We've Got Hollywood Covered

‘Evil Dead Rise’ Director Lee Cronin to Helm New Line’s ‘Thaw’

The original chiller, initially written by Jeremy Passmore, concerns a post-climate change dystopia and peril hidden under a potentially inhabitable town

With “Evil Dead Rise” earning good reviews (96% and 7.5/10 on Rotten Tomatoes) and solid buzz out of its SXSW premiere, New Line wasted no time in locking down director Lee Cronin’s next feature. Next up will be an original horror film, titled “Thaw,” for which Cronin will rewrite the current draft.

The picture, originally written by Jeremy Passmore, is set years after the polar ice caps have melted with concurrent rising sea levels. “Thaw” centers on a group of survivors at sea searching for a new home. They discover an inhabitable town only to realize… well this isn’t “Waterworld” folks.

Van Toffler and David Gale of Gunpowder & Sky as well as Adam Goldworm of Aperture, who produced HBO’s upcoming adaptation of Grady Hendrix’s novel “The Final Girl Support Group,” are producing.

Passmore previously was a writer on New Line’s blockbuster Dwayne Johnson-versus-an-earthquake action film “San Andreas” along with his writing partner Andre Fabrizio. That film earned $474 million in 2015, a total unmatched by any original, not-based-on-actual events Hollywood live-action feature in the last eight years.

He also co-wrote the 2012 remake of “Red Dawn” which became controversial after the film’s Chinese invaders were changed to North Korean villains in post-production to avoid offending the Chinese government.

Cronin, meanwhile, is being considered a hot commodity following “The Hole in the Ground” and now “Evil Dead Rise.” The horror flick is one of four movies that was pegged for HBO Max yet is getting a theatrical release this year. The last “Evil Dead” movie opened 10 years ago, and its promising director Fede Álvarez has been booked-and-busy with films like “Don’t Breathe” and “The Girl in the Spider’s Web” ever since.

The “Necronomicon Ex-Mortis” may bring torment, pain and death to anyone foolish enough to read its cursed pages, but making a movie about that book seems to be a cinematic golden ticket.