Director plans second Wicker Man sequel

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THE veteran director of The Wicker Man, the cult horror film set on a remote Hebridean island, aims to make a third film on the Wicker Man theme set in the Shetland Islands.

The Wicker Tree, Robin Hardy’s sequel to the 1973 hit which starred Edward Woodward and Britt Ekland, opened last year to mixed reviews.

Filmed in Scotland, with echoes of The Wicker Man plot, it features an evangelical Christian couple from the United States who join May Day rites in a remote Scottish village, with sinister results.

Hardy said he planned to set the new film – working title The Wrath Of The Gods, in Shetland after visiting for the Up Helly Aa New Year fire festival this year.

He aims to seek funding from Creative Scotland and the Shetland Arts Development Agency.

The film’s story centres on a business executive who goes to Shetland to launch a US-backed theme park. “This time we will have a star. The mistake I made last time was not to have a star,” he said.

Hardy was speaking as the National Theatre of Scotland’s musical tribute to his film, An Appointment With The Wicker Man, begins its Scottish tour. He will see the production for the first time this week.

Hardy dissociated himself from a Hollywood remake of The Wicker Man in 2006, starring Nicolas Cage, but he said he welcomed the new stage production, a comedy about an amateur dramatic company staging The Wicker Man.

“I haven’t seen the script, but the film is highly musical so it should lend itself to a musical,” he said.

Now 80, Hardy made The Wicker Man in 1973 from a script by Anthony Shaffer about a Scottish policeman who investigates pagan rites on a remote island.

It was filmed in several small Scottish towns as well as Culzean Castle in Ayrshire.

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