Friday, February 17, 2017

Jeffrey Wright, Alexander Skarsgard, and Riley Keough join the cast of Jeremy Saulnier's 'Hold the Dark'

Jeremy Saulnier burst onto the scene with 2013's Blue Ruin, a grisly revenge thriller that announced him as a director with a whole lot of potential. Two years later, Saulnier delivered on the promise of his breakout feature with Green Room, which premiered at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival before opening nationwide in April 2016. One of the most spectacular horror/thrillers in recent memory, Saulnier's blisteringly intense showdown between a group of punk rockers and an evil crew of Neo-Nazis firmly established him as one of the most talented filmmakers working today. For a while, there hadn't been much word on how Saulnier would follow up such a masterful film, but the stars are finally starting to align for his fourth feature. Like many of the great directors of his generation, Saulnier will now be heading to Netflix, as he's set to direct Hold the Dark, an adaptation of William Giraldi's novel. The story is set in Alaska, where wolves have killed children, prompting an expert to be called in for an investigation. But as the story grows darker, the bodies pile up and things go in even more unexpected directions.

This sounds like a story that will be right up Saulnier's alley, featuring all of the trademarks of his previous films- blood and gore, brutal violence, a simple setting, and unbearable tension. And in addition to that, he has assembled one hell of a cast for this film. Earlier this week, The Hollywood Reporter revealed that Jeffrey Wright, Alexander Skarsgard, James Badge Dale, James Bloor, and Riley Keough are all set to star in Hold the Dark. Wright will be playing the lead, the wolf biologist called in for the investigation, while Skarsgard will play a husband who goes on a maniacal killing spree. Badge Dale plays a detective investigating Skarsgard's character, Bloor is a drifter, and Keough is the disappearing mother. If I'm being honest, it didn't really matter to me who Saulnier cast in this film. Green Room was my #7 movie of 2016, and oddly enough, it's one that I've revisited over and over again. I'm calling it now- in a few years, that film is going to be regarded as a masterpiece and a classic of the horror genre. Saulnier is on a different level, and I can't wait to see what he does with another great cast and terrifying concept. Wright is usually pitch-perfect, Skarsgard fits that part very well, Badge Dale is always excellent, and Keough is a true rising star. It's safe to say that Hold the Dark is one of my most anticipated films of the next few years, and I can't wait to see more.

There is no firm release date yet, but Hold the Dark is expected to hit theaters in 2018. A Cannes debut is likely in the cards.

Images courtesy of A24

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