At the 2011 Fantastic Feud, a movie-knowledge game show put on every year at Fantastic Fest and hosted by our own Scott Weinberg, Elijah Wood was on the American team, while Timecrimes director Nacho Vigalondo was on the (losing) international team. Things got comically heated, as they do every time at the Feud, and at one point Nacho tackled Wood, lifting him into the air and then onto the beer-soaked floor of the Alamo Drafthouse.
Wood was fine, of course (otherwise you'd probably already know this story), and apparently he was impressed by Vigalondo's spark, because he's agreed to star in the director's English-language debut, Open Windows. And he's not the only talented thespian helping the Spanish menace bring his brand of cinema to the States. Also onboard are Sasha Grey (The Girlfriend Experience) and Neil Maskell (who is absolutely incredible in Kill List). The plot involves Maskell kidnapping Grey, sending Wood on a mad dash to get her back.
But there's a twist: the entire film is going to play out on a computer screen in real time. We'll let Screen Daily, who broke the news, explain the unconventional setup:
“The action will be followed on the screen of a laptop connected to the Internet – an approach that has excited us all from the outset. Something like this means going beyond high-concept films like Paranormal Activity, Cloverfield or Chronicle,” he said. “Instead of simulating a home video camera, we will be representing a computer desktop. The movie screen becomes a computer screen, and the spectator becomes the protagonist of this adventure.”
That's an interesting, low-budget way to put a new spin on an old story, and if anyone can make it work, Vigalondo can. He may be a madman onstage at Fantastic Fest, but he's a smart, creative filmmaker, so we think he can pull it off. Here's to hoping he does, at least.
Photos by David Hill
Follow along on Twitter: @PeterSHall and @Moviesdotcom.