Even though it was fairly obvious when he threatened us with this possibility in his Myspace plea-for-money manifesto, it would appear that Eli Roth has officially proclaimed CELL on hold.
Horrormovies.ca claims Roth made the declaration at Comic-Con, and that heís working more intensely on TRAILER TRASH - that impossible (in my eyes) project that would string together an hour and a half of trailers.
As far as CELL's delay is concerned, apparently the screenplay is the culprit. Roth and screenwriters Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski canít seem to crack what is admittedly a strange, frustrating (and repetitive) tale from the cukoo brain of Stephen King.
Those who know the book know that it gets off to a phenomenal, very cinematic start - only to become more surreal and obscure (especially in the handling of the villains, or "phoners") as it goes along. Roth has said in the past:
"I also want to keep, ... not necessarily that same chaotic tone, but I want to keep the tension of the opening 40 pages of the book going throughout the whole film and introduce other elements.
"Because I think the book, for me, where it loses tension is where suddenly you don't feel like the phone crazies are trying to kill them. "
Heís not wrong about that, and Iím completely in favor of an overhaul of the storyís 3rd act - and maybe a rethinking of the "evolution" of the phoners, which never fully worked for me. Obviously, theyíre making the right move by focusing on getting the script in order before moving forward...