To celebrate the release of The Water Man, which arrives on Netflix this week, we went on an epic interview quest with the film’s director David Oyelowo to find out more.

Having made his name in films such as Selma, A Most Violent Year, and A United Kingdom, Oyelowo steps behind the camera for the first time for a film and, let us be frank, we couldn’t be more excited. Having produced a few films over his career, directing was always his next step but was waiting for the right time and the film story to do so, and after agreeing to appear in The Water Man, it eventually turned into a perfect project.

During our extended chat with the actor and filmmaker, Oyelowo talks about bringing some of his favourite childhood “quest” films – Willow, Labyrinth, and, of course, The Goonies – back to the screen and, through them, was able to tell a story of a family that he hadn’t seen depicted on screen when he was young. We also talked about the magic of “magic”, his incredible ensemble – led by the brilliant turns from Lonnie Chavis and Amiah Miller – and how his direction was impacted by the filmmakers he had worked with, from Ava DuVernay, Steven Spielberg, and Christopher Nolan, amongst others.

He also filled us in his new, still-untitled murder-mystery film he made with Saoirse Ronan and Sam Rockwell – “Give us a title!” he told us – and that long-mooted A Most Violent Year sequel might have more legs than we think…

You can watch the full extended interview below:

Hoping to save his sick mother, a boy ventures into the remote Wild Horse forest to search for a mythical figure who possesses the secret to immortality.

The Water Man arrives on Netflix on July 9th.