Eli Roth gave the horror genre a jolt with his garish and gory thriller Hostel. But his latest tale of terror has just lost its release date, and may never make it to theaters.
Deadline reports that Open Road films has dumped Green Inferno from its release calendar with less than a month before it was set to debut. The Amazon-set horror movie was intended for wide release on September 5th. At this time, Open Roads isn't giving a revised release date, nor will the distributor comment on whether the film might go straight to home video.
Often when a movie loses its release date, speculation arises that the distributor lost faith in its final results. However, that does not seem to be the case with The Green Inferno. This is more an issue of business dealings gone back. See, Worldview Entertainment was contracted to pay for print and advertising costs for The Green Inferno's upcoming wide release. However, those commitments were made by former Worldview Entertainment CEO Christopher Woodrow. He made a hurried exit from this position earlier this year. Since then, a freeze has been put on all his commitments by his replacement, Molly Conners. This means no money is being doled out from this financier to advertise the opening of the Open Road movie. So, the distributor pulled The Green Inferno.
From here Open Road Films in theory have several options for The Green Inferno. First, they could wait for Worldview Entertainment to clean house. Then they could re-evaluate a deal with the financier. According to Deadline, the company is shaken, but solid, with Conners dedicated to making sense of the mess of "extravagant commitments" it seems Woodrow left. This includes a lawsuit from Hoyt David Morgan, who claims he sunk $3.7 million into Worldview for an executive producer credit on Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's buzzed about Birdman, which he did not receive.
Depending on the specifics of their contract with Worldview, Open Road could look for a new partner to shoulder the costs of print and advertising.Working in the film's favor is Eli Roth's rep with genre fans who clamor for his brand of ghoulish carnage. Plus, The Green Inferno as earned critical praise through its festival run, which included stops in Toronto, Rio, Sitges, Rome and Edinburgh. The good buzz and recognizable horror icon could attract the notice of a financier that might save The Green Inferno from being lost in the Worldview Entertainment shuffle.
Lastly, Open Roads could ditch the theatrical option and look into VOD distribution. But if ever there was a movie primed for midnight audiences, it might well be Roth's latest about educated activists who travel to the Amazon on an aid mission, only to discover the natives don't appreciate their efforts. So this may be seen as a last resort.
We'll give you more on this story as it develops.