Courtesy of DEADLINE: The Lord Of The Rings and Maniac tar 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 most people tend to associate Wood with the wholesome hobbit he reprises in Peter Jackson’s Hobbit films, he played a pretty awesome/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 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.
Elijah Wood is the lead in the remake of ‘Maniac’ (1980) The indie will be directed by Franck Khalfoun and produced by Alexandre Aja and Gregory Lavasseur. Wood plays the role of a serial killer who works at a shop that sells antique mannequins. He finds victims on the Internet and stalks them like prey, all the while suffering from hallucinations that throw him back into the past, when he was abused by his own mother. In his twisted mind, he gains a measure of revenge against his mother with each kill. It will shoot later this year.
This isn’t the first deranged killer role for Wood, who was unnerving as the creepy cannibal Kevin in Sin City. Wood has been busy lately, voice work in the upcoming Happy Feet 2, the indie Celeste and Jesse, Sky TV’s Treasure Island, and, of course, he reprises his signature role in The Hobbit. Wood also reprises his starring role in the series Wilfred, which begins production early next year.