Consider it an early Halloween gift from writer-director Eli Roth that news of his latest horror flick is coming at us fast and furious. As we already know, it’s been five long years now since Roth gave us “Hostel: Part 2,” a film that, like much of his work, proved to be incredibly divisive, but certainly provided evidence that the relatively novice horror auteur was starting to branch out in his career – even if the sequel felt a bit like a spinning of the wheels. He’s spent the last five years starring in buddy Quentin Tarantino’s “Inglorious Basterds,” and producing everything from hits like “The Last Exorcism” to Chilean earthquake terror “Aftershock” (which he also acted in), but now he really is stepping back behind the camera.
With filming getting underway soon, he’s lining up the cast for his Peru-based horror film “The Green Inferno,” which will follow a group of individuals who’ve crashlanded in the Amazonian jungle, and with a title paying heavy homage to the infamous “Cannibal Holocaust” – it looks like Roth will be heading into the jungle to terrorize these individuals with some flesh eaters. Co-written with “Aftershock” scribe Guillermo Amoedo, the young talent will include Daryl Sabara (“John Carter,” “Spy Kids”), Kirby Bliss Blanton (“Project X“), Magda Apanowicz and actress/singer Sky Ferreria with “Aftershock” thesps Lorenza Izzo and Ariel Levy also currently in negotiations to star in Roth’s thriller, which will see him producing alongside Worldview Entertainment.
Worldview is sort of becoming a rival of Megan Ellison’s Annapurna Pictures in terms of ambitious pictures, teaming up with Roth to finance and produce Ti West’s latest “The Sacrament,” along with Atom Egoyan’s West Memphis Three picture “Devil’s Knot,” director Eran McGreevy’s “Welcome to the Punch” with James McAvoy, David Gordon Green’s latest in “Joe” with Nicolas Cage and Tye Sheridan, and finally James Gray’s “The Nightingale” with Jeremy Renner, Joaquin Phoenix, and Marion Cotillard. Yeah, they’re pretty busy, and that’s a whole slate of films we’re dying to see, and we can now add ‘Inferno’ to the pile. Exclusive Media will handle international sales for the picture.
Roth also talked about shooting the picture in Peru with Movieline, where he’ll be journeying up the Amazon River to a remote village that has “no electricity, no running water, nothing.” Always one for a good tease, Roth said that the production lured 200 native villagers out of the woods to play extras by screening “Cannibal Holocaust.” Roth remarks, “They thought it was a comedy!” Roth talks excitedly about moving into this unknown territory, stating that, “The location that we found is truly spectacular. It’s so far up the Amazon, no one has ever shot there. The last person anywhere near there was Werner Herzog for ‘Aguirre, the Wrath of God.’” Roth talks more about how the production will lend the villagers school supplies, medical supplies, and a boat for their work on the film, perhaps setting him up as some modern day saint of the horror variety.
Before Roth kicks off production on “The Green Inferno” come November 5th, we’ll get a taste of what he’s been up to lately with his latest producing and co-writing endeavour in RZA’s “Man with the Iron Fists” on November 2nd. After that, we’ll have to wait for the Dimension acquired ”Aftershock,” and probably ‘Inferno’ sometime after that. Let’s not forget, we’ll probably see him dipping his toes back into horror even sooner with the television adaptation of the werewolf novel “Hemlock Grove,” which is like “The Howling” meets “Twin Peaks,” that’ll see Roth producing and directing the pilot for the series that is set to debut on Netflix next year. That isn’t even taking into account that there has been ramblings that Roth would helm the modern day Dracula tale “Harker” for Warner Brothers, with ‘Iron Fists’ collaborator Russell Crowe onboard as well – but that seems to be a ways away at this point. Roth has also been attached to a feature adaptation of his “Grindhouse” trailer “Thanksgiving,” and a big budget sci-fi picture entitled “Endangered Species,” but we’d be more than willing to wager that many more Thanksgivings and alien invasion films will past before (if) those ever get made. As for now, let’s look towards ‘Inferno.’