On August 26th, WWE Studios is unleashing Leprechaun: Origins, their terrifying reboot of the popular Leprechaun franchise, on various VOD on Digital Platforms. Directed by Zach Lipovsky, a brand-new trailer and still from the film was released last week during the 2014 San Diego Comic-Con. While there, we chatted with the up-and-coming filmmaker about what fans can expect from his new spin on the mythology.

Because you decided to treat this as a whole new story with a brand new mythology, was your biggest challenge as a storyteller? Was it difficult getting the character of The Leprechaun back to his darker roots so that he could be a terrifying creature once again?

Zach Lipovsky: That was the biggest challenge, but it was the aspect of this project that I was most excited about. It was the reason I took this movie on, in fact. I think it’s because a lot of people have this perspective of leprechauns being this very tongue-in-cheek creature because that’s what they are in our culture. So the challenge was: how do you make a legitimately scary horror film when everyone coming into it is going to have this misconception about The Leprechaun? That was very exciting to me because I want to surprise fans with something they aren’t necessarily expecting.

A lot of the approach was doing research into the mythology and looking at its origin. Is there a creature that maybe the Celtics met three thousand years ago in a cave somewhere that was actually really terrifying? Maybe our stories come from their stories that originated thousands of years ago. So our Leprechaun is something more grounded in biology that doesn’t necessarily have magical, wish-giving powers, but does desire gold and is based in Celtic mythology.

I think the previous franchise did the tongue-in-cheek thing really, really well and that’s why we’re able to be here today talking about a new movie- because of those successes. But we’re not trying to redo any of that at all. This is an entirely new and fresh take and I think people are going to be surprised by this creature and how scary this movie actually is.

Deciding to set this film in Ireland seems like an incredibly smart and organic choice, considering your approach to the mythology. Can you discuss your approach to creating the world for the film and using Ireland as a backdrop as well?

Zach Lipovsky: I’d say that my biggest inspiration going into Leprechaun: Origins was Guillermo del Toro and the worlds he created in Hellboy and Pan’s Labyrinth. They may be modern day, but you still feel like you’re traveling to an ancient world or a place that’s been long forgotten by time. Ireland really has a lot of that to it and, as a location, it gave us a greater sense of history and atmosphere. All of that enhances the story and allows the audience to suspend their disbelief for a short while.

So we also did a lot of looking at all the Gaelic words and researched those a lot to give it some grounding in this culture. That authenticity makes the story just a bit creepier too.

What was it about Dylan Postl that helped bring this new Leprechaun to life?

Zach Lipovsky: The thing about Dylan is that, for a big part of his career as Hornswaggle in the WWE, he was a non-verbal performer, so he has that experience, which was invaluable. And this Leprechaun does verbalize, but what he’s saying isn’t necessarily dialogue, so it does use its eyes and body language to communicate with the audience. And that’s exactly what he used to do and it’s gotten him this far in his career, so I knew he was going to be perfect for this.

It was really cool to use all of Dylan’s talents for this film and he has this incredible ability to endure the entire process- from the prosthetics to the physicality- we put a lot on him. He would have to spend hours every day in make-up and then we’d shoot for long hours where he’d have to be inside this make-up and do a lot of really strenuous stunts and physical moments- not many people would have been able to do this. Thankfully, we had a WWE athlete or I don’t know how we could have made this movie (laughs).


Check out the official trailer below and look for more on Leprechaun: Origins exclusively in the upcoming preview issue of DEADLY - Horror & Sci-Fi Magazine this September!


  • Heather Wixson
    About the Author - Heather Wixson

    Heather A. Wixson was born and raised in the Chicago suburbs, until she followed her dreams and moved to Los Angeles in 2009. A 14-year veteran in the world of horror entertainment journalism, Wixson fell in love with genre films at a very early age, and has spent more than a decade as a writer and supporter of preserving the history of horror and science fiction cinema. Throughout her career, Wixson has contributed to several notable websites, including Fangoria, Dread Central, Terror Tube, and FEARnet, and she currently serves as the Managing Editor for Daily Dead, which has been her home since 2013. She's also written for both Fangoria Magazine & ReMind Magazine, and her latest book project, Monsters, Makeup & Effects: Volume One will be released on October 20, 2021.