So three more young, work-hungry actors have been scooped up for the Dreamworks/Spyglass/Red Hour production of The Ruins, based on Scott Smith’s big beach read of summer 2006. They are Jena Malone, Shawn "Bobby Drake" Ashmore and Laura "…" Ramsey, and they will be joining Jonathan Tucker in the college kids get trapped on Mayan ruins guarded by flesh eating vines flick (imagine most of that was hyphenated) scheduled to begin shooting in Australia this May.
Interestingly, this is the second Hollywood Reporter news item to omit mention of director Carter Smith, leading me to wonder if they’re looking for a more experienced director who’s less likely to screw the dachshund by relying heavily on CG vines. A smart, visually inventive filmmaker would know how to ramp up the tension by employing practical (i.e. not fake as Alexander O’Neal) effects. I’m not saying The Ruins is the next Jaws, but imagine if Spielberg would’ve had CG to fall back on in 1974; the studio would’ve browbeat his ass until he either relented and used CG or quit/got fired. CG vines in The Ruins will kill this movie. Either emphasize the terror of the unseen (and unthinkable), or be judicious with your depiction of the vines.
Judging from the cast they’ve assembled, I’m expecting garbage. But you never know. If I get invited for a set visit in Queensland, my ass’ll be down there faster than you can say White Shark.