Miramax, Eli Roth & Kevin Williamson teaming for The River At Night
Deadline has brought word that Miramax will be reuniting with Kevin Williamson and teaming up with Eli Roth for an adaptation of the Erica Ferencik survival novel The River at Night, for which the studio has just acquired the screen rights. Roth may direct the film as well.
Based on the 2017 novel of the same name, the film will follow Wini, a woman struggling after divorcing her husband of 15 years and the death of her brother as she joins her three best friends on an invigorating girls’ trip that includes hiking and white-water rafting in the Allagash Wilderness. The trip goes awry, however, when an accident strands the group in the middle of the wilderness without their raft full of supplies, and after seemingly finding help at a rundown camp, they find themselves in even more danger that will put their friendships to the test.
“Kevin and I had long been a mutual admiration society, and when he told me this was Girls Trip meets Deliverance, I said, I’m in,” Roth told Deadline. “I’ve always been drawn to these clash of culture movies like Cabin Fever and Hostel, where they go for an adventure and everything turns against them and we see what they’re made of. The book is fun and it’s a smart thriller. As for working with Kevin Williamson, I was 22 and had written Cabin Fever and someone told me they read this new guy Kevin Williamson’s script Scary Movie. I took it home, read it on a bus going back to Newton, Mass., and thought, ‘Okay, this is what a real script looks like, it was so good. On my first meeting with him years ago I brought the Dawson’s Creek calendar I’d put in my apartment and he noticed that the only appointments were reminders to tape that show. He said it was the funniest, saddest thing he had ever seen, my empty life in Los Angeles.”
Williamson, who began his work with the company with the acclaimed 1996 slasher comedy Scream, and Roth, who is known for his work in the horror genre with hits including Cabin Fever and Hostel, will be developing the project together for Miramax while Melanie Toast, whose script Shut In has amassed a lot of attention, is in talks to write the script.
“It was just sad and I remember suggesting he get a life,” Williamson said of Roth. “But we’ve been friends for years and always talked about working together. I stumbled upon the book, saw the reviews and just ordered it and found it a terrific story of courage and survival. Turns out Eli likes rafting.”
Roth will produce the project with Roger Birnbaum through their new banner The Arts District, which spawned from his remake of the vigilante thriller Death Wish, while Williamson will produce the project with Ben Fast through their Outerbanks banner.