Is “meta” your favorite flavor of horror films? Do classics like Scream, Funny Games, and The Cabin in the Woods get you going? Then you’ve got a lot to be excited about for Russell Crowe’s newest project — an original, untitled horror film developed as part of Scream writer Kevin Williamson’s ongoing deal with Miramax to produce more genre content. Here’s the twisty, tantalizing synopsis so far:
Crowe plays a troubled actor who begins to unravel while shooting a horror film. His estranged daughter wonders if he’s slipping back into his past addictions or if there’s something more sinister at play.
An actor in a horror film playing an actor in a horror film? We need to go deeper! And we’re willing to bet this film’s premise will walk us on the thin lines between horror consumption and participation, artistry and obsession, safety and danger. Crowe excels at playing men with latent anger issues trying their best to keep it together, but has never used his formidable skills in the horror genre before — the closest perhaps being Dr. Jekyll in 2017’s Tom Cruise actioner The Mummy, which failed to set up a Universal-guided Dark Universe. Maybe Crowe’s character can try and get the movie he’s shooting to start an extended universe? It’s already meta, let’s go for it!
The untitled film will be directed by first-timers Joshua John Miller and M.A. Fortin, who also wrote the script. Miller and Fortin are best known for writing another meta-horror exploration, The Final Girls. In that film, a group of high schoolers are transported into the world of a cheesy 1980s slasher film, and must fight to survive. The Final Girls used this world as a platform for cheeky horror-comedy, but it sounds like their Crowe project, while similarly “about the genre,” will be played serious and straight.
Williamson, one of our most prolific and renowned horror screenwriters, said he was “so excited to work with Russell, one of the greatest actors of our time… Fortin and Miller have such a fresh vision for this film, we know that together they will create something terrifying and memorable.” Here’s hoping this team can craft something unique in the genre… and here’s hoping we all stay sane while watching it!
Want more horror talk? Check out our list of the best 1990s horror films, where Mr. Williamson makes a few appearances.