‘The Limehouse Golem’ Director Juan Carlos Medina on His Victorian London-Set Mystery

     September 20, 2016

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One of the many films to premiere at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival was director Juan Carlos Medina’s Victorian London-set mystery The Limehouse Golem. Based on the Peter Ackryod novel Dan Leno and the Limehouse Golem and adapted by Jane Goldman, this English crime thriller begins with the arrest of Elizabeth Cree (Olivia Cooke), a famous music hall performer who is suspected of murdering her husband (Sam Reid), who it turns out may have a connection to a series of gruesome killings attributed to a figure known only as The Limehouse Golem. An inspector named Kildaire (Bill Nighy) is brought in to take over the case and is tasked with trying to figure out the mystery before another victim is killed.The Limehouse Golem also stars Douglas Booth as renowned performer Dan Leno and Daniel MaysMaria Valverde, and Eddie Marsan. For more on the film, read Adam’s review.

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Image via TIFF

Shortly after seeing the film I sat down with Juan Carlos Medina for an exclusive video interview. He talked about the story of the film, being at TIFF, bringing 1880s London to life, what kind of feedback he got from early screenings, collaborating with Jane Goldman on the screenplay and how the story changed, and a lot more. Check out the interview above and below you’ll see a list of everything we talked about along with the official synopsis for the film.

Juan Carlos Medina:

  • When he found out the film has gotten into TIFF.
  • What people should know about the movie.
  • Bringing 1880s London to life.
  • The difficulty in getting this project off the ground.
  • The length of the first cut.
  • Feedback from early screenings.
  • How that feedback impacted the finished film.
  • What he learned from the test screening process.
  • Collaborating with Jane Goldman on the screenplay and how the story changed.
  • What’s coming up for him.

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Image via TIFF

Here’s the official synopsis for The Limehouse Golem:

Set on the unforgiving, squalid streets of Victorian London in 1880, our tale begins in the baroque, grandiose music hall where the capital’s most renowned performer Dan Leno (Douglas Booth) takes to the stage. The whimsical thespian performs a monologue, informing his dedicated audience of the ghastly fate of a young woman who had once adorned this very stage, his dear friend Elizabeth Cree (Olivia Cooke); for the beguiling songstress is facing up to her forthcoming death by hanging, having been accused of murdering her husband John Cree (Sam Reid). Lizzie’s death seems inevitable, until Detective Inspector John Kildare (Bill Nighy) is assigned to the case of the Limehouse Golem – a nefarious, calculating serial killer, murdering innocent, unconnected victims, leaving behind barely identifiable corpses – and his distinctive, trademark ‘M’.  All is not what it seems and everyone is a suspect and everyone has a secret.

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