Eli Roth and Kevin Williamson team up on The River at Night

Cabin Fever Eli Roth Cerina Vincent

According to Production Weekly, Eli Roth should be getting ready right now to start filming a new movie for Miramax that we're desperately hoping is, at long last, a feature expansion of his GRINDHOUSE faux trailer THANKSGIVING. Roth hasn't commented on those rumors, but he has commented on another project he just set up at Miramax.

Miramax has acquired the screen rights to Erica Ferencik's 2017 novel THE RIVER AT NIGHT (you can pick up a copy of that HERE), and Roth is teaming with SCREAM's Kevin Williamson to produce the project, which Roth may end up directing as well.

Melanie Toast is writing the screenplay for THE RIVER AT NIGHT, which has the following synopsis: 

Stifled by a soul-crushing job, devastated by the death of her beloved brother, and lonely after the end of a 15-year marriage, Wini is feeling vulnerable. So when her three best friends insist on a high-octane getaway for their annual girls’ trip, she signs on, despite her misgivings. 

What starts out as an invigorating hiking and rafting excursion in the remote Allagash Wilderness soon becomes an all-too-real nightmare; a freak accident leaves the women stranded, separating them from their raft and everything they need to survive. When night descends, a fire on the mountainside lures them to a ramshackle camp that appears to be their lifeline. But as Wini and her friends grasp the true intent of their supposed saviors, long buried secrets emerge and lifelong allegiances are put to the test. 

To survive, Wini must reach beyond the world she knows to harness an inner strength she never knew she possessed.

It was Williamson who sold Roth on the project by describing the story as "GIRLS TRIP meets DELIVERANCE". Roth says, 

I've always been drawn to these clash of culture movies like Cabin Fever and Hostel, where they go for an adventure and everything turns against them and we see what they’re made of. The book is fun and it's a smart thriller. As for working with Kevin Williamson, I was 22 and had written Cabin Fever and someone told me they read this new guy Kevin Williamson's script Scary Movie. I took it home, read it on a bus going back to Newton, Mass., and thought, 'Okay, this is what a real script looks like.' It was so good. On my first meeting with him years ago I brought the Dawson's Creek calendar I'd put in my apartment and he noticed that the only appointments were reminders to tape that show. He said it was the funniest, saddest thing he had ever seen, my empty life in Los Angeles."

Williamson adds, 

It was just sad and I remember suggesting he get a life. But we've been friends for years and always talked about working together. I stumbled upon the book, saw the reviews and just ordered it and found it a terrific story of courage and survival. Turns out Eli likes rafting."

Williamson and Ben Fast are producing THE RIVER AT NIGHT through their company Outerbanks, while Roth is producing with Roger Birnbaum through their company The Arts District.

According to Roth, Miramax chief Bill Block is looking to "turn Miramax back into a haven for edgy crossover genre movies that have a chance to break out in the mainstream", and THE RIVER AT NIGHT is part of that endeavor.

The project sounds interesting to me, and I'd be totally on board to watch Roth direct something along the lines of DELIVERANCE.

Source: Deadline



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