In what Deadline is calling “the first significant distribution deal for a film playing at Toronto,” Bob Weinstein‘s Dimension Films is set to acquire “Aftershock” (which is screening at the festival) and the soon-to-film “Clown,” both produced by “Hostel” mastermind and “Inglourious Basterd” bastard Eli Roth. The report states that each film will have a minimum guarantee of $2 million, plus a guarantee of a wide theatrical rollout.
“Aftershock,” from Chilean director Nicolas Lopez (you can see more images of the film here), will star Roth (Roth also co-wrote the script, with Lopez and Guillermo Amoedo), was inspired by the 2010 Chile earthquake and concerns “an insane asylum on an island, where the inmates escape during an earthquake.” The film will co-star Selena Gomez (in what amounts to an extended cameo, from the sound of it), and Lopez regulars Ariel Levy, Nicolas Martinez and Lorenza Izzo. This is the director’s first English-language film after helming the highest grossing Chilean films of both 2010 and 2011. Not too shabby.
Many of the same principles from “Aftershock” are being utilized on Roth’s long, long, epically long-awaited return to directing, the South American-set jungle cannibal movie “The Green Inferno” (oops, the plot is supposed to be secret). That film will be produced by Lopez, co-written by Amoedo, and was at least partially inspired by Roth’s shooting of “Aftershock” in Chile.
“Clown,” which was based on a jokey fan-made trailer (perhaps one of the gags being that the movie is “from the master of horror Eli Roth”), will be directed by Jon Watts from a script he wrote with Christopher D. Ford (who wrote charming Sundance lark “Robot and Frank“). “Clown” concerns a father who, after a clown fails to show up for his son’s birthday party, puts on a clown suit and, at the end of the party, can’t take it off. It’s then that he realizes that the suit is haunted, and worse, will transform him the longer he wears it. Should fit nicely into the “scary clown” horror subgenre.
Again, many of the “Clown” creative principles will be back together for what is presumed to be Roth’s follow-up to “The Green Inferno,” a feature-length version of his fake trailer from “Grindhouse.” (Is this the ouroboros of fake trailers turning into real movies?) The feature-length version of “Thanksgiving” will be written by Roth, his writing partner Jeff Rendell, along with “Clown” alums Watts and Ford. Considering “Thanksgiving” was part of “Grindhouse” (a Dimension film), we can safely assume that it will end up being a Dimension release too.
Additionally, Roth has the amazing-looking, RZA-directed kung-fu movie “The Man With the Iron Fists,” which he co-produced and co-wrote, coming out in October, and a Netflix series called “Hemlock Grove” based on the terrific paperback original by Brian McGreevy (seriously, if the show gets in the way of the second book coming out, we’ll have a score to settle with Roth), that he’s developed and will be executive producing (he also directed the pilot). After a relatively quiet period from Roth, looks like things are heating up once again. Someone should put down some plastic sheeting, as things are undoubtedly going to get slippery.