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It's perfectly fitting that the newest Rob Zombie film would be announced on the weekend of Halloween. And while his next project will not be a continuation of the rebooted Halloween franchise that he began back in 2007, the new film is still set on the ghastly, ghoulish holiday. Unfortunately, it may also serve to tick off the folks over at Marvel Comics.
The Hollywood Reporter received news of the new Rob Zombie movie out of the on-going American Film Market, and says that the project is appropriately titled 31. The movie is based on an original screenplay by the director, and is partially inspired by a strange statistic that says that more people disappear and are never found again on Halloween than on any other day of the calendar year. The story will begin on the night before the holiday (a.k.a. Mischief Night or Devil's Night in some areas) and will follow five carnival workers who wind up getting abducted. When they come to their senses, they discover that they are being held hostage in a compound called Murder World. They are told by their kidnapper that they are to play a game called 31, which will find them being hunted down by murderous psychos dressed as clowns.
What's a bit strange about the plot of this film is the way in which it kind of rips off Marvel Comics. I'm sure at least a few of you lovely readers are familiar with the assassin known as Arcade, who is a psychopath who has a habit of capturing superheroes and trapping them in his amusement park-themed death trap... known as Murder World:
I'm sure that Rob Zombie's 31 will be far more horrific and violent than any of Arcade's storylines in the comics have ever been, but I also wouldn't be surprised if the film winds up getting some pressure to change the name of the main location. Given that the main characters of the movie are carnival workers, I wouldn't be surprised if what Zombie has envisioned is at least somewhat similar to what Arcade does, and Marvel may not be too happy about that.
Rob Zombie was able to raise the money to make 31 after a 90-day crowdfunding campaign, following in the footsteps of projects like Rob Thomas' Veronica Mars and Zach Braff's Wish I Was Here. In an official statement, Zombie thanked his supporters, saying,
"Without the fans raising funds and helping to build buzz, a crazy film like this would have been almost impossible to get off the ground. I owe the fans big time on this one."
Production on Rob Zombie's 31 will begin next February, though when it will be released is currently unknown.