Before I get on with the usual routine, I’d like to take a moment to allow a “family member” to bring you the first bit of news today in our beloved genre. Boils and ghouls, Mr. Jack Donaghy!
Our market research shows that people love natural disaster films. They eat that shit up every Saturday night on the “Siffy Channel”. It also shows that audiences also go “Lady Gaga” for movies featuring sharks. They love them in every demographic: colored people, broads, fairies, commies, bronies. These days it’s all about a wonderful new synergy: “mash-ups”. Our wonderful marketing and writing departments has put together a poster for an upcoming product that I’m sure you will all be excited for…
Just look at it for a moment longer. Bask in its glory. I know what you’re thinking. How come no one has thought of this concept before? That’s because they aren’t creative like my teams at The Asylum, with their work sneakers and left-handedness. Think of the possibilities. A tornado made out of sharks? Read it and weep, Corman! Our ratings will skyrocket while you cry in Eric Balfour’s trailer. We are going to be rich, ladies and gentlemen!
And now we dive into the thick of things…
Ridley Scott and Scott Free Productions have signed a deal with Focus Features International to produce science fiction/horror films over the next three years. Let’s just hope he keeps Damon Lindelof away from them and sends some work in Jon Spaihts’ direction.
Kurt Russell is set to star in the horror western Bone Tomahawk. He’ll be playing a sheriff sent to rescue a group of people from a tribe of cannibals. Nice! Richard Jenkins, Jennifer Carpenter, and Peter Sarsgaard are also on board the project, which is scheduled to shoot early next year.
An adaptation of Stephen King’s Cell is alive and well again, this time over at Cargo Films. The current script was co-written by King himself and John Cusack is attached to star. No director has been locked in yet. More as it happens.
Want to know what Paul W.S. Anderson is going to direct next? No. Well Argofuckyourself, I’m gonna tell you anyway! Pompeii, which was in Roman Polanski’s hands at one point, will start production this April with the notorious filmmaker at the helm. Yep, ole Paul is heading into Roland Emmerich territory. Normally I’d be skeptical, but I actually really enjoyed his last non-Resident Evil effort (The Three Musketeers), so I will remain cautiously optimistic for the time being. It’ll probably be no Sharknado, but few films ever aspire to such greatness anyway.
Lionsgate has snapped up Hellbenders, the latest from director J.T. Petty (The Burrowers). The 3D horror comedy is about an unsightly and unruly group of exorcists played by the likes of Clancy Brown, Dan Fogler, Larry Fessenden and Clifton Collins Jr. Sold yet? I am. Expect this to see some sort of theatrical release in 2013.
The long-promised follow-up to Tobe Hooper’s Toolbox Murders redo is finally happening. TBK: The Toolbox Murders 2 was originally supposed to pick up after the events of the first film and bring back a portion of its cast. That is no longer the case. The film, rechristened Coffin Baby (nice!), will now be a stand alone effort. Chauntal Lewis is our new lead and will be backed by Bruce Dern, Lance Henriksen, Jeffrey Combs, Tony Todd, Red West, and Brian Krause.
Elijah Wood’s genre production outfit, The Woodshed, has picked up another horror project: Cooties. Co-written by James Wan’s longtime collaborator, Leigh Whannell, the film focuses on “a mysterious virus [that] hits an isolated elementary school, transforming the pre-adolescent children into a feral swarm of mindless savages. An unlikely hero must lead a motley band of teachers in the fight of their lives against the monstrous pupils.” Whannell apparently wrote the script out of the desire to craft a story where it would be okay to “beat [kids] up with hockey sticks.” Unlike the previously announced Woodshed productions, Elijah Wood actually plans to star in this one. Filming is slated to begin in April.
Fright Night didn’t financially pan out for Dreamworks. So much so, it seems, that they were disillusioned enough to put the rights up for sale. Well, a apparently a small studio (unnamed at this time) has already snatched them up and is well on their way to shooting some sort of DTV entry in Romania early next year. Eduardo Rodriguez (El Gringo, Stash House) is reportedly in line to direct the new reboot.
We apparently live in a world where Uwe Boll can get funding for a Dominic Purcell-fronted In the Name of the King III, but some of our favorite filmmakers in the genre struggle to get projects off the ground. Fuck this planet.
James D’Arcy and Chloe Sevigny are set to topline the cast for A&E’s Those Who Kill. Based on a series of Danish crime thrillers, the proposed series will see the two hunting serial killers with a variety of methods. Joe Carnahan is on board to direct the pilot.
Nacho Vigalondo (Timecrimes, Extraterrestrial) has already begun filming on his first English-language film, Open Windows. It’s a 90-minute thriller that will play out in real-time and will draw inspiration from classic ’70s thrillers. Elijah Wood and Sasha Grey star.
Brad Anderson has replaced Oren Peli as director on Eliza Graves. The Poe-inspired psychological thriller is set at a mental institution where a newly-hired doctor falls in love with one of the patients and all within the asylum is not what it seems (naturally). Anderson will begin on the project after he finishes up work on The Hive.
The Ford Brothers are looking to start filming on The Dead 2 this March. Here’s the teaser for the sequel…
While it has already been filming for almost a month now, details are finally starting to come out on Ti West’s The Sacrament. While we still have no idea what the plot might be, we now have a cast: Joe Swanberg, A.J. Bowen, Kentucker Audley, Gene Jones, and Amy Seimetz. West and producer Eli Roth have the rest of the production’s secrets locked down at the moment, but we all know it’s only a matter of time before they leak out.
XLrator Media seems to be snapping up titles left and right while trying to make a name for themselves as a home video distributor. First up is Outpost: Black Sun, a sequel to the Ray Stevenson-starrer from a few years back. That particular film will hit this coming Tuesday. The Thompsons, the Butcher Bros. follow-up to The Hamiltons, is also on deck for a December 31st release. XLrator has also scooped up the horror comedy Inbred and Steven C. Miller’s love letter to Joe Dante, Under The Bed. Both will see release sometime next year.
Olive Films will be reissuing Cujo on DVD/Blu-ray next year with some new features, including a brand new commentary with director Lewis Teague. They will also be unleashing Tony Randall’s Ticks onto both Blu-ray and DVD for the first time. Those discs will also contain a director commentary, as well as other features that will be announced at a later date.
As always, we close things out on the latest announcement from Scream Factory. This week’s offerings? Scanners II: The New Order and Scanners III: The Takeover. They have unfortunately also announced that they were unable to secure the rights to Cronenberg’s original. While that is a massive bummer, perhaps we can all secretly hope that they will be able to release the best sequel, Scanner Cop, in the future. And maybe its own sequel, Scanners: The Showdown? Pretty please? With Mark Rolston on top?
I’d also like to take this time to apologize for the lateness of this week’s entry. Long story short, Frankenstorm had its way with me. Things have now reverted back to normal around here and all is well. See you next week!
Addendum – Time for a little shameless self-promotion! Rene Rangel and I have a fledgling podcast that we have been tinkering with on what has amounted to a bi-monthly basis thus far. If you’re interested in such chaotic silliness that frequently involves the horror genre, click here.