Something exciting is stirring at Fox, with news that the studio has snapped up a top secret spec script from Academy Award nominee Drew Goddard, titled Bad Times At The El Royale. In addition to penning the script, Goddard is apparently intending to both produce and direct – marking his first time at the helm of a feature film since he made his critically acclaimed debut in 2012, with The Cabin In The Woods.
Goddard has had a frustrating time with regard to his directorial ambitions since his first effort was released. He stepped back from showrunning duties on the Marvel-Netflix collaboration Daredevil – which he had overseen from conception – to direct a Sinister Six movie for Sony, but that project then failed to launch. While the screenwriting side of his career has continued to go from strength-to-strength – with World War Z, The Martian, and Deadpool 2 all crowding his resume – the fascinating, bold filmmaking vision we saw unfold in The Cabin In The Woods seemingly remained out of reach.
This is why Bad Times At The El Royale is such an exciting prospect. While the writer has worked on adaptations and properties initiated by others on numerous occasions to great effect, it’s undoubtedly his own original stories that are the most thrilling. In addition to The Cabin In The Woods, he also wrote the ground-breaking Cloverfield – which served to both re-invigorate the tired found-footage genre and reboot interest in epic monster movies, all at the same time.
This tendency, in his own work, to lean toward tones of sci-fi and horror suggests that Bad Times At The El Royale will be of a similar nature – probably featuring a disparate group of people thrust into extraordinary, disturbing circumstances. Since Goddard cut his screenwriting teeth on Joss Whedon’s Buffy The Vampire Slayer series many years ago, it’s easy to see that this is where his talent lies. Hopefully, Drew Goddard will get the chance to take this directing project across the finish line and we’ll have the pleasure of seeing this interesting storyteller progress into his next experience.