Writer Princesses Reveal Surprising Inspiration for a Thriller

Exclusive: The Princess screenwriters Jake Thornton and Ben Lustig reveal the surprising inspirations behind their new thriller, including The Raid.

Princess delivers a sharp new take on its titular genre and those behind the film offer their inspirations on the action-thriller. The film revolves around the eponymous character Joey King as she is pressured to marry a sociopathic royal in hopes of maintaining the strength of her kingdom following her parents’ inability to give birth to a male heir. After refusing marriage, the princess is locked away in a secluded tower of her father’s castle by the power-hungry king and turns to fighting his captors to save both her family and her kingdom.

Alongside King, the cast of Princess understand Preacher starring Dominic Cooper, Black Widowis Olga Kurylenko, The old guardby Veronica Ngo, Martin Taskov and Ivo Arakov. Development of the film was first announced in late 2020 when 20th Century Studios acquired the rights to Lustig and Thornton’s screenplay for Hulu and Neal H. Moritz attached to co-produce with John Wick designer Derek Kolstad. With Princess Just around the corner from its debut, those behind the film offer insight into its unique development.

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While speaking exclusively with Screen Rant ahead of the film’s release, screenwriters Jake Thornton and Ben Lustig explained how they imagined Princess. The duo revealed the surprising inspirations for the action-thriller, quoting the fairy tale Rapunzel and Gareth Evans Lowering as the main influences of the film. Check out what Thornton and Lustig shared below:

Thornton: Well, it’s funny that you say Rapunzel meets The Raid, because that was the first thing. Ben and I were waiting to go to a meeting a couple of years ago and Ben was literally like, ‘What about doing Rapunzel through the Raid, what about being a princess on top of the tower and fight their way down, rather than a bunch of cops fighting their way up the tower?” As soon as I heard it, I was like, ‘Yeah, that’s a movie right there “What I loved was that he took on a trope, that being the princess held in a tower, but just doing something you’ve never seen before. I think that’s what which immediately got us, got me really excited and we started writing it almost straight away.

Lustig: Yeah, for me, I have a five-year-old daughter and at the time I was watching as many princess movies as you can imagine and going to Disneyland. I think at one point Jake and I always looked at tropes and that was kind of our thing is to see, ‘How can we take something that people know and make it from? a completely new way?’ , here are all these princess movies. But what if one was a badass?” And, like Jake said, we just ran with it.


Lustig and Thornton’s note on Princess be inspired by Lowering is sure to become an exciting match for action genre fans given how well-regarded Gareth Evans’ Indonesian action-thriller has become in the decade since its release. Not only has the film spawned its own sequel to Evans and an American remake in the works at Netflix with The Hitman’s Bodyguardby Patrick Hughes, but it has also been a big influence on the action genre in recent years. The genre has since seen a number of films with similar premises and a focus on melee action since Loweringof, the most notable being that of Kolstad John Wick franchise.


With Kolstad helping produce the thriller and Lustig and Thornton citing Lowering as their biggest influence for the film, audiences should expect the same level of action rooted in Princess as seen in previous work. Trailers for the Joey King-led thriller offered promising looks at the star/executive producer’s efforts leading mostly her own fight sequences, keeping anticipation high for the film to capture the same level of excitement and drama. acclaim as her inspirations and fellow female action mystery novels Atomic Blonde, the old guard and Gunpowder milkshake. Only time will tell when Princess hits Hulu on Friday.


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