MaXXXine team discuss blending fact and fiction by including a real-life serial killer in the horror movie sequel

(Image credit: Universal Pictures)

Following the success of X and Pearl, director Ti West caps off his X trilogy with MaXXXine. The threequel, though, is different to the rest, as the filmmaker blends fact and fiction by incorporating in a real-life serial killer.

Picking up six years after the events of X, we catch up with Maxine (Mia Goth) who is now living in Hollywood attempting to find acting roles outside of porn. However, her bloody past has other ideas as it starts catching up with her.

Set in the '80s, the film reflects on themes from that period, including the Satanic Panic and the rise of grindhouse titles in the home video market. Perhaps more explicitly though, it also features the Night Stalker, a.k.a. Richard Ramirez, a serial killer who was convicted of 13 counts of murder, five attempted murders, and 11 sexual assaults.

After the tease in the film's trailer, there has been debate online about featuring a very real killer in a fictional tale. For star and producer Goth though, it really "anchors" the story as she tells Total Film in our new issue out on Thursday, June 20, which features Deadpool and Wolverine on the cover. She explains: "It sets out a breadcrumb trail back to reality. It’s not just some big sweeping horror movie that’s purely for entertainment value. It’s rooted in something."

Further details wouldn't be teased from Goth regarding whether her character Maxine does encounter the Night Stalker herself during the movie. Similarly, her co-star Elizabeth Debicki, who portrays a director named Elizabeth Bender, is also keeping her lips sealed, stating that it's exciting to watch it all unravel: "I won’t give anything away. The joy of [the film] is there are so many threads at play."

Director West is also holding his cards close to his chest explaining that "if you go into the movie knowing nothing, everything is possible" but he did give a cryptic answer when Total Film asked whether MaXXXine sticks to the facts of the Night Stalker case or reimagines history à la Quentin Tarantino with Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood.

The filmmaker emphasized: "It has more in common with Summer of Sam, the Spike Lee movie [backdropped by the killings of David Berkowitz a.k.a. the Son of Sam, in New York during 1976 and 1977], than it does Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood. It does play a significant role in the story but in its own particular way."

MaXXXine releases on July 5 in US and UK theaters. And you can read more about it and a whole lot else besides in the new issue of Total Film when it hits shelves and digital newsstands on Thursday, June 20.

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Ryan Reynolds and Hugh Jackman on the cover of Total Film's Deadpool & Wolverine issue

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Emily Murray
Entertainment Editor

As Entertainment Editor at GamesRadar, I oversee all the online content for Total Film and SFX magazine. Previously I've worked for the BBC, Zavvi, UNILAD, Yahoo, Digital Spy and more.