After receiving a work-in-progress premiere at this year’s SXSW Film & TV Festival, Austin-based filmmaker Robert Rodriguez’s long-in-the-works Hitchcockian sci-fi thriller Hypnotic finally opens May 12 in theaters. Shot in and around Austin, Hypnotic stars Ben Affleck as Danny Rourke, an Austin police detective in therapy for the trauma resulting from the abduction of his 7-year-old daughter Minnie three years earlier. A series of regional bank robberies, including one that Rourke fails to stop in downtown Austin, reopens Rourke’s emotional and psychological wounds when he discovers a surprising but undeniable connection to Minnie’s abduction. Rourke’s main suspect is the mysterious Dellrayne (Armageddon’s William Fichtner), a so-called “Hypnotic” who possesses the power to reconstruct a person’s reality to see a version of the world the Hypnotic wants them to see. The bank robberies are part of Dellrayne’s plan to assume control of the secretive government agency that operates the Hypnotics. Rourke’s investigation leads him to Diana Cruz (Alice Braga of the Robert Rodriguez-produced Predators), a Hypnotic in hiding who agrees to help Rourke track down and apprehend Dellrayne. Robert Rodriguez, who wrote the initial script for Hypnotic in 2002, shot the film in and around Austin in 2021 after several false starts attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic. Rodriguez, who co-wrote the final version of Hypnotic with Max Borenstein, previously directed the Mexico Trilogy, the Sin City, and Machette series, From Dusk to Dawn, The Faculty, Planet Terror, Alita: Battle Angel, and Red 11 as well as the Spy Kids franchise and the family films The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl, Shorts, and We Can Be Heroes. Rodriguez is currently in post-production on the Netflix franchise reboot Spy Kids: Armageddon, starring Gina Rodriguez and Zachary Levi, and is developing an Alita: Battle Angel sequel with producers James Cameron and Jon Landau.
Aired: May 9, 2023.