EXCLUSIVE: The Lord Of The Rings star Elijah Wood has partnered with Daniel Noah and Josh C. Waller to form The Woodshed, an indie company that will focus on genre fare. While I tend to associate Wood with the wholesome hobbit he reprises in Peter Jackson’s Hobbit films, he played a pretty awful cannibal in Sin City, and he plays a full-on serial killer in the Franck Khalfoun-directed remake Maniac, which IFC Midnight acquired after it premiered at Cannes. Not surprisingly, Wood is a horror fanatic. “I’ve been a fan of horror and genre cinema in general since I was a child and have become increasingly passionate about the idea of there being a space in which horror films that take their subject matter and characters seriously could be produced,” he said. “What was born out of a conversation of our mutual love for the genre and what we felt was lacking in a broad sense, especially from the U.S. market, became The Woodshed.”
The trio met on I’m From The Future, an Atlas Independent film that hasn’t been released. Noah is a writer who has scripted indies that includes Believers and McCanick, the latter a cop drama being directed by Waller, and Max Rose, which stars Jerry Lewis in his final film role. Waller recently wrapped the female action thriller Raze, starring Zoe Bell and Rachel Nichols. David Morse, Cory Monteith, Ciaran Hinds, Mike Vogel, and Maura Tierney star in McCanick.
The Woodshed has put together a fright slate and they will be co-directors of the upcoming festival Nightmare City, which will include Maniac, with the rest of the slate to be unveiled last week. Nightmare City includes 73 total events: 45 repertory screenings, 10 live music concerts, 8 LA film premieres, a blacklight poster art show, and magic and comedy events.
On the production side, Woodshed gets underway with:
— Curse The Darkness, a socio-political zombie film scripted by Brandon Maurice Williams to shoot in February in Florida in partnership with Cinipix Films. Building on the research of anthropologist Wade Davis, the film takes a grounded approach to Haitian zombie practices to tackle immigration issues. Lawrence Inglee is also a co-producer.
— Henley, a feature transfer of the 2012 Sundance short written by Clay McLeod Chapman and Craig Macneill. Macneill will direct and Noah Greenberg is producer as well as cinematographer. The film is described as an intimate portrait of a 9-year-old sociopath as he first discovers his taste for killing.
— The Ivan Ford-scripted Harrow, to be directed by Keith Fulton and Lou Pepe (Lost In La Mancha, Brothers Of The Head) chronicles an unlikely friendship between an earnest female doctor and a shady photojournalist as they become trapped together in a town that has been quarantined as it experiences a number of disturbing paranormal events.
— The Peter Charles Melman-scripted It Was Cruel, to be helmed by Shadow Of The Vampire‘s E. Elias Merhige. The film uses the horror genre to confront the spiritual corruption that many Jews were forced to accept in order to survive World War II.
Future Woodshed fare will include collaborations with filmmakers including Alex de la Iglesia (The Last Circus), Nimrod Antal (Predators), Panos Cosmatos (Beyond The Black Rainbow), and vid helmer Ace Norton.