John Maclean’s new movie – his first since 2015’s Slow West – starts filming

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Tornado is the second film from director John Maclean, and it’s just started filming in Scotland. More here:


Here’s a slightly bittersweet story about a filmmaker who made an excellent debut feature and then seemed to disappear. The good bit is – he’s back!

Still, we’ll start with the bitter bit if that’s okay with you. Back in 2015, John Maclean made his directorial debut with the slim, compelling western Slow West. Starring Michael Fassbender and Kodi Smit-McPhee, it’s a terrific western that Maclean also wrote. Yet after he made it, those hoping for a follow-up feature soon after would be disappointed. In fact, it’s taken nearly a decade to get to that point.

He told me back in 2015, back when I was elsewhere, that he worked on one film at a time. His next movie was never going to be quick, but still: it feels like a very long time.

Quite why is unclear, but Maclean proved himself quickly as a real filmmaking talent. And thankfully, he’s back making a movie right about now.

He’s directing a new survival thriller that’s going by the name of Tornado. Filming is underway in Scotland on the movie, which Tim Roth has been recruited to feature in alongside Jack Lowden and Takehiro Hira.

Lionsgate has already picked up the UK distribution rights to the movie too, as it did with Slow West.

Set in 1790, the movie follows a Japanese woman by the name of Tornado, who’s in Britain with her father’s travelling puppet-based Samurai show. Things go awry though when said show and said father come across a criminal gang, and it goes a bit spoiler-y if we tell you much more beyond that.

Assuming production and editing is completed this year, we’d imagine that Tornado will follow the path set by Slow West and head off to the Sundance Film Festival in 2025. That’s speculation on our part though, so don’t hold us to it.

As we hear more on the movie, we’ll keep you posted of course.

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