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Cabin in the Woods – Joss Whedon tells us things about it but the things may not be true.

Posted by LiveFor on January 27, 2009

There’s a cool article by Todd Brown over on AMC that talks about Joss Whedon’s latest film project, Cabin in the Woods. It is a great example of how to use rumours and the internet to spread the word on a film…and by writing this I am helping it go further.

It’s co-written and produced by Whedon, with writer and director Drew Goddard (Cloverfield, Lost).

Word of their project first surfaced in July with little more than an
announcement that it was happening and that Whedon and Goddard were both
involved. The duo wouldn’t even reveal the plot — Goddard teased in
an
interview with MTV
, “It’s got a harder and darker edge, but it’s
also got classic Whedon qualities. It’ll rip your heart out and be heartfelt at
the same time.” MGM exec Mary Parent who greenlit the movie
told
The Hollywood Reporter
, “I’ll be shot [if I say anything] … It’s
an intense visceral thrill ride and I’ll leave it at that.” Whedon’s only
comment was “it’s the horror movie to end all horror movies… literally,” a
quote that still has fans buzzing over at fan site
Whedonesque: “I’m curious
about what is implied by the description … Many people misuse ‘literally’ so
that it means nothing in particular. But Joss uses language carefully. That
‘literally’ suggests some sort of interesting deconstruction of the genre.”


So who would be the face of the film? Would you believe the dead father
from Six Feet Under (Richard Jenkins) and cabinet member from The West Wing
(Bradley Whitford)? “It’s really just your basic typecasting,”
said
Goddard
, “when you need two actors to run through the woods in
low-cut nighties, you immediately think of Richard Jenkins and Bradley
Whitford.”


On January 24, based on information culled from inside-the-industry
casting calls and databases, the
NewYork Times announced the addition of Bill Nighy and Jena Malone to the cast while also giving the following synopsis: “A group of five college kids are tricked into spending a weekend at a cabin where they will be sacrificed to appease the Gods and save the world.”

In retrospect, a cast of middle-aged men in a film supposedly about
‘five college kids’ should have tipped people off that something weird was going
on, but it didn’t. Instead, fans fixated on what was meant by “Gods”? Could this
be some sort of Lovecraft reference? But then along came Whedon himself to
happily mess with people’s heads. Over on fan board
Whedonesque, the
man himself turned up a few hours after this “news” broke to say, “This is
misinformation. While we are fans of both those actors, neither is attached to
the movie. Just FYI. However, they ARE attached to the Serenity sequel.” No,
there isn’t going to be a sequel to Serenity. But what’s up with the fake info?
Whedon elaborated a little later: “Also, they got the plot wrong. In order
to protect the story from spoilerization, we’ve been sending out our OWN
misinformation, including fake sides for the actors, fake summaries, different
names… So there’s gonna be a lot of ‘information’ leaked that will lead to
excited speculation about things you will not see. Sorry. But here’s some stuff
you CAN look forward to, my word on it: 1) A person will have an emotion. 2) Two
people speaking, or “dialogue”, may occur. 3) A bunch of different people will
play the part of Bob Dylan. Hope that clears everything up. More updates
soon!”

And here is the genius of Joss: Rather than fight the flow of information, he has corrupted the sources, throwing anything anybody says about this film from now until release into question. And everybody who ran the fake Times casting announcement and synopsis is now going to have to run a retraction: Whedon just got two headlines for the price of one.

Sounds rather interesting doesn’t it, even though everything we have currently heard about it may not be true and it may end up being something totally different. Therefore, anything else I write about it may or may not be true…my head hurts.

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