Eli Roth to Direct The House With a Clock in Its Walls


Over the past decade and a half, Eli Roth has continually pushed the envelope of genre filmmaking with movies like Cabin Fever, Hostel and The Green Inferno, achieving a certain level of success without pulling any punches. This year, however, he may be veering from that path a little bit and opening himself up to a wider audience in the process. He is currently putting the finishing touches on a Death Wish remake starring Bruce Willis, which may or may not end up being his first PG-13 film. After that, it looks like he will be taking a stab at his first kid-friendly horror flick: an adaptation of John Bellairs’ The House With a Clock in Its Walls. Could this be the start of a newer, softer Eli Roth? Hit the jump for more details.

According to THR, Eli Roth will direct The House With a Clock in Its Walls for Amblin Entertainment, who acquired the rights to the book back in April. The 1973 novel revolves around a recently orphaned boy who moves in with his uncle, only to discover that the previous owner of the house was an evil wizard trying to bring about the end of the world. Jack Black is attached to play the uncle.

The script was written by Eric Kripke (Supernatural, Boogeyman), who will also produce along with Brad Fischer (Shutter Island, Zodiac) and James Vanderbilt (Zodiac, White House Down). The book was previously adapted for the screen as part of a 1979 made-for-TV anthology called Once Upon a Midnight Scary, hosted by Vincent Price. Are you looking forward to an Eli Roth-directed Amblin film?

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  • Karl with a K

    When I first read the title of this post I misread ‘Clock’. That is all I am going to say about that.

  • 1138sw

    Really??? One of my favorite books as a child is going to be directed by Eli Roth? Seriously?

    And since when should Death Wish be a PG-13 movie. Seriously? Ya gotta be kidding me!

  • Sean

    To be fair, IMDb currently has it listed as R, but I don’t know where that comes from. The fact that it’s a studio film and a Bruce Willis action movie seem to indicate PG-13 but there is nothing official out there yet, only speculation. Back when Joe Carnahan left the project, he called the studio execs “gutless” but who knows what that means.

  • Strybeck

    I was a fan of John Bellairs books as a kid. This book was the first one I read that got me hooked. He had a number of series with recurring main characters, so if this movie is successful, there could be other adaptations made into sequels. I always thought of the tone of the books to be pretty dreary, with the illustrations by Edward Gorey. Roth could be a good fit, but I wonder about Jack Black’s involvement. He could make it a little less serious than it should be, or give it needed levity.

  • 1138sw

    My sister introduced me to the books in the 80’s. Never was much of a reader until I read this book and I was hooked! Read the entire series and followed as a adult when the stories were continued by another author. This series probably made me into a reader.

    I hope Eli has the scope to capture the feelings of not only the narrative text but also the illustrations by Gorey. It’s a tough task and I hope he does not screw it up.