Sometimes while commuting or doing the dishes, I amuse myself by imagining what would happen if two movies I love for very different reasons were mashed together. For example: Dirty Dancing meets Night of the Living Dead, where the blue-collared dancers and their snooty clients must put their differences aside to ward of zombies, and Patrick Swayze would belt out the line, "Nobody eats Baby in the corner!" These daydream monstrosities are wonderfully terrible from my imagined movie posters—in this case Baby and Johnny gripping each other passionately with one hand, toting shotguns in the other—to their atrocious tag lines ("They won't stay dead…or off the dance floor!"), which typically makes me snort laugh. They're fun to fantasize about because I'd never have to actually sit down and watch such ill-conceived mash-ups…until now.
THR reports Elijah Wood has just signed on to star in an indie thriller that seems like something out of my idling imagination. Penned by The Last Exorcism 2 scribe Damien Chazelle, Grand Piano takes elements from two of my favorite movies—a pianist's sometimes damning devotion to their instrument à la The Piano and a tension device straight out of Speed—to create a confounding plot. Wood will play a washed up pianist whose stage fright has driven him from performing publicly for five years. Now, on his fretful return to live performance, he sits down to the piano bench to find a menacing note amid the sheet music! It declares that if he doesn't play the best show of his life, he and his wife will die!
Seriously. That's the plot.
Spanish director Eugenio Mira is helming this peculiar picture, which could lens as soon as late summer in Alicante, Spain, and Chicago, Illinois. Admittedly, I'm unfamiliar with Mira's past works, which include a thriller called Agnosia, and The Birthday, a 2004 horror-comedy that stars Corey Feldman. However, I'm not going to rush to judge the fate of Grand Piano on its ludicrous logline alone. Instead, I'm going to hang on to my faith in Elijah Wood, whose been known to sign on to risky projects that shouldn't work—like the deeply deranged take on man's best friend that is Wilfred—but do, and brilliantly. So, for now I'll hold out hope that Wood's latest gamble pays off, and Grand Piano will play out into something intriguing.
Staff writer at CinemaBlend.
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