Joshua John Miller M.A. Fortin

Interview – Joshua John Miller & M.A Fortin

Sometimes creative forces collide in unexpected ways. Take Joshua John Miller and M.A. Fortin; two talented individuals whose world unified a decade ago when they first co-wrote the 2014 Rose McGowan directed short film Dawn. From here they worked on the extremely well-received 2015 Horror Comedy film The Final Girls, leading into the creation of the Crime Drama series Queen of the South. Now in 2024 they return with a brand new full-length film entitled The Exorcism. A film that takes on a different approach to a fan adored subgenre of Horror, The Exorcism makes its theatrical debut on June 21st with a ton of curiosity swirling around it. Eager for everyone to see it, both Joshua John Miller and M.A. Fortin took some time to chat about the development of The Exorcism, working together, plus more.   

Cryptic Rock – First and foremost, you have both been involved in entertainment for sometime now. M.A., you have worked as a screenwriter and producer. Joshua, you have acted, written, and produced. You join forces with the new film The Exorcism. So, what brought this project about for you?

M.A Fortin – It started as a conversation with Kevin Williamson. He was a fan of The Final Girls (2015) and he was interested in our approach to Meta-Horror being applied to a different corner of the Horror universe. Whether it was happenstance or just specifically about Josh’s personal DNA and family connection to the granddaddy of them all, The Exorcist (1973).

The exorcism movies as a sub-genre became, “Well, what if?” Our initial reaction was, ” No, you can’t touch the original. Why would you? And even so, it’s a masterpiece.” Aside from a few highlights, for us, the sub-genre has never been that exciting; mainly because the things that really draw us to Horror are the fact that women are most often foregrounded in this genre. They’re the characters you identify with. They’re the masters of their own destiny. They’re the heroines.

Exorcism movies are, for the most part, pretty sexist. They’re always making women the damsels in distress. It’s always a big, strong man in a cassock showing up to rescue them. It’s always about how the church is a source of nothing but salvation. As queer people, we beg to differ. We realized that all the reasons we were saying no was because we weren’t really examining the things that we could subvert in playing within the genre.

Cryptic Rock – Well, it is very interesting how it all came together for you. As you said, there is a history there too. The film was originally called The Georgetown Project. What prompted the name change? 

Joshua John Miller – That was sort of a creative group decision. There were many factors in that. I’ve always loved our original title. I could see why people also like this title though. Sometimes you make compromises. I’ll leave it at that.

Near Dark movie poster
Near Dark / De Laurentiis Entertainment Group (1987)
Final Girls movie poster
The Final Girls/ Stage 6 Films (2015) 

Cryptic Rock – Understood. Obviously you have both worked together before, but you have had your separate careers as well. What is it like working together collaboratively, especially coming from two different places in different careers? 

Joshua John Miller – Look, I think it’s a gift, most of the time. I think one is very lucky, making movies and other things is an all consuming affair. You’re spending a big majority of your time doing it. There’s something that’s really fortunate to be able to share that time with someone that is also your life partner. There are challenges inherent in that, of course, but the ability to work with someone who knows you, sees you, gets you, and understands your creative taste, it becomes easier to kind of move forward together when we’re both tackling the same thing. We know both of our strengths and weaknesses. It’s very practical in a sense to work that way. I always had a very romantic notion of it ever since I had studied many artists, visual artists, musicians, Fleetwood Mac…

M.A Fortin – Who had a very smooth and easy process. (Laughs) 

Joshua John Miller – I had to. Look, Chris Nolan, not comparing ourselves at all, but Chris Nolan and his wife make stuff together. Rose Kaufman and Philip Kaufman. There’s been a lot of brothers, the Coens. There’s something to be said. Making movies is a Herculean task and to share in the responsibilities, to share in the vision, I think is truly divine providence that I was able to have a partner who was interested in pursuing this very lofty devotion that we both have.

M.A Fortin – Yeah, well said. Sometimes working with someone that you’re that close to, because it’s so difficult, you realize it’s good to have someone that you know you can trust 100%.

Joshua John Miller – Sometimes you can’t trust anyone.

M.A Fortin – That’s for sure.

The Exorcism 2024 movie poster
The Exorcism / Vertical (2024)

For more on Joshua John Miller: Instagram
For more on M.A. Fortin: Instagram 

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