EXCLUSIVE: There are going to be plenty of film packages that spark buyers at Cannes, and here’s a fresh one that isn’t even waiting for the Croisette. Keanu Reeves has just committed to star for Eli Roth in Knock Knock, a psychological thriller that Roth wrote and will direct. Reeves will play a happily married family man who’s left alone for the weekend. Two beautiful girls show up at his house, and turn his life upside down. Those femme fatales will be played by Lorenza Izzo, who just starred for Roth in the September 5 release The Green Inferno, and Ana de Armas, who just played Robert Duran’s wife in Hands Of Stone opposite Edgar Ramirez and Robert De Niro. Ignacia Allamand, who also starred in Green Inferno, plays the man’s wife. Colleen Camp, a catalyst in assembling this film as producer, will also play a role, as will Aaron Burns, who also just worked with Roth in The Green Inferno.
Roth confirmed all this for me, and said that it has all come together in what has to be record time. He wrote the script with Green Inferno collaborators Eli Roth, Nicolas Lopez, Guillermo Amoedo. Reeves loved it, just committed and has come aboard as exec producer. Roth starts production April 14 in Santiago, Chile (which is far from the earthquake so that is not a disruption).
“I had a window before I promote Green Inferno, and I wanted to make a movie like Roman Polanski or Paul Verhoeven made when they were young, a classic psychosexual thriller that’s not a horror movie, but would have everyone on the edge of their seats. Getting Keanu is amazing, he’s a fine actor who is perfect for this. I feel I can have this movie ready for Toronto if I need to, and he’s catching a plane tomorrow and we’ll be fitting him for wardrobe right away.”
There is already scrapping going on by foreign sales companies chasing the international rights, and domestic distributors. CAA will be selling the domestic rights with Cassian Elwes and most of the dealmaking will take place in Cannes.
Camp, Roth, Nicolas Lopez, Miguel Asensio, Cassian Elwes and Tim DeGraye are producing, while Teddy Schwarzman, Reeves, Peter Traynor, Larry Spiegel and Sondra Locke are exec producers. The film’s a coproduction between Camp Grey, Black Bear Pictures, Sobras International Pictures. Roth tells me he will have a sizzle reel ready to show at the market at Cannes. Some have him pegged as the maker of splatter films, or the baseball bat swinging killer of Nazis from Inglourious Basterds. He is assuredly both of those, but he’s at heart a shrewd filmmaker who knows how to cover the bases on the business side of his movies.