EXCLUSIVE: Think A Hard Day’s Night of the Living Dead, with laughs among the scares and splatter, and you’ve got a handle on STUDIO 666. Dave Grohl and his Foo Fighters bandmates star in a film they shot in secret, about what happens when the legendary rock band rents an Encino mansion steeped in grisly rock and roll history, to record their 10th album. Trouble is, frontman Grohl is creatively blocked, and when evil forces in the house sink into his consciousness, the creative juices begin flowing but so does the blood. Can Foo Fighters’ complete the album, with the band still alive to tour?
Open Road Films has acquired worldwide rights, and the distributor has set a wide theatrical release in 2000+ theaters on February 25. Along with Grohl and bandmates Taylor Hawkins, Nate Mendel, Pat Smear, Chris Shiflett & Rami Jaffee who play themselves, the cast includes Whitney Cummings, Leslie Grossman, Will Forte, Jenna Ortega and Jeff Garlin. The pic is directed by BJ McDonnell and the international release date will be set soon by Open Road CEO Tom Ortenberg and Foo Fighters.
Based on a story by Grohl, with script by Jeff Buhler and Rebecca Hughes, the film is directed by BJ McDonnell. He helmed Hatchet III and Slayer: The Repentless Killogy, and served as camera operator on such films as James Wan’s Malignant and Top Gun: Maverick. The film mixes scare fare with the playfulness and mischief evident in the band’s music videos. Given its superstar profile, Foo Fighters band managed to largely keep the movie project a fairly tight secret.
“After decades of ridiculous music videos and numerous music documentaries under our collective belts, it was finally time to take it to the next level… A full length feature horror comedy film,” said Grohl. “Like most things Foo, STUDIO 666 began with a far fetched idea that blossomed into something bigger than we ever imagined possible. Filmed at the same house where we recorded our latest album Medicine at Midnight — told you that place was haunted! — we wanted to recapture the classic magic that all of our favorite rock and roll movies had, but with a twist: hilarious gore that fucking rocks. And now, with the help of Tom Ortenberg and the team at Open Road Films we can finally let this cat out of the bag after keeping it our best kept secret for two years. Be ready to laugh, scream, and headbang in your popcorn. STUDIO 666 will f*ck you up.”
Said Open Road’s Ortenberg: “We couldn’t be more excited to team up with Foo Fighters for a movie sure to make audiences scream and laugh. The Foos bring their comedic chemistry and the musical talent we all love to the big screen in this hysterical horror film.”
McDonnell called the film “a perfect combination of all things I love. Rock, horror, and comedy all tied together in a very thrilling motion picture. I am so excited to have teamed up with the Foo Fighters to create an old school band movie. It’s been years since we’ve seen something like The Beatles Help!, The Monkees’ Head, or KISS Meets the Phantom of the Park. Take that ’60s / ’70s old school band film fun, mix it with horror and STUDIO 666 is born! I am so ecstatic for audiences of film and music to come together and enjoy our film.”
The film is produced by Roswell Films’ and Therapy Studios’ John Ramsay & James A. Rota. Executive producers are John Silva, Kristen Welsh, John Cutcliffe, Gaby Skolnek, Dave Grohl, Nate Mendel, Taylor Hawkins, Pat Smear, Chris Shiflett, Rami Jaffee, James Masciello, Matthew Sidari, Mitchell Zhang and Open Road’s Ortenberg.
“Over the past decade we have had the good fortune to collaborate with Foo Fighters on a variety of great projects,” said producers Ramsay &. Rota. “Whether it be documentary films, TV series or music videos, they always bring their great talents and legendary sense of humor. STUDIO 666 takes this to a whole new level and we couldn’t be more proud of this movie. We can’t wait to share it with the world.” The producers worked with Grohl on the superb HBO docuseries Sonic Highways.
The deal was negotiated by Ortenberg and Matthew Sidari for Open Road Films and by WME Independent on behalf of the filmmakers. Ortenberg founded Open Road, left and then returned when Raven Capital Management became its backer. The distributor released the Best Picture winner Spotlight and Jake Gyllenhaal-starrer Nightcrawler, and more recently the Liam Neeson action films Honest Thief and The Marksman and the Gerard Butler-Frank Grillo action film CopShop.