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WIRE Buzz: Sam Raimi sets sail for horror island; Todd Phillips says no to Joker director’s cut; more

By Benjamin Bullard
Sam Raimi

Sam Raimi is reportedly dragging himself back to horror, teaming with a pair of fright writers for a new scary movie that takes place on an island — where there’s no place to run.

Via The Hollywood Reporter, the Spider-Man and Evil Dead mastermind is set to direct the untitled movie, his first turn at the horror helm since 2009’s Drag Me to Hell with Alison Lohman. Joining Raimi on the terror trail are writers Mark Swift and Damian Shannon, who co-wrote the Friday the 13th reboot from 2009 (and already have teamed with Raimi for a separate in-production project based on the Bermuda Triangle). The writing duo reportedly created the story for the island horror film, which is being produced via Raimi Productions.

Beyond the report’s description of the new movie as a cross between Stephen King’s Misery and Robert Zemeckis’ Cast Away, details at this early stage are light. Misery (first a novel, and later a 1990 horror film starring James Caan and Kathy Bates) traps a novelist with one of his most adoring fans (as in psychotically adoring), while Cast Away traps a stranded survivor (played by Tom Hanks) in island isolation.

There’s no early word on casting or a release date, so for now we’ll keep the fire lit and await a signal for additional news.

When Joker inevitably shows up in its small-screen form, don’t expect an extended take. Director Todd Phillips evidently isn’t clowning around when it comes to director’s cuts that pack in deleted scenes that weren’t there in the first place, telling Collider recently that the only home-theater version fans should expect is the one they experienced in theaters.

Even though star Joaquin Phoenix already has teased that big chunks of footage never made the final edit in DC’s box-office-smashing reimagining of Joker’s origin story, Phillips said he’s no fan of bonus-footage releases after the fact. “I hate f***ing extended cuts. I hate deleted scenes … They’re deleted for a reason,” Phillips said. “The movie that exists is exactly the movie I want it to be, and I will never show a deleted scene.”

Not that missing out on bonus insights into Arthur Fleck’s coolly surging madness is likely to deter fans from lapping up Joker when it does arrive on Blu-ray and digital. Phoenix, who’s in nearly every scene in the theatrical version, has lit up both critics and fans, who feel his performance could be in next year’s Oscars conversation. And the movie’s currently sitting atop a $610 million global box office (and counting). So if you haven’t already seen Joker and want to catch it in theaters, at least you can rest assured, thanks to Phillips, that the version you’ll be seeing is also the one you’ll be able to own — eventually. 

Things are about to get Unsettling over at Hulu. According to Deadline, the streaming service has just picked up AwesomenessTV’s teen-themed horror series of the same name, and it’s already available to watch — just in time for Halloween.

The Unsettling follows 16-year-old protagonist Becca (Holly Taylor), who has a terror of a time adjusting to life as a new resident at a foster home located way out in the middle of nowhere.

Things get more intolerable for Becca not only because of the foster family’s sadistic biological son, but also because “strange things start to happen around her, and she is uncertain about who or what is responsible,” according to the show’s synopsis. Season 1 of The Unsettling is queued up and ready to scare now at Hulu.