Here’s your splash of good news for today: Under the Shadow director Babak Anvari has a new thriller in the works. It doesn’t have a title at the moment, but it does have a promising concept and a star in the person of Armie Hammer.
Armie Hammer is fine or whatever. I like him well enough in Man from U.N.C.L.E. and in Free Fire. (I admittedly haven’t seen Call Me By Your Name yet, it’s the one big title I’m missing from last year.) He’s affable enough and easy on the eyes, though I’m not rushing out yet to see an “Armie Hammer movie.” The exciting part from where I sit is that Anvari is making another film.
Under the Shadow is one of my favorite movies of 2016, horror or otherwise. It didn’t get the acclaim of some indie horror darlings, like The Babadook, It Follows, or TheWitch, largely because American audiences hate to read movies. Still, someone had an eye out, as Variety reports Megan Ellison and Annapurna Pictures are backing Anvari and company. According to the article, Anvari will both write and direct, much like he did with Shadow.
There aren’t a ton of story details right now, but the plot revolves around a New Orleans bartender, probably Hammer. When he picks up a random cell phone left at the bar, his life comes off the rails thanks to a “series of disturbing and inexplicable events.” That’s not much to go on, but it’s definitely promising enough territory. Successful horror movies have been built on much less.
If you, like me, can’t wait for this movie, we don’t have all that long to go. At least in a big-picture sense. Annapurna already has a March 29, 2019 release date scheduled. From end-to-end, that’s not all that bad. It will face some box office competition, however, as that’s the same weekend Tim Burton’s live-action Dumbo opens. Though the more I think about it, these two movies may have different target audiences. Tough to know for sure.