Curtis Hanson’s super-fun 1994 rafting thriller “The River Wild” – which I recall seeing opening day in a very quiet cinema – is getting the reboot treatment by Universal’s home entertainment division. Stepping into the roles previously played by Meryl Streep, Kevin Bacon, and David Straitharn are Adam Brody (of “The O.C” fame), Leighton Meester (of “Gossip Girl” fame), and Taran Killam from “Saturday Night Live”.
The flick is shooting under the direction of Ben Katai in fiscally-friendly Hungary. Films such as “Underworld”, “World War Z”, “Atomic Blonde”, “Terminator : Dark Fate” and “Transporter 3” also lensed in the country.
The brand-new adventure thriller follows a brother (Killam) and sister (Meester), who love but distrust each other, as they embark on a white-water rafting trip with a small group, including the siblings’ childhood friend (Brody), who turns out to be more dangerous than he appears. The film will debut on non-theatrical platforms worldwide in 2023 from Universal 1440 Entertainment, a production arm of Universal Filmed Entertainment Group.
“We are excited to announce a thrilling new The River Wild story, with fresh characters and a story that brings the universe to new audiences and fans of the original,” says Glenn Ross, General Manager and Executive Vice President, Universal 1440 Entertainment. “The production features a talented cast, and we think movie lovers will be excited by director Ben Ketai’s modern take on the popular classic film.”
The all-new adventure thriller is written from a script by Ben Ketai and Mike Nguyen Le (Patient Zero, “BMF”), and produced by Ogden Gavanski (Punisher: War Zone, Warm Bodies).
Universal 1440 Entertainment have done a slew of direct-to-digital sequels over the years, including the umpteen follow-ups to “Tremors”, “Scorpion King”, “American Pie”, “Honey”, “Bring it On” and the “Chucky” flicks.