By Oliver Lyttelton | The Playlist July 21, 2011 at 2:04AM
When MGM went bankrupt, it was a major headache for some of the film industry's biggest figures and properties. "The Hobbit" was delayed for a year, causing Guillermo Del Toro to leave the production, and Peter Jackson to take over, while Sam Mendes also had to significantly delay his entry into the James Bond series, the longest running franchise around. But there are two films that were most adversely affected by the situation, the last two productions at the studio: "Red Dawn," the remake of the fondly-remembered Commie-bashing classic, and "The Cabin in the Woods," a post-modern horror flick written and produced by geek deity Joss Whedon, and directed by "Cloverfield" scribe Drew Goddard.
Both films shot back in 2009, and were due for release last year, but the studio's financial problems have meant that both have languished in a vault somewhere, completed, through no fault of their own, and few signs of movement, with even Whedon's appointment as writer and director of massive superhero team-up flick "The Avengers" failing to help him get the film to an audience. But with Chris Hemsworth, who stars in both films, now an A-lister after "Thor," and the financial situation at MGM being (mostly) sorted, things are finally moving forward. There's no solid word on "Red Dawn" yet (last we heard, MGM were re-cutting the film in an effort to sell it), but "The Cabin in the Woods" was picked up by Lionsgate a few months ago, and, according to The Hollywood Reporter, have now set a firm release date.
The film will hit theaters on April 13th, 2012, twenty-seven full months after the date that MGM was originally slated to open it. It's currently set to go head-to-head with the Guy Pearce space actioner "Lockout" and the untitled star-studded portmanteau comedy known as "Movie 43," while more direct competition arrives the week before, with "American Reunion," and the week after, with "Scary Movie 5" and the Jennifer Lawrence-starring thriller "House at the End of Street," but it seems as strong as any date for a genre picture like this: it's the same slot that "Scream 4" had this year, and while that performed below expectations, we're sure Lionsgate would be delighted with a similar gross.
Alongside Hemsworth, the films stars Kristen Connolly ("Revolutionary Road"), Brian J. White ("The Family Stone"), Amy Acker ("Angel"), Fran Kranz ("Dollhouse"), Jesse Williams ("Grey's Anatomy"), and as the mysterious men pulling the strings, the great Richard Jenkins and Bradley Whitford ("The West Wing"). We'll find out if it's worth the wait (and based on the script, it should be), when it hits theaters, in good old fashioned 2D, on April 13th, while Hemsworth and Whedon will reteam only a few weeks later on "The Avengers," which hits May 4th.