Eric Jacobus and Clayton Barber (of Creed and Blade II fame) recently completed postproduction on their latest action short titled Blindsided, produced by David No (Matrix Reloaded).
Blindsided tells the story of Walter Cooke (Jacobus), a blind man with a smile who ventures to his neighborhood grocery store, run by Gordon (Roger Yuan, Shanghai Noon) to buy milk and apples to make a pie, but when mobsters threaten to shake down the store, Walter shows them what a blind martial artist is capable of.
Jacobus, who wrote the screenplay, and Barber, who directs the pic, set out to retell the classic Japanese samurai tale of Zatoichi from an American perspective. Walter isn’t your typical brooding superhero ala Daredevil. He’s innocent, witty, and likes his pie.
Walter’s neighbor, played by Pete Antico (Lethal Weapon 3), can’t understand how a blind man can get around so easily without breaking stride. While the inspiration for the Walter character came initially from Zatoichi, Jacobus studied under a blind athlete named Walter Raineri (coincidentally, Jacobus wrote the “Walter” character before ever knowing about Raineri) which added a new layer to the character. Jacobus said in a recent screening of the film:
Meeting real Walter gave us a new insight into the world of the blind. Walter became less a victim, more a stumbling block for everyone around him in this dangerous environment, which he passes through without a hitch.
The title for Blindsided was created by Barber, who wanted to create a deep character who was an original take on Zatoichi.
Everyone is blindsided in this film by a mysterious man who wanders into these situations and wrecks havoc, only to walk away smiling every time.
David No, acting as producer of the film, also oversaw post-production, which involved months of editing, sound design, color correction, and an entirely original score by Steffen Schmidt.
Since Blindsided finished post-production, Jacobus, Barber, and No have entered the film into multiple festivals. Screening details will be posted as they become available.
Blindsided is slated to release online early 2017. Be sure to like the Blindsided Facebook page where more updates will be posted.