By Drew Taylor | The Playlist January 4, 2012 at 8:59AM
Hot off the heels of delivering one of 2011's biggest turkeys, the almost-direct-to-video Nicolas Cage/Nicole Kidman home invasion thriller "Trespass," Joel Schumacher has been removed from the Troika Pictures' thriller "The Hive" and replaced by "The Machinist" helmer Brad Anderson, reports Variety. This should surprise exactly no one.
With their annoying knack for abbreviation, the trade describes the script by Joel Silver favorite Rich D'Ovidio ("Exit Wounds," "Thirteen Ghosts") as, "Set against the backdrop of a 911 emergency center, fast-paced suspense pic follows a 911 operator who must face her own fears in order to save a teenage girl from a serial killer." This sort of sounds like a weird combination of "The Taking of Pelham One Two Three" and that upcoming Amanda Seyfried movie "Gone." In other words: we're in.
Schumacher has been making barely watchable movies for a while now (and this is coming from someone who willingly watched his actual-direct-to-video Nazi zombie movie "Blood Creek") so it's not much of a shock that he was switched out for Anderson, who has made a string of modest, mostly well received genre movies (including, most recently, last year's "Vanishing on 7th Street"). Anderson has also directed a shitload of episodes of JJ Abrams' charmingly spooky mad scientist show "Fringe," which endears him further. And while there was some chatter last year about Anderson possibly reteaming with Christian Bale for "Concrete Island," it looks like that will be a bit of a way off for now.
"I'm extremely excited about working with Troika on 'The Hive,'" Anderson told Variety. "
This script has two elements I always look for in a thriller -- strong, believable female characters and a smart, very dark and very creepy story that will definitely resonate with large audiences."
The female character Anderson mentions was a part previously occupied by Halle Berry, who had to drop out due to what Variety describes as "personal scheduling issues." It sounds like a meaty role, though, and Variety claims that "several top actresses have expressed interest in the part."
While Troika will produce, the film will be distributed domestically by Sony, with production scheduled for late spring. We imagine that, unless it's truly integral to the plot, someone along the way will change that silly title. It sounds like a disaster horror movie about a swarm of killer wasps.