According to Deadline, Eli Roth is set to direct and Jack Black is set to star in a film adaptation of the John Bellairs novel The House with a Clock in Its Walls, based on a script by Supernatural creator Eric Kripke. And I wouldn’t be a fangirl if I didn’t have strong opinions about a movie that hasn’t even been made yet, so let’s get to it.
I’ve written before about how much I love John Bellairs, and I understand why studios would want to bring his books to the big screen. A brilliant YA series with chills, humor, and adventure? Sold! Gimme that sweet Harry Potter money, please.
But this news doesn’t exactly thrill me. I enjoy both Jack Black and Eli Roth, but they aren’t the first names that come to mind when I think of witty gothic horror. I must admit, I’m more concerned about Roth than Black. I love me some Cabin Fever and Hostel, but Bellairs needs some subtlety and sophistication in the director’s chair, and I have yet to see a movie of Roth’s that indicates he has either. That doesn’t mean he’s a bad director, just maybe not the best director for this project. (Like I said: OCD fangirl with anxiety issues. It’s in my nature to stress over these things. Plus, I’m kind of a judgmental bitch.)
I have higher hopes for the script, because God knows Kripke has experience balancing horror, humor, and a complicated mythology/backstory. But overall it just feels like a weird combination, and not in a good way. What about you, dear fiends? Does this news fill you with joy or dread? Let me know in the comments.