When Push hits theatres next Friday, it won’t just be the latest science fiction thriller to hit the multiplexes; it’ll be a small glimpse into a shadowy world that conspiracists have professed to be true for decades.

To most, the notion that someone being able to psychically “push” thoughts and emotions into somebody else’s mind may be far-fetched but to others — like director Paul McGuigan, it may not be so preposterous.

“I was on the Internet looking at remote viewing for instance,” said the director during a recent phone interview.

“Remote viewing (is a notion that) you can have special powers that enable you to be outside a room, (but) you can tell what’s inside the room.

“That’s kind of crazy but there are people who are experts at this that have been used by government agencies for years and years.”

Push is definitely not shying away from that concept either. Featuring a wide array of abilities, this thriller focuses on a group of gifted young psychics on the run from a seedy government agency that’s trying to wrangle them for experimental purposes. Although the premise of gifted clairvoyants and psychic bloodhounds are fascinating enough, McGuigan didn’t get too wrapped up in the conspiracy.

“I always just thought of this as a sci-fi thriller — sort of a film noir in the sci-fi world and I kept it very much grounded there.”

Perhaps the film’s most intriguing character is 13-year-old Cassie Holmes, a “watcher” who has the ability to self-induce visions of the future. Played by Dakota Fanning (Charlotte’s Web), Push also marks a noticeably darker shift in the talented child star’s acting career.

“She basically reads (a script) and decides how she wants to play it,” said McGuigan about his impressive leading lady. The director behind acclaimed films like Wicker Park and Lucky Number Slevin has even recently called Fanning the “best actor he’s ever worked with.”

“It’s the poise; it is just knowing that life is not that complicated. We kind of gather the complications of life as we get older and she really hasn’t done that,” said McGuigan. “I can’t imagine what she’s going to be like in ten years time.”

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