Hypnotic: Everything We Know About Ben Affleck's Mind-Bending Sci-FI

Close up of Ben Affleck in Hypnotic
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Hypnotic is the upcoming science fiction action thriller from Robert Rodriguez and much has been announced about the cast, story, release date, trailer, and more. Hypnotic follows a detective played by Ben Affleck who goes on a mission to find his missing daughter and solve a string of major thefts. The movie stars a cast of talented actors and the production side is a family affair with Rodriguez's children working on key parts of the music, story, and more. Hypnotic is shaping up to be an inventive, and action-packed spy movie and one of the few original upcoming sci-fi movies not based on IP.

Rodriguez directs his 20th feature film with Hypnotic and his first since the 2020 We Can Be Heroes that premiered on Netflix. Unlike that movie and Rodriguez’s more child-friendly films, Hypnotic is an R-rated thriller, putting it in the same company as Sin City and his debut film El Mariachi. This is the first time Affleck and Rodriguez have worked together, so pairing the veteran action star with action-connoisseur Rodriguez should result in an exciting thrill ride.


Hypnotic Latest News

Hypnotic has only had a small marketing campaign in the lead-up to the premiere, but two posters have been released for the movie. The first poster is a teaser that shows Ben Affleck running through a maze of human-sized dominoes, presumably moments away from them collapsing inward on him. The second Hypnotic poster is the official and final for the movie. Ben Affleck is at the center of the art again, but this time stands in the foreground with those same precarious dominoes arranged in a spiral behind him.


Hypnotic Release Date

According to Variety, a “work in progress” cut of Hypnotic was screened at South by Southwest on March 12, 2023. The final version of the film will premiere on May 12, 2023, in theaters before it will be released to several streaming platforms.


Hypnotic Crew

Some fans may not know that Robert Rodriguez not only directs movies, but he also writes, produces, and edits. However, for Hypnotic, he did have some help. The screenplay is co-written by Max Borenstein, who has made a name for himself by writing Legendary Monster movies, including Godzilla (2014) and Godzilla vs. Kong (2021). True to the personal touch Rodriguez likes to have on his films, his children worked on the movie alongside their father (via Collider).

All five of Rodriguez’s kids had a part to play on Hypnotic. While his oldest two, Rocket and Racer Max, assisted with editing and co-writing the script, his other sons, Rebel and Rogue, helped with the music composition and animatics. Rodriguez's daughter, Rhiannon, also played an important part in creating the movie as she did the storyboards.


Hypnotic Cast

The star of Hypnotic, Ben Affleck, plays Danny Rourke, a detective looking for his missing daughter. Hala Finley, who starred in Rodriguez’s previous film We Can Be Heroes, plays Dominique Rourke, the aforementioned missing child. Co-starring alongside Affleck is Alice Braga (The Suicide Squad, The New Mutants) as Diana Cruz, an individual with psychic powers, who, at first, appears to be a threat but eventually becomes an ally as the puzzle box nature of the story is opened. William Fichtner (Prison Break, Independence Day: Resurgence) also features as the main antagonist of Hypnotic, who is a mysterious bank thief and mastermind. 

Rounding out the rest of the cast is J. D. Pardo (F9, Mayans M.C.), Dayo Okeniyi (The Hunger Games, Terminator Genisys), Jeff Fahey (who starred in Rodriguez’s Planet Terror), and the prolific Jackie Earle Haley, who’s appeared in numerous films including Watchmen as Rohrschach and Little Children for which he was nominated for Best Supporting Actor at the 79th Academy Awards.


Hypnotic Story Details

Hypnotic is a mind-bending science fiction action thriller that has twists and turns from start to finish. Danny Rourke is a hardened detective who suddenly loses his daughter, which happens right in front of his eyes. His search for his child introduces Danny to a previously unknown world of psychics and sites he once thought impossible. In this newly discovered world, Danny realizes that he may also have these powers. While this leads Danny to use his abilities to solve crimes and find his daughter, what he fails to realize is he has gained the attention of other hypnotics who want to stop him.

Danny delves deeper into a giant conspiracy theory that questions his own reality and that of the reality on screen. Eventually, Danny’s forays into the psychic space put him in direct contention with William Fichtner’s character who has become a criminal mastermind thanks to his powers of persuasion. Together with Danny’s newfound hypnotic ally, Diana Cruz, the pair uncover hidden plots and lies that all eventually lead to uncovering the conspiracy, with Danny’s daughter, Minnie, at the end. Hypnotic is a twisted maze of science fiction, mystery, and action that leads to a climactic finale.


Hypnotic Trailer

The official trailer for Hypnotic was released in early April and the movie looks to be a visually stunning and a non-stop action ride. It opens with the disappearance of Danny’s daughter and quickly introduces Fichtner as the villain, who is somehow tied to the disappearance of Minnie. In the voiceover, Diana Cruz explains what a hypnotic is and begins to lay out the stakes of the journey the pair are about to go on while increasingly unbelievable scenarios play out on screen. The start of the trailer has allies turning into enemies with a psychic suggestion and the end has entire buildings moving with only a thought.

Affleck is in peak action hero form as he runs, jumps, and rides through various setpieces and locales. Hypnotic’s trailer has hints of Inception with the constant talk of “knowing what’s real” and impossibly modular buildings. Affleck and Braga appear to have solid chemistry and spend most of the trailer together, fighting an intimidating-as-always Fichtner. The trailer may appear to show a lot of the story but with psychics, mind control, and illusions, viewers can never be too certain what exactly is happening.

This article was originally published at Screen Rant

Hypnotic premieres in theatres on May 12th! See it at Regal.
See Hypnotic at Regal 

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