Eli Roth, the filmmaker behind gore fests like Cabin Fever and Hostel and the unexpected family horror film The House With a Clock in Its Walls, has created a brand-new franchise to infiltrate virtually every form of entertainment outside of the written word. Working with James Frey, the infamous writer of A Million Little Pieces, and digital entertainment studio 3BlackDot, Clownpocalypse will consist of a feature film, an AR video game, short-form digital content, merchandise and live events.
According to 3BlackDot’s website, the story behind Clownpocalypse is as follows: “When a tech genius CEO with a dark hidden agenda releases a massively popular social media photo filter, millions of attention obsessed users are mutated into psychotic clowns. A group of young delinquents go on a horrific journey to take down the CEO behind the madness, and restore the world to its normal kind of crazy.”
The script for the film is being written by Philip Gelatt, the screenwriter behind most of Netflix’s Love, Death & Robots. Roth and Frey will produce, alongside 3BlackDot President Reginald Cash, Mitchell Smith and Zennen Clifton. No director has been announced, but production is expected to begin in the first quarter of 2020.
In a statement to Deadline (via Bloody Disgusting), Roth said, “I’ve had an amazing time collaborating with James Frey and the incredible team at 3BlackDot. From concept to art to the game play, every step of the way, no idea has been too crazy, and they’ve executed it at the highest level. For years I’ve had people tell me ‘You can’t do that in a game, it’s too insane’ and I finally found partners who said, ‘Let’s take this a step further.’ It feels like we’re making a game, movie and live experience with no parental supervision or studio to tell us to tone it down, and that’s the only way to create something spectacular and memorable. This will be a big, fun, scary event for gamers, movie fans, and people who love live events. The Clownpocalypse is coming. Get ready.”
Meanwhile, Cash said, “We are thrilled to continue to work with great visionaries and storytellers such as Eli and Philip in creating immersive worlds that traverse film, games, and live events. Audiences are in for a real surprise.”
The AR game is already well into development, with the ultimate goal being to hook viewers into the world of Clownpocalypse through the film and continue to support the game via merchandise and live events. Basically, it sounds like a horror version of Pokemon Go being released alongside a tie-in movie. I’m both a horror fan and a person who has enjoyed most of Roth’s movies, so I feel I’m qualified to say that this whole endeavor sounds like a risky idea. Scary clowns and AR games feel extremely dated, but I’m willing to withhold my judgment until more details about the ambitious project are revealed.