By Todd Gilchrist
During an exclusive telephone interview to promote his role as Pvt. Donny Donowitz in Quentin Tarantino's WWII epic Inglourious Basterds, Eli Roth told Cinematical that Thanksgiving is not the next film he's set to direct, but it's definitely going to get made. "That movie, the financing, the money is in a bank account," Roth said. "I mean, I could literally say I'm starting production tomorrow we'd start. It's 100 percent up to me, but I'm just working on the script with Jeff Rendell, the co-writer. Jeff's the one who in the trailer, he plays the Pilgrim, and we're just writing it. We're just figuring it out and we're just coming up with the kills and the characters."
Thanksgiving was initially created as a fake movie trailer that connected the two theatrical halves of Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez' Grindhouse, but its own popularity inspired the director to blow it up from a 16mm short into a feature film. Roth actually indicated that Endangered Species, a PG-13 sci-fi film in the vein of Cloverfield, was to be his next directorial effort. "I want to be finished with Endangered, and then Jeff is supposed to come out to Los Angeles probably some time in August and we'll probably bang out the script," he explained, indicating that the disparate content of the two films may ultimately complement his enthusiasm creatively.
"I'd like to shoot the movies back to back; that's the dream – in a perfect world I would shoot those two movies back to back, the way I shot Hostel II and the Grindhouse trailer," he continued. "Shoot Endangered Species, which is a very complicated and detail-oriented film where everything has to be very, very specific, and each scene is a ballbuster, and then it's like Thanksgiving is like the reward – like, we made it through, we got it done, we're all warmed up and loose and let's just bang out the most disgusting movie we can and not be precious with it. Just shoot and shoot and have a good time with it, but make it a real movie."
Meanwhile, Roth didn't say exactly when the Thanksgiving trailer might show up on a DVD or Blu-ray, but he did reveal that he already contributed some material – and had more planned – for its eventual appearance. "One of the things I've been talking to Jeff about is doing the audio commentary for the trailer," he said. "I did interviews for it when we shot it, and we talked to the Weinstein Company about doing the audio commentary for the Blu-ray."
Roth didn't offer any additional details about how he planned to flesh out the story to feature length, but check out the original trailer for a literal preview of what's to come (WARNING - THIS CLIP CONTAINS NUDITY AND GRAPHIC VIOLENCE):