It’s been some time since Drew Goddard‘s THE CABIN IN THE WOODS (even longer when you consider how long it sat on a shelf), but the director’s sophomore effort is nearly upon us. The upcoming BAD TIMES AT THE EL ROYALE brings together seven strangers – all with secrets to bury – as they meet up at Lake Tahoe’s El Royale, a rundown hotel with a dark past. Thanks to Entertainment Weekly (and Empire), we have some more details about the plot and characters.
Among the gathered rogues: a down-on-his-luck priest (Jeff Bridges), a singer named Darlene Sweet (Cynthia Erivo), an impressionable Southern girl (Cailee Spaeny) and her older sister (Dakota Johnson), a vacuum cleaner salesman (Jon Hamm), and — perhaps most enigmatically — a charismatic and shirt-averse cult leader, played by Chris Hemsworth.
The seventh stranger is a young concierge played by Lewis Pullman who is already on hand at the El Royale when the others arrive. Over the course of one eventful night, each of these characters will be offered a shot at redemption…before everything goes to hell. That’s likely all we’ll find out in regards to the plot of BAD TIMES AT THE EL ROYALE for the time being, as writer/director Drew Goddard wants to keep his “love letter” to ’60s film noir and crime fiction under wraps. Entertainment Weekly and Empire also released several new photos from the film, which you can check out below.
Although BAD TIMES AT THE EL ROYALE may share a few similarities with THE CABIN IN THE WOODS, Drew Goddard says that the pair of films are actually quite different.
The Cabin in the Woods was very much about the genre itself; this certainly is not. It’s more of a straightforward narrative.” What they have in common, he says, is a shared “sense of danger,” something he often finds is lacking in big-budget, franchise productions. “It definitely shares the boldness in choice that Cabin has,” he says of Bad Times. “We certainly don’t play it safe.”
Drew Goddard was also quite keen on setting the film in 1969, which he describes as a “tumultuous time” before teasing that certain historical figures who were alive at the time may appear in the film. BAD TIMES AT THE EL ROYALE will hit theaters on October 5, 2018, but we can expect a trailer for the film before too long.