While filmmaker Gore Verbinski is probably best known for helming the initial Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy (those sequels are masterpieces compared to On Stranger Tides), he began as a sort of journeyman director with Mousehunt and The Mexican before hitting it big with The Ring. The 2002 film was a box office smash and scared the hell out of yours truly, and now the filmmaker is poised to return to the horror genre for the first time in over a decade.
We’ve known about A Cure for Wellness as a Verbinski project since last fall, but it is now firmed up as the filmmaker’s next movie as THR reports that Dane DeHaan and Mia Goth (Nymphomaniac) are set to star. Scripted by Justin Haythe (Revolutionary Road), the New Regency film tells the story of an employee (DeHaan) who is sent to rescue his boss from a European “wellness spa.” As horror films go, he soon realizes he’s trapped and discovers that the facility has a far more sinister purpose than it lets on. Goth will play a longtime patient oblivious to the spa’s plans for her.
Production on the pic will begin in Europe this June, which means we’ll likely have a new Verbinski film in theaters next year after his planned Steve Carell thriller Pyongyang was aborted. This is excellent news. The filmmaker tackled the Western genre to brilliant results with the animated feature Rango, and while The Lone Ranger was a bit of a misfire, Verbinski is a master at crafting set pieces. I’m incredibly curious to see him back behind the camera on a horror film.