thriller, Ma.

“It was so serendipitous, because Octavia and I are always complaining about being offered the same sh*t, and I read this and thought, ‘Oh f*ck,’” Taylor shared with Variety. “This is so f*cking weird and awesome and I want Octavia to be the lead.”

Spencer and Taylor have known each other since their careers were just beginning, and at one point, even lived together. When filming Ma in Mississippi this month, where Taylor owns a Greek Revival mansion on a 100-acre piece of land, Spencer will once again bunk with her old pal.

“It’s going to be a blast,” Taylor commented. “We’ll be living in my house in Mississippi and shooting on my land during the day, and then making dinner and telling stories and breaking bread later that night.”

Producing the horror thriller is Jason Blum’s Blumhouse Productions, the studio behind Get Out, Insidious, and The Purge series. While this is Taylor’s first foray into horror, Blum happily sent the director home with the Ma script, written by Scotty Landes, after a productive initial meeting. At this time, Taylor has yet to reveal the role Spencer will play in the movie.

“I wouldn’t call her a villain,” he said. “It’s definitely the most complex character she’s ever played, if I may be so bold as to say that.”

Oscar nominee Juliette Lewis and Beauty and the Beast star Luke Evans join Spencer on the cast for Ma, which begins filming this month.

“It’s dark material, but it’s also really fun,” Taylor said. “Octavia is so damn likable that we usually see her in certain roles. But she’s such a good actress and this is such a complex character that if I do my job right, people in the audience are going to want to push pause and say, ‘Can we please take you out for coffee so you don’t do what you’re about to do.’”

Blumhouse Productions has found remarkable success with horror movies that deliver a message. Their business model of giving directors free reign with a limited budget (no more than $5 million) has empowered new voices to reach audiences around the world.

“Artists are asking themselves, ‘How do we remain relevant theatrically?’” commented Jason Blum. “One way is through genre movies. Directors who are passionate about the theatrical experience recognize that if they can fit their ideas into a genre mold, they can reach an audience.”

Horror movies have been done to death (literally). So what sets Ma and other films of its ilk apart?

“More than being scary, it’s going to make people think,” Taylor said. “It’s going to have meaning and purpose. At the same time, there will be all the tropes of a horror movie, where you scream and cover your eyes.”

More in News

  • Sophie Turner Quitting Acting

    The Game of Thrones actress has been done filming Season 8 since last summer, and apparently she’s been on a hiatus...

    Katie RosbottomApril 17, 2019
  • Hoda Kotb Adopts Her Second Child

    Following Tuesday morning’s episode of Today, the co-anchor announced via phone that she has adopted a second child, a daughter named...

    Katie RosbottomApril 16, 2019
  • Wendy Williams Files for Divorce

    Yesterday, it was confirmed that the daytime talk show host has officially filed for divorce from her husband of over two...

    Katie RosbottomApril 12, 2019
  • Nipsey Hussle Memorial Service Draws Thousands

    The late rapper’s ‘Celebration of Life’ is taking place at the Staples Center today, and TMZ is live streaming what’s expected...

    Katie RosbottomApril 11, 2019
  • Charles Van Doren Dead at 93

    Charles Van Doren, one of the most infamous TV game show contestants of all time, has passed away.   According to...

    Katie RosbottomApril 10, 2019
  • Kim Kardashian Taking Bar Exam in 2022

    The reality star has plans to follow in her father Robert Kardashian’s footsteps by becoming an attorney, and she’s aiming to...

    Katie RosbottomApril 10, 2019