September 5, 2003
Note: "Sin Eater" was the movie's original title.
Sin Eater is a supernatural romantic thriller starring the cast of A Knight's Tale. Well, not all of them, but close enough. Heath Ledger, Mark Addy and Shannyn Sossamon will again perform under the direction of Brian Helgeland, who sold the idea for this film to Fox over five years ago but is only now finally ready to make it. Also along for the ride is Robocop himself, Peter Weller.
In case you are wondering, a sin eater is an ancient mythological figure who believed that the most effective way to absolve a dead person of his sins was to actually eat food off of the corpse. This ritual would theoretically swallow the sins of the deceased and cleanse him, thereby enabling the soul to take its rightful place in the next life. It's important to make the distinction that sin eaters were not cannibals, but instead used the body as a plate. That's at least marginally less disgusting, right?
The storyline of Sin Eater is that Ledger's character, Alex Bermier, is a disillusioned priest who travels to Rome in order to research the circumstances of his mentor's death. Bermier winds up helping a female detective named Lucy Sinclair investigate why the corpse is covered with unusual religious symbols.
Principal photography was done in Rome and Naples, in order to have a more cost-effective budget of approximately $35 million. The shoot got off to a shaky start when Vincent Cassel (Brotherhood of the Wolf) dropped out of the title role due to (what else?) creative differences after three weeks of filming. He has been replaced by German actor Benno Furman (The Princess and the Warrior), but the late date of the casting change forced unusually early re-shoots for the production.
Sin Eater has a lot going for it. Ledger and Sossamon are both engaging stars who are coming off of strong performances. Helgeland has a vivid imagination, and has already proven he can direct these gorgeous leads to a good film with A Knight's Tale. Taking on more serious subject matter while playing as a de facto sequel to that solid hit should signify big things for the film. (David Mumpower/BOP)
June 17, 2003
Sin Eater has undergone a title change, probably for a myriad of reasons, and will now be released as The Order.
August 24, 2003
As promising as this movie once sounded, its release date has been pushed back several times since its original target date of October 2002, and consequently, it's hard to be particularly optimistic about its box office potential. (Jennifer Turnock/BOP)