EXCLUSIVE: Lionsgate is making a deal with MGM to distribute The Cabin in the Woods, putting an end to an unexpectedly long shelf life for a horror film that has a terrific creative pedigree and a high degree of fanboy wanna-see. Cloverfield writer Drew Goddard directed the film and co-wrote it with Joss Whedon. The film’s cast includes Chris Hemsworth, who made it before he was set to star as the title character in Marvel’s Thor. Ironically, Whedon and Hemsworth are reuniting, with Whedon directing The Avengers, and Hemsworth reprising his hammer-swinging role. It’s unclear when Lionsgate will release the film, but October is a good bet.
The delay has little to do with the quality of the film. It was once slated to be released by MGM on Oct. 23, 2009, but was pulled back because it was going to be converted to 3D. Then, everything froze at MGM because of the strangling debt load, and The Cabin in the Woods was among several pictures that languished. By the time the picture is released, Thor will have established Hemsworth’s star value, which will certainly help a film that also stars Richard Jenkins and Bradley Whitford.
That leaves the remake of Red Dawn as the last holdover MGM film seeking a distributor. That picture also stands to gain from having sat on a shelf. That one also stars Hemsworth as well as Josh Hutcherson, who was just set to star in The Hunger Games, and Adrianne Palicki, who was set to play Wonder Woman in NBC’s small-screen reboot.